Alaska is known for its rugged wilderness, austere, wide-open spaces, and extreme outdoor recreation. Home to the midnight sun in summer and heavy snowfall in winter, many skiers are drawn to the adventurous spirit of Alaska ski resorts. After all, Alaska is home to the northernmost ski lift in all of North America!
But families, beginners, and casual skiers will find several options to choose from, and at affordable prices to boot. While it might not have the most ski resorts of any state, we love these ski resorts for their one-of-a-kind nature.
Alaskan ski resorts are certainly worth visiting for their scenic views alone, with several coastal options offering views of the ocean and wilderness. We have listed all seven of Alaska’s ski resorts here, ranging from slopes just outside of Anchorage and Juneau to more remote inland resorts. Read on for an overview of what Alaska has to offer!
But first…ski gear!
One thing to note is that Alaskan winters are long, cold, and dark – with some ski resorts seeing only one day of sunlight each month. That being said, dressing right is critically important, wearing layers, and having a warm ski jacket.
Alaska is a great place to learn how to ski, with several family-friendly ski resort. Here’s a comprehensive list of ski gear you child will need for a great start! Once you’re sure you’re fully prepared with the gear you need, take a look at our top 7 ski resorts in Alaska.
Top 7 Alaska Ski Resorts
1. Alyeska Resort
Acreage: 1,610 acres
Highest elevation point: 2,750 ft
Number of runs: 76
Best for: Anchorage locals, all-level skiers, backcountry, powder, night skiing, long trips
The largest ski resort in Alaska is Alyeska Resort, a stunning 1500-acre+ ski area with 670 inches of annual snowfall. Located just 40 miles outside of Anchorage, this resort is known for its wilderness as well as its proximity to the city. Consistently rated the best ski resort in the state, Alyeska offers skiers of all levels a memorable experience, with 76 marked trails and acres upon acres of backcountry. With a peak elevation just under 2,750 Alyeska is Alaska’s second highest skiing peak, with a 2,500-foot elevation giving it a reputation for being “steep and deep”. Skiers can enjoy views of the ocean as well as the wilderness on the aerial tram! Like most Alaskan ski resorts, sunlight is hard to come by with only five sunny days per season.
Alyeska Resort typically opens in December and continues through April. Lift tickets start at just $75 for adults, with discounted prices for students and military members, so it’s on the pricier side for an Alaska resort, but well worth it! Night skiing and snowboarding is also available at this resort Thursday – Saturday.
2. Eaglecrest Ski Area
Acreage: 640 acres
Highest elevation point: 2,750 ft
Number of runs: 36
Best for: Juneau locals, all-level skiers, families, powder, longer trips, Indy Pass holders
The next largest ski resort is Eaglecrest Ski Area, located just outside of Juneau, Alaska. Eaglecrest calls itself “Alaska’s best kept secret” and we can’t argue with its size, proximity to the city, and price. Just a 15 minutes’ drive from Juneau, Eaglecrest stands at 2,750 feet and drops 1,620 feet down to its base. Despite its fairly low number of trails, Eaglecrest offers skiers of all levels (including expert) vast acreage of Alaskan terrain. Beginners have over 125 skiable acres while intermediate level skiers can enjoy over 250 acres!
Plus, with lift tickets for adults starting at $62, this is a great option for families living in or traveling to southeastern Alaska. We also love that children under 6 get in for free, making it an even more friendly option for families with young children. Oh, and did we mention that Eaglecrest is a powder haven with roughly 320 inches of annual snowfall each year? No matter which way you slice it, Eaglecrest is an all-around excellent resort option in Alaska!
3. Moose Mountain
Acreage: 750 acres
Highest elevation point: 1,985 ft
Number of runs: 40
Best for: Fairbanks locals, intermediate to advanced skiers, early season or spring skiing
For skiers further inland, Moose Mountain is one of the largest resorts available. Commonly referred to as “The Moose,” this resort is just a few minutes north of Fairbanks, Alaska and is protected from the cold northern winds by the Alaskan Mountain range, making its south-facing slopes significantly warmer than the surrounding region.
While Moose Mountain does have a tow-lift for beginners, this mountain is primarily for intermediate and advanced skiers. With a peak elevation just under 2,000 feet it is one of the tallest ski resorts in Alaska, with a 1,300-foot vertical drop. The slopes open in November and typically stay open until late-March to early April!
4. Mt Aurora Skiland Ski Area
Acreage: 100 acres
Highest elevation point: 2435 ft
Number of runs: 40
Best for: Fairbanks locals, all-level skiers
Also outside of Fairbanks, Alaska is Mt. Aurora Skiland Ski Area, most often called “Skiland.” This highly scenic ski resort features the furthest north chairlift in North America and has been operating for 60 years! Skiland has three lifts bringing skiers up over 1,000 vertical feet. They offer skiers of all levels terrain to choose from.
Take note that Skiland is only open Thursday – Monday and be sure to check for weather closures, as these are not uncommon! This resort is cold, and dedicated skiers should definitely be well prepared with warm clothing.
5. Hilltop Ski Area
Acreage: 30 acres
Highest elevation point: 786 ft
Number of runs: 10
Best for: Anchorage locals, families, beginners, budget skiers
One of Alaska’s only non-profit resorts is Hilltop Ski Area, located right in Anchorage, Alaska. This is a great choice for youth skiers and families on a budget. While this is by no means Alaska’s largest or tallest ski resort, it is a great place to learn how to carve and turn as skiers make their way down the 300-foot vertical drop. Hilltop stays open roughly 120 days per year, with their long season running from November to March. Annual snowfall amounts to around 100 inches per year, so while they may not have the most snow, this resort is still worth a visit!
6. Mt Eyak Ski Area
Acreage: 100+ acres
Highest elevation point: 1,261 ft
Number of runs: 10
Best for: Cordova locals, intermediate to advanced skiers, budget skiers, powder
Located just outside of Cordova, Alaska is Mt Eyak, one of the 10 least expensive ski resorts in the United States. Lift tickets are just $16! This tiny ski resort features just one lift, but don’t let that fool you. This resort still has 10 trails, most of them being rated as difficult. In fact, the single chair lift gives Mt Eyak a one-of-a-kind ski resort experience, as it was built in 1939 and takes skiers from just 400 feet above sea level to its 1,200-foot peak, for an 800-foot vertical ride down.
This resort is popular with locals and the adventurous skier looking for scenic views you simply cannot find anywhere else. Atop this lone peak, skiers can take in stunning ocean views as well as a broad sweeping Alaskan wilderness. Mt Eyak receives roughly 350 inches of annual snowfall, so powder days at this resort are far from unheard of!
7. Arctic Valley Ski Area
Acreage: 320 acres
Highest elevation point: 4,000 ft
Number of runs: 24
Best for: Anchorage locals, backcountry, all-level skiers, families
Last but not least is Arctic Valley Ski Area – Alaska’s tallest ski peak, standing just under 4,000-feet. Arctic Valley is known for its balance of backcountry vibes with the amenities of a ski resort. It’s located roughly half an hour East of Anchorage, allowing skiers to take advantage of the city’s amenities and lodging.
Skiers of all levels can enjoy Arctic Valley and with a unique pricing structure, locals and residents of Anchorage receive major savings. For those with young children, there is also a tube park available. Arctic Valley resort takes pride in its family-friendly environment.
Which of these Alaska ski resorts sounds the most worth a visit to you? We hope you learned about some new slopes to check out this season. If you make it out to Alaska, let us know how it goes, and stay safe! As always, you can share your memories and photos with us by tagging us on our Instagram.