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Girdwood is not your average resort town. While it might draw in a large number of visitors every year, largely thanks to Hotel Alyeska, a luxury resort at the base of Mount Alyeska, it is a small, tight-knit community where you can find a range of characters, from ski bums to senators, all with a great love for the outdoors (check out our Girdwood FAQs page). Just an hour's drive from Anchorage, or a short ride on the Alaska Railroad, this eclectic town is a favorite stop for visitors and locals.
Originally called “Glacier City” for the icy behemoths that rim the surrounding mountains, it’s no surprise that touring a glacier is so easily accessible. You can go on a guided hike over Alaska’s glaciers and mountain ridges. If you want to strike it rich, you can go on a gold panning tour. Flightsee over glaciers and take in the amazing Prince William Sound. Enjoy the views from a raft, or take the wheel with a Jeep or ATV. And if you’re in the mood to mush, you can go dog sledding across a glacier. If you want to see wildlife up close, check out the 140-acre Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center just 11 miles pas the Girdwood turnoff.
For many, winter in Girdwood is a non-stop holiday. Skiers, snowboarders, and outdoor enthusiasts revel in the trails and slopes that the town has to offer. However, Girdwood has a number of fairs and festivals that draw in large crowds throughout the rest of the year. And if you’re planning to explore the area on your own, be sure to check out Girdwood’s top trails in summer and winter.
After a day of exploring Girdwood, take a tram ride up to Seven Glaciers Restaurant, perched on Mount Alyeska. With large windows and gorgeous views of the Chugach Mountains and Turnagain Arm, you will be in awe of Alaska’s little “resort town”.