Midnight sun at Alyeska.

Girdwood Alaska

Ski, snowshoe, hike, or mountain bike. Enjoy a multitude of outdoor adventures in this town on the Turnagain Arm.

Beautiful day at The Alyeska Hotel in Girdwood.

Girdwood Alaska

Ski, snowshoe, hike, or mountain bike. Enjoy a multitude of outdoor adventures in this town on the Turnagain Arm.

Alyeska Resort Tram with a glacier in the background in Girdwood Alaska.

Girdwood Alaska

Ski, snowshoe, hike, or mountain bike. Enjoy a multitude of outdoor adventures in this town on the Turnagain Arm.

Girdwood

Visitors who fly into Anchorage and travel south toward Seward to kick off their Alaska vacations usually glimpse their first glacier at Girdwood. The town, which at one time was aptly named Glacier City, sits in a slim valley surrounded by glaciated peaks. Those glaciers cling to the mountains high above, turning a telltale vibrant blue through summer as snow melts to reveal ancient ice beneath.

Those tall mountains act like a catcher's mitt for storms rolling in from the south, feeding the area's temperate rainforest with misty rain in the summer and plentiful snow come winter. So while Girdwood started out as a gold mining town, its residents always had an eye to the slopes. In the 1960s the first chairlifts were installed. Today Girdwood offers world class skiing at what became the Alyeska Resort. It's the largest ski area in Alaska.

Keep reading for expert travel advice on where to stay and things to do in Girdwood.

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Alyeska operates a mountain tramway throughout the year, along with a number of hi-speed quads and other lifts in the winter. In addition to downhill skiing, snow enthusiasts can enjoy Nordic skiing, snowmobiling, heli-skiing, and snowshoeing. There is just as much to do in Girdwood in the summer. Ride the tram, take a hike, go fishing, try a pint at the local brewery, pick blueberries, go dog sledding on a glacier, or gear up for downhill mountain biking. There are also some great shops and restaurants in Girdwood. Be sure to stop by the Bake Shop for one of their enormous cinnamon rolls.

Our top pick for Girdwood accommodations is the Alyeska Resort. At this year-round hotel you will find a saltwater pool, whirlpool with fantastic mountain views, spa, outdoor clothing and homegoods shops, and award-winning cuisine.

Girdwood is located on the Seward Highway, an easy 45-minute drive from Anchorage. It is a good stop if you're heading to or from Seward, Homer, or other Kenai Peninsula destinations. The Alaska Railroad offers service to Girdwood, and the Park Connection Motorcoach can drop you off at the Girdwood "Y" with prior arrangement. At Alaska Tour & Travel we can book all travel as well as accommodations and activities in Girdwood.

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Girdwood Alaska