Three-Day Summer Itinerary

Experience all the best weather, wildlife and sightseeing that Alaska has to offer. The Midnight Sun appears during summer, gilding Alaska’s open nature in soft golden glows. With so much to do and see, the concierge team at Alyeska Resort has created an unforgettable multi-day summer itinerary to eliminate your time spent planning for more time spent exploring.

Day 1 – Morning – Summer Seward Dog Sled Tour

70°, Alaskan huskies AND sledding on your first day? Is this paradise?! For 1.5 hours, meet the winner of the 2021 Iditarod, Dallas Seavey and his skilled huskies. Ride 2 miles toward the base of Resurrection Mountain on the Seward Dog Sled Tour while learning about Alaska’s favourite sport. Navigating twists and turns, man’s best friend exhibits a powerful display of muscle, coordination, intelligence and teamwork. 

Noon – Alyeska Aerial Tram & Café

Now that you’ve explored Alaska’s terrain by ground, take the Aerial Tram to the top of Mt. Alyeska. On your three to seven-minute smooth climb up the mountain, you’ll be able to spot moose and bears grazing the forest floor. The Tram transports you from lush greens to the rugged terrain of the Chugach Mountain range with endless views of mountain ranges in all directions. The sightseeing doesn’t stop there as you enjoy the three P’s of life – pasta, pizza and paninis – at the Tramway Café.

Photo Credit: Alaska.org

Afternoon – Hike the Alyeska Winner Creek Trail

There is nothing like the tranquility that settles over you when wandering through Alaska’s pristine terrain. The Alyeska Winner Creek Trail will make you feel like a winner upon entering your own personal northern rainforest. After a delicious lunch, at the base of the Alyeska Aerial Tram, follow the boardwalks as lush vegetation shrouds rushing water. As you climb through hemlock forest and through alpine passes, all there is to say is wow! If you’d like a more private trail, traverse the Virgin Creek Trail. Accessible from the end of Timberline Drive, velvety green moss paves the way to the 15 ft. Virgin Falls.

Dinner – Five Star Dining at the Seven Glaciers Restaurant

The Sun may be descending elsewhere, but during Alaska’s summer, the Sun lasts all evening as you continue to soak up the views. Alyeska’s five-star Seven Glaciers restaurant provides a dramatic mountain and glacier backdrop from the sky. With world-class food, an epic day is paired with the best local food. Featuring an award-winning wine list, Alaskan tastes are transported to your plate via locally grown ingredients including Alaska king crab, Alaska weathervane scallop and Alaska salmon.

Evening – Recharge at the Spa at Alyeska

Not that you need a reason to enjoy a full relaxation massage, but you’ve been sledding, climbing, hiking and indulging! It’s your Alaskan wilderness getaway and a spa day is essential to recharge for the excitement awaiting the next day’s journey. Upgrade your massage with aromatherapy as you are transported to the ultimate zen haven.

Day 2 – Morning – Panoramic Flightseeing

Yesterday morning, you explored Alaska’s teeming wilderness from the ground. Today, you’ll be saying “lift-off!” on your private air safari. Before buckling up, enjoy your favourite breakfast at the Pond Cafè or order room service for warm plates of nutrition-packed energy. Wonder coats the air as all of Alaska’s glory is visible. Soar above rainforest tundra bursting with dense forest guarded by jagged mountains and glassy glaciers. There are a variety of flightseeing tours to choose from and our Alyeska concierge can recommend tours of 30 minutes to three hours to suit your schedule!

Afternoon – Zoom Down Biking Trails

Take a downhill biking tour with an Alyeska tour guide as you turn through magnificent mountains and coast above glacier-fed lakes. Alyeska Resort offers eight different downhill mountain bike lessons, so if you fall in love with the technicalities of biking, we wouldn’t blame you for changing up this itinerary to rent a bike and cruise through more routes! The Bear Cub Quad ‘Give It a Try’ program is perfect for your child to try mountain biking for the first time. We promise that if you want your kids to go on biking adventures with you, this lesson will convince them.

