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Snowboarding in Anchorage

Top of the mountain – you made it! Even the most action-packed Anchorage adventures require an occasional break. So you plop into a powdery seat, breathe deep and cool, and take it all in: Blankets of deep, bright white snow in every direction and majestic mountain peaks surrounding you. It’s the perfect Anchorage winter postcard.

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A snowboarder gets some serious air off a ledge at Alyeska Resort in Girdwood.
A snowboarder gets some serious air off a ledge at Alyeska Resort in Girdwood. ©Alyeska Resort/Simon Evans

OK, that’s enough. Strap in your feet, pop in your earbuds, slide on your goggles and hop up onto your snowboard – it’s time to get to the bottom of the mountain.

Snowboarding in Anchorage is a winter must for locals and visitors, and there are outdoor outings for all levels, from beginning boarders and easy riders to backcountry legends and Olympic medalists.

There’s an urban ski and snowboard area that’s a short drive from downtown and perfect for beginners and those looking for quick rides and great views of Anchorage. There’s a steeper ski and snowboard area even higher up into the mountains of Chugach State Park above Anchorage, which is steep, cheap and full of family fun.

Then there’s the big mountain resort life on Mount Alyeska in Girdwood. It’s a place you can learn to board or push your skills to the limits, ride new trails all day or squeeze in a few runs between socializing with speed demons, bunny hillers and terrain park pros. At all times, Girdwood offers Anchorage’s alpine adventures and landscapes at their best.

For the most talented and ambitious snowboarders, there’s a backcountry bounty of tall peaks, deep powder and once-in-a-lifetime rides in the Chugach Mountains surrounding Anchorage. Here, the snowboarding is so epic it might appear like it’s straight out of a Warren Miller film … well, it is. Miller’s teams and other ski and snowboard film crews often shoot footage in the Chugach Mountains. Make your own memory with area backcountry guides who will happily get you there by snowcat or helicopter and keep you safe.

You can also hike into the mountains around the Anchorage area for your own backcountry experience. Local riders gladly trade hours of hiking for minutes of backcountry boarding bliss, and sometimes that’s the best way to find a little quiet time for you and your board. But if you go into the backcountry, always do your homework on snow conditions and avalanche dangers, and dress properly.

If you don’t have a board or a clue, it’s easy to find lessons and rentals at Anchorage ski and snowboard areas and many local outdoor gear shops.