Photo Credit: Alpine Air Alaska - Girdwood Flightseeing

Girdwood Day Tours & Attractions

Sea Kayaking Tours View All

Paddle through Spencer Lake
Season: Jun 06 to Sep 15 $349+

Enjoy a mag­i­cal morn­ing or evening kayak­ing the calm waters of Spencer Lake, in the awe-inspir­ing pres­ence of a jagged ter­mi­nus glac­i­er. Your time on the water is sand­wiched between two train rides that offer up some of Alaska’s most scenic rail miles. It’s a full day of unfor­get­table expe­ri­ences in our country’s sec­ond largest nation­al for­est – the Chugach.

Season: May 23 to Sep 16 $339+ 8 - 36 hrs

Ride the rails, sea kayak through an ice­berg-strewn lake and hike off-the-beat­en-path towards the face of Spencer glac­i­er, all in one trip! Local­ly-owned Ascend­ing Path designed this awe-inspir­ing out­ing, pack­ing sev­er­al excit­ing ele­ments into one sat­is­fy­ing day. Trust­ed by locals and Hol­ly­wood pro­duc­ers alike, Ascend­ing Path will take you on an unfor­get­table Alaskan adventure.

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Flightseeing Tours View All

Glacier Dogsled tours • Prince William Sound • Columbia Glacier
Season: Year Round $299+ 30 - 90 min

There are few things more spec­tac­u­lar than lift­ing off in a heli­copter and soar­ing over Alaska’s glac­i­er-filled ter­rain or out across its shim­mer­ing waters. Suit­able for all ages. Get a taste for heli­copter flight­see­ing on a 30-minute trip into the 20-Mile riv­er val­ley and the heart of glac­i­er country.

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Bicycle Day Tours View All

Rent mountain, fat-tire, hybrid bikes • Trails around Mt. Alyeska

In the win­ter, Pow­der Hound is filled with all kinds of the lat­est ski equip­ment in tod­dler to adult sizes. You can ski in and out, and will find boots, ski, jack­ets, gog­gles, hel­mets and more. Skiers may howl when the snow leaves, but Pow­der Hound can deck you out with essen­tial items that will keep you com­fort­able and busy all sum­mer. They offer all types of bike rentals, from hybrid style tour­ing bikes to all moun­tain and down­hill bikes. You  ...more

Rent a moun­tain bike (and all the body armor you need) for a thrilling, two-wheel ride down Mt. Alyeska. Lessons and tours of the route are offered. Or, go for a hike on one of the many area trails, either with a guide or on your own. You can even strap on some cram­pons and go trekking on a glacier. 

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Snowmobile Tours View All

Season: Dec 01 to Apr 20 $255+ 5-6 hours (day trip) or 4-10 days (multi-day)

Explore Alaska’s back­coun­try astride a speedy and fun snow­ma­chine. Alas­ka Wild Guides will take you out for one thrilling day, or for sev­er­al days of exhil­a­rat­ing adven­ture. Find hid­den ice caves and remote glac­i­ers while nav­i­gat­ing along frozen rivers and through deep powder.

$200+ 3.5+ hrs

Hop aboard an eco-friend­ly snow­mo­bile in Gird­wood and ride on groomed trails beneath mas­sive, 7,000-foot glaciat­ed peaks or vis­it the daz­zling blue ice of Spencer Glac­i­er. Or, head north of Anchor­age for a trail ride through mid-alpine black spruce forests. No expe­ri­ence nec­es­sary, all gear pro­vid­ed, and warm bev­er­ages and snacks included. 

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Glacier Dog Sledding View All

Sled on a glacier in summer • Via helicopter
Season: May 01 to Aug 31 $549 2 hrs

Ratch­et up the adven­ture fac­tor and try your hand at dogsled­ding. Alpine Air Alas­ka flies to a dog camp run by the old­est estab­lished dog-sled tour busi­ness in Alas­ka. You’ll trav­el by heli­copter from Girdwood’s green forests up over a small sad­dle to land on a glac­i­er and be intro­duced to the dog team. You’ll get to stand on the sled run­ners and dri­ve” the dogs your­self, or sit in the sled and sur­vey the hang­ing glac­i­ers that sur­round you.  ...more

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Rafting Tours View All

Scenic float through the valley • Glacier and iceberg viewing

Season: May 21 to Sep 11 $120+ 3 or 4.5 hrs

Six Mile Creek is one of the most famous — and most chal­leng­ing — white­wa­ter runs in the entire state of Alas­ka. Your heart will be pound­ing and your mus­cles burn­ing as you pad­dle through rapids called Big Rock Drop,” Suck­hole,” and Let’s Make a Deal.”