Dinner – Try Wold Cuisine with Alyeska’s Dinner Series

Just because you’re in Alaska, it doesn’t mean you can’t try other cuisines! Take a trip on your trip with Alyeska’s dinner series. Featuring cuisines from all over the world, give your taste buds as much attention as you’ve given your eyes. Previously, dinner destinations have featured Korea’s culinary arts with emphasis on kimchi dishes and stir fry while Russia’s menu highlighted tempura duck egg in an olivier salad and crab dumplings.

Day 3 – Morning – Alyeska’s Vinyasa Flow Yoga Class

Your last day is just as action-packed as the previous two. We’ve pencilled in Alyeska’s vinyasa flow yoga class to unite the spectacular experiences you’ve had with a 75-minute retreat. Utilize your change of scenery to channel Alaska’s peaceful, quiet scenery. Music and poetry are used to deepen your movements and focus your mind.

Afternoon – Get Off the Grid in Girdwood

Your last pit stop is to experience Alaska’s small-town charms in Girdwood. Spend the rest of your last day within a town that beautifully accentuates nature’s defining elements. Reach Girdwood from the Alyeska Resort via the free Glacier Valley Transit. Grab a scoop at the ice cream shop – we hear the fireweed and honey flavour is amazing! With your cold treat, stroll through Girdwood’s shops. If you wanted to know what tax-free shopping is like – Alaska charges no sales tax on your purchases! 

The liberating solitude of Alaska is the secret gem travelers go for a breathtaking reprieve. With a way of life flowing around nature’s untouched atmosphere, the wilderness reminds us of the pure beauty in just living. This ambitious itinerary is for the go-getters who want to experience as much of Alaska as possible in three days. With the perfect amount of thrilling adventure, exquisite dining, rejuvenating relaxation and culture, you’ll feel like you went on a spa retreat, culinary tasting and a weekend warrior power trip!

A Weekend in the Bike Park

Alyeska Bike Park

2021 marks 11 successful years of bike park operations in south-central Alaska! Lifts will spin beginning June 11th and operate into the second weekend of September. Bear Cub Quad and Ted’s Express will be the main lifts for the majority of the summer until Glacier Bowl Express comes online in August (once the upper mountain trails melt out from the snowiest winter in 10 years). Stop by the Daylodge Bike Hub for tickets, rentals, lessons and riding gear.

Day one – The Warmup and Lesson

Whether you’ve ridden bike parks before, or it’s you’re first time, warming up and easing into the first day is always important. As true as the old saying goes, riding a bike is like, well, riding a bike. However, throw mountain terrain and obstacles into the mix and that old saying all of a sudden has different variables and exciting challenges come into play. Downhill biking is fun for all ages, ability levels and experience levels, but a refresher lesson with a PMBIA certified instructor can be very beneficial for a summer full of trail riding. Checking in at the Daylodge at 10:30 a.m. on a Friday to meet up with one of our instructors may be a little nerve-racking at first but soon you’ll discover that the laid-back vibes and welcoming atmosphere of the Mountain Learning Center eases  and makes worries fade away. After picking out one of our Kona DH bikes that will be your champion downhill steed for the weekend you head to the Bear Cub Quad for some beginner terrain. Christmas in July, CheeChako and Gummy Worm trails all offer mellow single track perfect for easing into the weekend of riding. After a handful of runs on each of these manicured trails, step it up on Big Spruce and Rollover, still accessible from Bear Cub chair but a step up in the difficulty. Balancing, braking, turns and jumps, this isn’t difficult at all and you take to it quite naturally. With more time on the trails, your speed and confidence increase, what a thrill!

After the two hour lesson ends you stay out on the trails with some friendly local riders you met along the way. These folks have tons of riding experience and they’re happy to share their favorite trails and spots on the mountain. After hours of riding it’s time for a beer and a bite at the Sitzmark, featuring the Alyeska Brewski on draft and fresh bites from Girdwood Izakaya, a local food truck owned by local chef Toby Englert (who’s also a hero mountain biker himself). You’ve made new friends and had fun on a bicycle in ways new to you. 

