Winter in Anchorage

While a lot of regions are coy about their snowfall and the fun to be found under their blankets of white, Anchorage has plenty to boast.

Anchorage dazzles in winter with snowy outdoor adventures, great theater and nightlife and events that celebrate winter unlike anywhere else. Whether you want to play in the snow, see a show, curl up next to the fireplace or sink an ice axe into a frozen waterfall, Anchorage is the perfect winter destination.

Winter weather in Anchorage is comparable to other northern cities.  Even the coldest days stay relatively warm, creating prime conditions for skiing and skating. There’s plenty of snow to keep powder hounds happy; Anchorage averages about 60 inches of snow annually, while nearby Girdwood – home of Alyeska Resort – gets more than 600 inches.

Even during the shortest days of the year, there are still about seven and a half hours of functional daylight. And just because the sun has set doesn’t mean the day is at an end; lighted trails keep cross country skiers, dog mushers, and winter bikers on track at any hour. Winter nights also bring the best conditions for northern lights viewing.

Practice figure eights or play pickup hockey at one of the local rinks or skate ponds. Hit the trails for miles of groomed cross country skiing. Relive snow days gone by at one of Anchorage’s many sled hills. Or reel in Alaska fish even in the middle of winter on an ice fishing trip. Check out Chugach State Park, Anchorage’s half-million-acre wonderland, for backcountry snowcat or heli-skiing, snowshoeing, ice climbing,snowmobiling and more – the range is wild.

From cozy restaurants and bars to locally produced theater, opera and symphony, winter fun doesn’t just mean outdoor fun in Anchorage. Sip cocoa and watch the snow fall from the fireplace, or grab tickets to a show that’s entertained audiences across the country.

Get in on the fun with great events all winter long. The most exciting events, Iron DogAnchorage Fur Rendezvous, the start of the Iditarod and the Tour of Anchorage cross country ski marathon, all take place in February and early March. Rev up with snowmobile pros, run with live reindeer, jump into the team snowball fight, cheer mushers embarking on a thousand mile wilderness race or cruise the Anchorage trails with hundreds of local cross country skiers. The events calendar is packed with holiday bazaars, beer festivals, art walks and more.