After driving in your Alaska rental car, you may be looking to stretch your legs a bit. Fortunately, Alaska is known for its incredible hiking trails and mountain paths. The landscape is unique in comparison to the other states, and it is often by foot, bike, or water that our Alaska rental car clients choose to uncover its secrets. Because Alaskans are proud of our state, we prefer ways to discover its interiors without invading too much upon its natural workings. The beautiful resort of Alyeska is no different.
Alyeska Resort in Girdwood is renowned for its fantastic ski courses. Throughout the summer months, however, after the snow has melted and drifted off into the rivers, these mountains become a haven for hikers. In fact, the mountains are riddled with surprise paths and unexpected offshoots from the trail.
The Alyeska resort has even ensured there are trails and paths for all levels of hiking. Below we will outline the trails that are available, as well as those within each skill level. All you need to do is make sure to pack your Alaska rental car with a lunch, a sweater, and proper walking shoes.
Looking for a work out?
If you’re an experienced hiker who is looking for a bit of a challenge, then the North Face Trail is the one for you. Stretching 2000 feet vertically and spanning 2.2 miles, it is America’s longest double black diamond ski run. This trail is certainly not for the faint of heart. It offers a steep, unrelenting journey to the top and rewards you with a spectacular view and a mighty workout. You’ll definitely make sure you want to bring a camera for this one – the views from the top of the trail are breathtaking.
After such a hike you’ll likely be a little peckish. Fortunately, you’ll find a chalet at the top where you can enjoy a meal. Not up to hiking all the way back down? Take the Alyeska Resort gondola to the bottom for free.
The easiest hiking trail is up and around Chair 7 lift. Following the chair lift up you’ll see many offshoots and other trails that can be trekked. Follow the one closest to Chair 7, and at the top, turn right to grab lunch in the Bake Shop at the Bear Cub Quad. When you turn back to Chair 7, you’ll be able to trace it back down to bottom.
If you’re looking for an intermediate hiking experience, there are other trail options that you’ll see when you reach the top of the trail at Chair 7 lift. Rather than turn right, take any of these other options and you’ll be given a slightly more challenging path. If you want to avoid super difficult, though, do not take the trail marked as Spoon Line, which offers trails of the hardest skill level.
Start from the base
If you’re not sure what you’re looking for, your best bet is to grab a map of the trails and start off on one of the many paths that begin at the base of the mountain. These include: Winner Creek Trail; Upper Winner Creek Trail; Winner Creek Extension Trail; Multi-Use Nordic Loop; Girdwood to Indian Bike Bath; Upper Tram Terminal Trails; The North Face Trail; and South Bowl Trails. Be warned: the last three on this list are more challenging.
Once you start on a trail, you’ll find myriad forks and marked paths that will take you through the labyrinth of the mountain. Why not wander? As long as you bring a map, you can find your way back. We advise bringing a marker to make note of your route on your map as you go – just in case. And of course, make sure you don’t forget your water bottles in your Alaska rental car!
Hiking around Alaska is a top-notch way to learn its secrets. Start off on a hiking road trip around the state this year when you reserve your Alaska rental car from Avis.