Day two – Putting the Lesson to the Test

You’re feeling pretty good about the skills you learned in your lesson the day before. Well rested and excited for more you meet back up with your instructor for a full mountain tour. You grab your trusty Kona Operator and head for Ted’s Express and make your way up to the higher trails. The first thing you notice is that many of the upper mountain trails are above alpine and out of the woods, WOW, that view! The Turnagain Arm is beautifully distracting so stopping to take a few shots with your phone is a must. You’ve become so comfortable in fact that you enter Alyeska’s famous “Dirt Coaster” located on the Treat’s Trees Knoll. Featuring deep banked turns and jumps with the background to boot, the Dirt Coaster is a crowd favorite, with good reason. Just below the higher alpine trails you discover two of Alyeska’s newest trails, Tanaka Grasslands and Canyon Lands. These intermediate trails suit your riding style as your confidence and skill-set have increased dramatically since taking lessons. You lap Ted’s Express until 6 p.m. and finally come down from the mountain, happy, tired, but exhilarated!

Day three – Time to Race!

After spending two full days on your Kona bike in the Alyeska Bike Park your confidence is through the roof and the stoke for more is high. It also happens to be the last Sunday of the month which means one thing, IT’S RACE DAY! The Alyeska Cup Downhill Race Series is a four stop series with race venues all over the mountain, and on this particular Sunday, the race venue is through a trail system you mastered the day before, Gear Jammer > Bermuda > Smooth Sailing > Race Trail finish. Up for grabs are prizes from Alyeska Resort retail shops, gift cards and larger prizes from Alyeska sponsor Anchorage Fracture and Orthopedics. The field is set and the start vibes are fun, friendly and welcoming. The local riders who race this series offer helpful insights on strategy with this particular event. You’re up next, in the starting block you feel calm and cool, you know the course and the lessons taught you everything you need to know. The gate drops and you pedal pedal pedal! Into the first trail, Gear Jammer you strategically brake into the corners and pedal out of the turns in the tight trees. Next onto the Bermuda trail, you know if well and remember all the bumps and dips into Smooth Sailing. Popping out from the forest and into the open space of Race Trail the finish is in sight. A series of berms and rollers are the only thing between you and the crowd of spectators at the base area ringing cowbells and cheering you on. Crossing the finish you feel great, you tried something new and loved it! Aprés race you meet up with other riders and discuss your day over a beer and review results, you can’t believe how well you did, congrats! The hook is set and you can’t wait to come back for more biking. 

Hiking & Trekking

Travel on foot is often the most rewarding way to explore the expansive system of nature trails in Alaska. The Girdwood Valley is filled with endless walking and hiking trails. Summer Trail Maps are available at the Concierge Desk and Tram Ticket Office. For other trail options in the area, view the Girdwood trail map or the Girdwood Nordic Ski Club map.

 Alyeska Resort Hiking Maps

Trails that start right from the resort include:

  • The North Face Trail – The 2.2 mile steep, advanced trail starts right from the hotel. Featuring a mix of road and single-track with switchbacks, the North Face trail ascends the 2,000 vertical foot slope of this classic ski terrain. Hikers, who make it to the top, can take a complimentary descending ride on the aerial tram too.
  • Upper Tram Terminal Trails – Advanced trails, like Mighty Mite and the summer work road, are accessible via the aerial tramway and offer high-alpine style terrain and spectacular views of the surrounding mountains and Turnagain Arm.
  • South Bowl Trails – Intermediate to advanced trails being at the Alyeska Daylodge base area and climb up through Tanaka, Race Trail and Chair 3 work road. Take these trails to the top or conclude at the aerial tram for a free ride down.


