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The Interior has some of the best weather and terrain in the nation for cross-country skiing, especially in late fall and early spring. Among the developed trails in the Fairbanks area, the ones at the Birch Hill Recreation Area, on the city's north side, and at the University of Alaska Fairbanks are lighted to extend their use into winter nights. Cross-country ski racing is a staple at several courses on winter weekends. The season stretches from October to late March or early April. Other developed trails can be found at Chena Hot Springs Resort, White Mountains National Recreation Area, the Chena Lakes Recreation Area, and the Two Rivers Recreation Area.
Alaska Public Lands Information Center. For more information on cross-countryskiing, check with the Alaska Public Lands Information Center. Fairbanks is laced with trails, and you could spend all winter out there and never see the same thing twice. Fairbanks, AK. 907/459-3730.
Birch Hill. Birch Hill, in Ft. Wainwright, has a chairlift and beginner and intermediate runs; it's open November through March, Friday through Sunday. Fairbanks, AK. 907/353-7053.
Mt. Aurora Skiland. Mt. Aurora Skiland, on the Steese Highway about 20 mi from Fairbanks at Cleary Summit, has a chairlift, rentals, more than 20 runs ranked intermediate to expert, and a 1,100-foot vertical drop. It's open weekends from December to mid-April, if there's enough snow. This is a good spot for aurora viewing. Fairbanks, AK. 907/456-7669; 907/389-2314 for office. www.skiland.org.
Moose Mountain. This mountain, off Murphy Dome Road, has 42 runs from two summits for intermediate to advanced skiiers, all accessed by a bus lift system. It's open November through March on weekends, plus school and government holidays. Fairbanks, AK. 907/479-4732; 907/459-8132 for ski report. www.shredthemoose.com.
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