GREAT AMERICAN VACATION
Take our short photo quiz to reveal your ideal trip in the U.S.More
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. Fairbanks is laced with trails—you could ski all winter and never see the same thing twice. The center provides cross-country information. Fairbanks, AK. 907/459–3730.
Birch Hill. In Ft. Wainwright, Birch Hill has a chairlift, beginner and intermediate runs, and a terrain park; it's open on Fridays and weekends from November through March. Fairbanks, AK. 907/353–7053.
Mt. Aurora Skiland. On the Steese Highway about 20 miles from Fairbanks at Cleary Summit, Mt. Aurora has a chairlift, rentals, more than 20 runs ranked from beginner to expert, and a 1,100-foot vertical drop. It's open on 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 skiers, all accessed by a bus lift system. It's open from November through March on weekends, plus school and government holidays. Fairbanks, AK. 907/459–8132. www.shredthemoose.com.