Hike the North Face Trail from Alaska.org on Vimeo

Additional trails in the Girdwood valley area:

  • Winner Creek Trail – The most accessible hiking trail is Winner Creek, which begins near the base of the aerial tram. This trail offers a leisurely way through a lush rainforest environment. The first half-mile of the trail is on boardwalk surface; after that point, the trail becomes an easy dirt path with some uneven surfaces in places. Near the two-and-a-half-mile mark on this hike, there is a beautiful river gorge with a bridge and hand tram that allows you to pull yourself across the creek.
  • Upper Winner Creek Trail – Less developed than Winner Creek Trail. Start on Winner Creek Trail and follow signs to Upper Winner Creek. This trail contours the valley along the South side of the creek for approximately 8 miles of outstanding views and level tread.  
  • Winner Creek Extension Trail – Access the trail from the hotel pond courtyard. The path will end at Verbier Way near Challenge Alaska. 
  • Multi-Use Nordic Loop – Multi-use trail can be accessed at end of Arlberg Avenue by The Hotel Alyeska. 
  • Girdwood to Indian Bike Path – Easy walking on a paved bike path provides a mellow out-and-back trail
  • California Creek Trail – Trail follows creek through old growth forest. Use Beaver Pond Trailhead on Crow Creek Road and keep right.
  • Crow Pass Trail – Trail ascends from the Crow Creek Trailhead on its way to Crow Pass. The trail then follows Eagle River through forest on its path to the Nature Center. The full length of the trail generally takes two or more days, and can be traveled in either direction. Shorter day trips from either trailhead are possible.
  • Iditarod National Historical Trail – Girdwood valley portion of this famous trail follows Glacier Creek to Winner Creek area. Parts of the trail are not usable by recreationists since various roads and highways were built along the historic route. The Crow Pass Trail is that portion of the trail which can be used for outdoor recreation use. The south end of Crow Pass Trail is in Chugach National Forest, with the majority of the trail in Chugach State Park.
  • Virgin Creek Trail – This short trail can be accessed from the end of Timberline Drive and ends at the scenic, 15 ft. high Virgin Falls. 

Portage Valley trails:

  • Portage Pass Trail – Good day hike for all ages, and provides spectacular views of Portage Lake and Glacier, the surrounding sub-alpine terrain, and Passage Canal. Trail starts on the Whittier side of the tunnel.
  • Williwaw Nature Trail – Easy walking trail, following a salmon spawning channel. Watch for spawning salmon mid-July through fall.
  • Trail of Blue Ice – Offers an easy walk or bike outing for all ages. Trail passes through spruce forests, crosses salmon streams teeming with spawners in late summer, and ties into the Williwaw Nature Trail. Large cottonwood trees loom overhead in places, and dense alder and willow thickets are found elsewhere. Views of surrounding mountains and glaciers vary with each twist and turn of the trail.
  • Gary Williams Moraine Nature Trail – This trail is a short, easy stroll. Many signs along this small loop trail help the visitor to understand the process of glacial advance/recession and its effects upon the landscape.

One Day Summer Itinerary

Summer in Alaska is unlike anywhere else in the United States. The daylight is plentiful, the air is clean and the surroundings are pure nature, it truly is something that needs to be experienced first-hand.

A one-day itinerary encompasses stunning views, local trails of the surrounding wilderness, locally sourced cuisine and relaxing options after a day of exploring the wild surroundings.

11 am – Alyeska Aerial Tram to the Top of Mount Alyeska

In the summer months, our tram is a five to six-minute ride with an elevation gain of 2300 feet. Along the way, you will experience jaw-dropping views of the Turnagain Arm, seven hanging glaciers and endless peaks deep into the Chugach Range. Keep your eyes on the lockout for bears, moose and beavers, as you fly overhead. Once at the top, (if you can tear yourself away from the top-of-the-world views) check out the Roundhouse Museum, Alaska’s only mountaintop museum and interpretive center. Learn about the history of Girdwood and how citizens collected enough money to buy the land for the original ski hill!

Noon – Grab a delicious sandwich at the Bore Tide Deli

While you’re at the top of the mountain, swing into the Bore Tide Deli for one of the signature sandwiches, soups and a locally brewed beer or specialty cocktails. The restaurant gets its name from a phenomenon that occurs in very few places on earth, the Turnagain Arm being one of them. With such a large difference between high tide and low tide, the incoming tide creates a standing wave that lasts for over 11 miles and can be just serval inches tall, or several feet tall! 

1:30pm – Winner Creek Trail

One of the most relaxing things to do in the area is to take an easy hike through the hemlock rainforest Alyeska calls home. Winner Creek is a perfect hike for those looking to be surrounded by nature. The 2.5 mile trail winds its way through the moss-covered forest to the confluence of Winner and Glacier Creeks. The Winner Creek Gorge boasts several impressive waterfalls and foot bridges for photo ops. 

