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Alyeska Ski Area
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Turnagain Arm Tour
Ranked #8 of 39 things to do in Girdwood
Certificate of Excellence
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Owner description: Popular winter recreation resort for skiers that features 2,000 vertical feet of skiing on 27 trails.
Reviewed March 5, 2014

No, it's not Tahoe, Breckenridge, Wolf Creek, Cooper, Big Bear, or even Boone, N.C; it's...

Alyeska in Girdwood Alaska and it stands on its own merit. Alyeska is a "bucket list" check box all on its own, and my wife and I have checked that box five times in two seasons and plan on checking it some more.

On a clear sunny day, the views from the top are breathtaking. One can see Turnagain Arm of Cook Inlet, and this scene makes for a great backdrop to any ski photo. As you're skiing down, make sure to stop here and there and take pictures of the scenery.

When shy of snow, the runs can be a bit precarious, but there's plenty of room to spread out and run. The bottom half offers plenty of room for those who like to take things easy, or for hanging out. When the snow is at its full bloom, the runs are some of the best in the world. I found myself skiing the top areas almost the entire day.

As mentioned by other reviewers, the Sitzmark bar and grill sits at the base, within a short run from the main lodge. Like most ski style lodges, the Sitzmark offers food and beverages, a fire pit and a small game area; it's the main hangout at lunchtime. The atmosphere is like many ski lodge bar and grill hangouts, FUN!

If breakfast is still on your mind and grabbing at your empty stomach, don't worry. Just down the stairs and to the rear of the Sitzmark, almost like it’s in the basement, you'll find a great bakery. This place is a must do! They not only serve bakery goods, but they also serve a full compliment of breakfast items and even sandwiches for lunch.

If you've had lunch and want something different for dinner, look across the parking lot from the bakery. Tucked on the edge of the road, perhaps buried by snow and parked cars, you'll see a small restaurant; Its the Jack Sprat restaurant, a great dinner experience!

The Alyeska hotel, is a great place to stay. Don't be intimidated by it's grandeur, and it is so beautiful and rich. It’s a very relaxing and fun place to stay. My wife and I stayed here and found the staff, the room and the dinning to be absolutely relaxing, comfortable and enjoyable! We had a very pleasant experience. The fitness center offers an awesome salt-water swimming pool and huge hot tub; great open inside space, soothing views, and even a full service spa. There are several places to dine, a ski shop and ski equipment rental store, a changing locker room, a deli with lots of options for eating and serving Star Bucks coffee, a sundry shop with a nice selection of wines, and a boutique with many name brand clothing items and gifts.

To the rear of the hotel, you'll find the tram that takes people to the top of Alyeska. At the drop off, you’ll find a cafeteria-style eatery and the Seven Glaciers, a fine dinning restaurant serving both lunch and dinner. If you make reservations for Seven Glaciers, your ride on the tram is complimentary.

If you want to keep your feet planted at the base, the Aurora bar and grill is a fantastic place to unwind. Try the Greek pizza, and of course the Alaskan amber, you won't be disappointed!

As a military couple, my wife and I would fail in our review if we didn’t mention this:
For all you wonderful military personnel and your families. First, our world is a better place because of your sacrifices, from the bottom of our hearts, thank you ALL so very much.

The Alyeska ski resort and hotel offers to all military personnel and their families free lift tickets on the first Monday of each month during ski season. On other days, the lift tickets are discounted. The hotel also offers great discounted rates for lodging.

Don’t miss out on this opportunity folks.


2  Thank Frank B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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173 - 177 of 279 reviews

Reviewed January 13, 2014

~40 miles from Anchorage, an hour of scenic ride with plenty of pitstops to take photos along the road.
The Daylodge is a nice place where every stuffs you might need for a successfull Snowboard/Ski day available: Gear rental, eatery/ restaurant, tables & chairs, ATM, clean toilet, locker, magic carpets for beginner, and the most important thing => Snowboard/Ski Instructors (if you choose to take the Lesson).

Pros: Had my very first snowboard lesson with Alex, his service is highly recommended! For a guy who sucks on skateboard/wakeboard/surfing, I managed to enjoy snowboarding within 2hrs of Alex's lesson.
Compliment for the gear rental guys, they are really nice & helpfull.

Cons: Locker take 5 quarters, better to have it beforehand. The coin machine is very sensitive, wont take folded/slightly wet dollar.

Tips: If you take a lesson, better to bring a bottle of water with you then store it somewhere near your training ground/ magic carpet area. Snowboard lesson is an exhausting task, you will sweat a lot. You dont want to walk back & forth to Daylodge just for water.

1  Thank DodyC
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 2, 2014

In the bitter zero degree weather, I braved the ski hill in late November. If I was a beginner skier, this is not where I would want to start out. That being said, I am not a beginner which made it quite a bit if fun. Only the bottom half was open which made for cheaper tickets, but unfortunately it also resulted in quite a bit of overcrowding and ice in certain areas. It is a relatively small mountain compared to many other areas I have skied but it is still an experience to be had.

Thank czematis
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 29, 2013

After reading the reviews of the skiing in Girdwood I planned to skip this place because I thought it was a little too advanced for my 7year old son. We ended up here after realizing our planned snow machining day was over booked. Pulling up to Alyeska, the view is beautiful. It was an hour drive from Anchorage down Rt 1. The drive is breathtaking and we stopped for tons of pictures. The lodge has a huge area where tons of parents were signing their kids up for lessons. There were tons of kids, my sons eyes were huge with excitement. The prices were decent BUT a little high considering we were only going to ski from 1-4 (its december and the sun sets around 4 so were didnt want to drive rt 1 (icy road) back in complete darkness. The rentals are in great condition and my sons helmet looked fairly new. I will say there isnt a great area to change into ski gear but most of the people there were staying at the resort. We had an hour to kill before his 1pm lesson so we ate at Sitzmark restaurant located at a near by lodge. The nachos with chili and bean were a great pre ski snack. The instructors were very friendly and I felt great of leaving my son with Nicole and the 4 other kids (he was the youngest of their small group, but an ok skier for his age). My husband and I hit the slopes on our own. Some of the Mt was closed but it was mostly black diamonds, not a problem. The lifts are in great condition, slopes are long and well covered. They were making some snow as they said this december has been a bit warmer than usual. We had a great two hours before meeting up with our son again. Nicole said he did great. We did a few more runs with him before getting on the road. We were already taking about coming back and staying at the resort. They say February is the best month!

2  Thank Hernando33
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 19, 2013

We took the cable car up to the mountain top during June. The view up there is spectacular. As there are snow at the mountain top, we are able to play snow fight with our young children. The children enjoyed the experience. Enjoyable trip for the family.

Thank TravellerSen
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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