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. Please explore the summer trail map for more information. 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.
Summer 2013 Hiking Map (through September 2013)
Trails that start right from the resort include:
- 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.
- 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
- South Bowl Trails - Intermediate to advanced trails
- 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
Additional trails in the Girdwood valley area:
- 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 Timeberline 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.