Relax before dinner – Spaaaaahhhh

The sun is high most of the day in the summer time but don’t let all of the daylight exhaust you, retreat to the resort for the perfect wind down from the days events with a massage treatment from the Spa at Alyeska. A 50 minute massage will have you feeling great, relaxing your muscles and rejuvenating your mind.

Dinnertime

The reward for a day full of activity and adventure is a wonderful meal after the sun goes down. The perfect one-day, Alaskan itinerary at Alyeska Resort is capped off by your choice of health-conscious, seafood fare at Sakura Asian Bistro, or pizza and meat-centric dishes at Aurora Bar & Grill. Your meal will be the perfect place to reflect on the memories made and start planning what your next epic day of Alaska adventures will be!

Beholding the natural wonders which Alaska is blessed with requires a lifetime of passion and commitment; the state and its majesty is that vast and abundant. But a carefully curated one-day itinerary can introduce visitors to the sights, history, culture, cuisine and experiences that keep attracting adventure seekers to the Last Frontier, and Alyeska Resort is the perfect base from which to enjoy it all!

Summer Multi-Day Itinerary

If you’re spending at least a few days at Alyeska Resort– and why wouldn’t you?!– a curated summer itinerary is just what the vacation doctor ordered, to ensure you see and do that which guarantees to make your stay unforgettable. From helicopter scenic flights, to spa days, to world-class hiking and biking to uniquely Alaskan adventures get ready for the vacation you’ll want to repeat every year!

Day 1 – Morning

You checked into the Alyeska Resort last night and had a wonderful sleep. The air in Alaska smells fresh, clean mountain air and fresh ocean air don’t usually come as a package, but Alyeska Resort is blessed to have both! The sun is beaming and it’s a perfect day for a helicopter tour of the area to take in all the wondrous sights. We’ll personalize a helipad on a glacier for you, to step out and take a trek where very few get to go! Many tours include a glacier landing that allow you to get out for a quick walk, make sure to bring an empty water bottle so you can collect some of the freshest water on the planet!

Afternoon

Back at the resort, stop in at the Tramway Cafe, for a quick, delicious lunch to fuel up for an e-bike adventure. An electric motor assist bicycle from Kona Bikes is the perfect way to cruise the surrounding bike paths and trails without exerting all your energy for the day! Tour the great outdoors around the resort and be sure to check out the Gird to Bird bike path which takes riders to Bird Point for breathtaking views of the Turnagain Arm, be sure to watch for wildlife along the way including eagles, moose and even beluga whales! The e-bikes are perfect to fit in extra adventure in the afternoon after your busy morning of flying around. 

Dinner

Having worked up an appetite, it’s time for the payoff! Sakura Asian Bistro features fresh seafood and meats, creative sushi and delightful cocktails. After your day of sights and exercise, dinner at Sakura will leave you satisfied and ready for your next adventure.

Evening

Spaaaahhhhh…you’ve had a pretty hectic two days, arriving at Alyeska, then sights and e-biking. It’s time to indulge in the Spa at Alyeska! Whether a relaxing massage or a rejuvenating facial, time at the spa is a perfect cap to your day.

Day 2 – Morning

Start with an early room-service breakfast of traditional or Alaskan favorites. Today is your jet-ski day, a truly unique adventure! Alaska Wild Guides picks you up at the front door of The Hotel Alyeska and takes you south to the town of Whittier, Alaska, only accessible via a 2.5 mile, single lane tunnel! Once you pop out of the tunnel and enter the harbor area, you grab a dry suit and helmet and take off on a new watercraft for a 50 mile tour of Prince William Sound. While the whole experience is absolutely stunning, stops at Lawrence Glacier, Blackstone Bay and Shotgun Cove are certainly highlights. Watch out for orcas, seal lions and small porpoises as they are frequently spotted in the area. 

After getting your world-class jet ski experience in, take a relaxing couple hours before dinner. Back-to-back spa days anyone?! The expansive Alaskan wilderness flows naturally indoors and rejuvenation knows no boundaries at this northern oasis.

