Cross-country skiing is extremely popular in Anchorage. Locals ski or skate-ski on trails in town at Kincaid Park or Hillside and farther away at Girdwood Valley, Turnagain Pass, and Chugach State Park. Downhill skiing is convenient to Downtown. A number of cross-country ski events are held annually in Anchorage.
Alaska Mountaineering & Hiking. The locally owned outdoors shop Alaska Mountaineering & Hiking has a highly experienced staff and plenty of cross-country skis for sale or rent. 2633 Spenard Rd., Midtown, Anchorage, AK, 99503. 907/272–1811. www.alaskamountaineering.com.
Alaska Ski for Women. Held on Super Bowl Sunday in early February, Alaska Ski for Women is one of the biggest women's ski races in North America, attracting more than 1,200 skiers. Many of the skiers don crazy costumes for the event. Anchorage, AK. 907/276–7609. www.anchoragenordicski.com.
Alpenglow at Arctic Valley. Alpenglow at Arctic Valley is a small ski area just east of Anchorage. Mi 7, Arctic Valley Rd. off Glenn Hwy., just past Muldoon Exit, Anchorage, AK, 99505. 907/428–1208 ski hotline. www.skiarctic.net.
Alyeska Resort. Located 40 miles south in Girdwood, Alyeska Resort is Alaska's premier destination resort, where snowfall averages 650 inches annually. Alyeska features a day lodge, hotel, restaurants, nine lifts, a tram, a vertical drop of 2,500 feet, and 76 runs for all abilities. Lift tickets cost $65 for adults; $45 for night skiing. The tram is also open in summer ($25), providing access to Seven Glaciers restaurant and ridgeline hiking trails. Brave the stout hike up the mountain, and you can ride the tram down for free. 1000 Arlberg Ave, Girdwood, AK. 907/754–1111; 800/880–3880; 907/754–7669 recorded information and snow conditions; 907/753–2275 ticket office. www.alyeskaresort.com.
Hilltop Ski Area. On the eastern edge of town, Hilltop Ski Area is a favorite ski area for families. Abbott Rd. near Hillside Dr., East Anchorage, Anchorage, AK, 99507. 907/346–2167 ski hotline. www.hilltopskiarea.org.
Kincaid Park. On 1,400 acres of rolling, timbered hills and bordered on the west by Cook Inlet, Kincaid Park is a scenic treasure with maintained trails groomed for diagonal and skate-skiing. National cross-country skiing events (including U.S. Olympic team qualifying events and national masters championships) are sometimes held along the 60 km (37 miles) of interwoven trails—including 20 km (12 miles) that are lit for night skiing. The park is open year-round: for skiing in winter; and for mountain biking, hiking, and other outdoor activities in summer. The Raspberry Road gates are open 10 am–10 pm. Main entrance at far west end of Raspberry Rd., 9401 W. Raspberry Rd., Southwest Anchorage, Anchorage, AK, 99502. 907/343–6397. www.muni.org/parks/parkdistrictsw.cfm.
Nordic Skiing Association of Anchorage. The Nordic Skiing Association of Anchorage sponsors many ski races and events throughout winter, from wooden-ski classics to the highly competitive Besh Cup series. Anchorage, AK. www.anchoragenordicski.com.
REI. Ski and snowshoe sales and rentals are available from REI. 1200 W. Northern Lights Blvd., Midtown, Anchorage, AK, 99503. 907/272–4565. www.rei.com/stores/16.
Tour of Anchorage. The biggest ski race of all is the Tour of Anchorage, a grueling 50-km (31-mile) race in early March. If you're not up to doing 50k, there are 25k (16-mile) and 40k (25-mile) competitions as well. Anchorage, AK. www.tourofanchorage.com.