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Hiking & Trekking

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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.

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While on the slopes, you will see people using alpine skis, telemark skis, snowboards, and other snow play equipment such as snow skates, snow bikes and adaptive ski gear. You will see skiers of all levels – from beginners enjoying their first day on the slopes to expert skiers with years of experience. It is always your responsibility, regardless of the equipment used or the level of skier that you are, to be courteous to others and to be aware that skiing safely makes the ski slopes safer for all of us.

Alyeska is a large mountain with difficult and dangerous terrain and skiing and riding are dangerous sports.  We do our best to inform guests of the possible hazards associated with snow sports. We do our best to mark hazards and dangerous terrain appropriately. We also actively open and close certain areas of the mountain often due to Snow Safety considerations, ski conditions, or darkness

Our beginner ski zones and high skier traffic areas are important to us and we refer to these areas as “Slow” zones. We label them as such on our trail maps and with signs and banners as you ski through each of these areas. We encourage guests to ‘Go with the Flow’ in these areas, ski only as fast as the skier next to you. Our least favorite part of the job is to be the police on the mountain. We do our best to keep an eye on people skiing around to ensure everyone is skiing safely and within their limits.

Alyeska has set Enforcement Guidelines based on the Skier Responsibility Code and Mountain Safety Concerns for behavior on the mountain. When an individual crosses these lines, we have to step in and be the police, and we have no tolerance for unsafe behavior at Alyeska. We have a relationship with the Department of Natural Resources and due to this relationship we issue DNR citations to individuals in violations of certain rules. In addition to loss of lift privileges and fines we also require all ‘violators’ to take the Mountain Education Test, a tool used to help educate.