Dinner

Making sure to hit all the main dinner spots at the resort, check out Aurora Bar & Grill, a bistro with a comfortable family friendly atmosphere serving lunch and dinner daily. Its menu highlights include house-made pastas made daily, locally sourced ingredients, Neapolitan style pizza pies and a variety of meat centric dishes with a Mediterranean flair.

Day 3 – Morning

A trip to Alaska isn’t complete without a mini-Iditarod experience. Dog sled with professional mushers and learn about the history of this unique part of Alaska’s heritage. This day excursion departs from The Hotel Alyeska, and a quick 10 minute flight drops you off on Punchbowl Glacier at Dog Camp! Dogs and mushers camp and train on this glacier all summer long, joining them for a few laps around the 2km track is an unforgettable experience that is uniquely Alaskan! Consult our concierge for tips on this unforgettable experience.

Afternoon

On the way back to the resort, stop at any number of quaint restaurants in Girdwood for some local flavor. After topping up with some fuel after the exhilarating day with the huskies, make sure to visit the local artists co-op at the Girdwood Center for Visual Arts. Local and Indigenous artists demonstrate their flair for capturing the scenery and character of our beloved Alaska, sharing it with all who make the trip.

Dinner

Now that you’ve experienced the main dinner stops, it’s your time to choose your favorite. If you only tried the hotel restaurants, it’s time for a nighttime trip up the mountain on the Tram to the restaurant in 4 minutes to experience the delicious cuisine. The long daylight hours will make it feel like mid-afternoon even though it’s dinner time! 

With all that’s packed into a three-day itinerary, it’s still not enough time to experience everything that makes Alaska unforgettable. A longer stay will undoubtedly include more fishing, flight-seeing of the surrounding forests and glaciers, and boat tours for a different view of the spellbinding scenery. Take the binoculars; you’re bound to see some whales in the water off the coast!

Your travel bucket list cannot afford to skip Alaska. Unmatched scenery and unique experiences combine to make any multi-day trip to Alyeska Resort one you and your partner or family will want to repeat year after year. Hope to meet you in the Last Frontier!

Affordable Alaska

Around Alyeska Resort:

  • Ride the scenic tram to the top of Mt. Alyeska and visit the Roundhouse Museum (free admission). Pack a picnic lunch and enjoy incredible views of the surrounding mountains and the Turnagain Arm from the observation deck.
  • Take a hike on one of the many trails that start right from the hotel. Journey up the new North Face Trail for amazing views and catch a free tram ride down.
  • Rent bikes and tour the valley along the paved Girdwood Bike Path. For the adventurous, take the Bike Path out to Seward Highway and continue onto the Bird Point Trail for amazing vistas along the Turnagain Arm. Mountain bikers will find a variety of cross-country and freeride trails that start right from The Hotel Alyeska.
  • Drive the scenic Seward Highway and stop along the interpretative rest stops. Check the tide reports and visit Bird Point to view the unique Bore Tide.
  • Visit historic Crow Creek Mine and try your luck at gold panning, or just take a walking tour of the beautiful grounds filled with antiques and flower beds.

In the Surrounding Areas:

  • Visit the educational and hands-on Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center to see native Alaskan wildlife including moose, brown bears, caribou, bison, musk ox and many more. Located just nine miles south of the resort.
  • Visit the Alaska’s largest open air market offering a variety of local items including Alaska-grown produce, fresh seafood, food vendors, and Alaskan-made crafts and gifts. Saturdays and Sundays in downtown Anchorage on 3rd and E. Street (free admission, summer season only).
  • Take a cultural adventure in Anchorage with visits to the Anchorage Museum, Alaska Native Arts Foundation Gallery (free admission) and Alaska Native Heritage Center. Take advantage of the Alaska Culture Pass and save 30% off admission to both the Anchorage Museum and Alaska Native Heritage Center.
  • Visit the Alaska Sea Life Center in Seward. The center is Alaska’s only public aquarium and an active research facility. Interpretative programs and displays are available, plus viewing of sea lions, puffins, star fish and much more.