Girdwood is a small Alaskan mountain town that sits amongst lush forest and is surrounded by the peaks of the Chugach Mountain Range. It is conveniently situated only 36 miles (61km) south of Anchorage, Alaska’s largest metropolis with an international airport. Girdwood is most definitely the place to escape your day to day grind and experience the best of Alaska.
Alyeska Resort sits in the heart of Girdwood, a glacier carved valley. To the west and north, the mountains of the Chugach State Park provide a stunning backdrop over Alyeska. At 495,000 acres, it is the third largest state park in the US.
In 1954, 11 Girdwood residents passed the hat and raised enough money to purchase what became the land base for a major ski area. Through initiative and perseverance, they developed a ski area that was small in assets but big in promise. They found a French Baron who shared their dream. Francois de Gunzburg installed a Poma chairlift, built ski trails and a day lodge and ordered Chair 1, a 5,700-foot double chairlift that rose 2,000 vertical feet.
Today, Alyeska Resort is an established ski destination known for its steep terrain and deep snowpack. With expansive mountain and ocean inlet views at your fingertips, Alyeska boasts an average 650” of annual snowfall at the summit.
The valley floor offers trail systems for Nordic skiing, snowshoeing, and dog-sledding. For avid skiers and riders, there is both heli-skiing and cat-skiing operations from the resort.
The summer season brings about a multitude of recreational adventures including hiking and biking right from the hotel and throughout Girdwood Valley. Taking a scenic aerial Tram ride is a favorite among visitors of all ages and abilities. Visitors can also take a guided glacier hike. Plus, flightseeing adventures, glacier dog-sledding, and guided ice climbing are all nearby.