Season: May 25 to Sep 15 $649 per person

Expe­ri­ence the wilder­ness of the Chugach Nation­al For­est from sev­er­al dif­fer­ent per­spec­tives. Com­bine a heli­copter ride, alpine hike, glacial lake tour, riv­er raft­ing and train ride all in 9 – 10 hours! It’s one big and bold Alas­ka tour de force with Chugach Adventures.

Season: May 29 to Sep 15 $200+

The orig­i­nal hall­mark trip that got the Alas­ka Rail­road to bring the Glac­i­er Dis­cov­ery to Spencer Glac­i­er in 2002. This is one of the most scenic glac­i­er riv­er trips in Alas­ka and a per­fect float for all ages. Your trip begins with a scenic ride on Alas­ka Railroad’s Glac­i­er Dis­cov­ery train, which runs from Anchor­age, Gird­wood, and oth­er pick-up points along the rail­belt. Enjoy a beau­ti­ful ride down Tur­na­gain Arm and the Plac­er Riv­er Val­ley and  ...more

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Guided Hiking View All

Rainforest walks, alpine climbs, and glacier walks

Season: Year Round $69+ 3 - 36 hrs

Walk in the wild places of Alas­ka with world-class guides who will reveal the won­ders of our local lakes, glac­i­ers, alpine moun­tains, rain­forests or the far back­coun­try. Trust­ed by locals, Hol­ly­wood pro­duc­ers, and even the White House, Ascend­ing Path guides you expert­ly to select areas just min­utes from Anchorage.

Season: Year Round $799+ per person 6 - 36 hrs

Take off in a heli­copter for the thrilling expe­ri­ence of heli-flight­see­ing, land­ing on a glac­i­er, don­ning cram­pons and a hel­met to explore blue ice with world-class guides. Expe­ri­ence crevass­es, blue pools and ice caves up close or try ice climb­ing to get ver­ti­cal. Offer­ing fam­i­ly friend­ly mem­o­ries of a lifetime!

Season: May 25 to Sep 15 $649 per person

Expe­ri­ence the wilder­ness of the Chugach Nation­al For­est from sev­er­al dif­fer­ent per­spec­tives. Com­bine a heli­copter ride, alpine hike, glacial lake tour, riv­er raft­ing and train ride all in 9 – 10 hours! It’s one big and bold Alas­ka tour de force with Chugach Adventures.

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Gold Panning Tours View All

Learn gold rush history • Pan for gold at historic mine

Season: May 15 to Sep 15 $10+

Crow Creek Mine has been in oper­a­tion since 1896, and gold is still found in its claims today! Your guides will be mem­bers of the min­ing fam­i­ly that keeps Crow Creek oper­a­tional. This is their home, so tour groups are kept small, cre­at­ing a more inti­mate envi­ron­ment and allow­ing more time for ques­tions. Try your luck at pan­ning, and keep what you find. 

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Ski Areas View All

Cross-country or downhill skiing at Alaska’s famous ski resort

$62+ Half or Full Day

Alyeska Resort is famous for its down­hill ski­ing and snow­board­ing for a rea­son — it’s tru­ly world-class, fea­tur­ing tons of snow, steep moun­tains, and views that stretch on for­ev­er. But there are a ton of oth­er win­ter activ­i­ties that make Alyeska an epi­cen­ter for win­ter adven­ture. Go cross-coun­try ski­ing or snow­shoe­ing on one of the area trails; or head off into the back­coun­try with a guide for some heli- or cat-ski­ing; try a snow­mo­bile excursion;  ...more

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Jet Ski Tours View All

Skim on glacial waters • 40 min drive from Girdwood
$340+ per driver 4 hours

Tour­ing the spec­tac­u­lar tide­wa­ter glac­i­ers of Prince William Sound is even more excit­ing when you do it on a Jet Ski. Go with Alas­ka Wild Guides out of Whit­ti­er to expe­ri­ence the area’s unique sights and sounds while skim­ming across the top of the water on your own per­son­al watercraft.

$340 4.5 hrs

Faster than a kayak and more inti­mate than a day cruise, the Jet Ski is a great way to get up close and per­son­al with Alaska’s gor­geous scenery. Go with Whit­ti­er-based Glac­i­er Jet Ski Adven­tures and you’ll be tak­ing your machine out on the water to explore the stun­ning glac­i­ers and wildlife of Black­stone Bay. All equip­ment is pro­vid­ed and no expe­ri­ence is nec­es­sary on this unique 4.5‑hour journey.

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Jeep & ATV Tours View All

Explore Alaska’s rainforest • Views of Turnagain Arm • Be driver or passenger

$135+ 1.5 – 3 hrs

There’s great Alaskan back­coun­try ATV rid­ing just a few miles south of Anchor­age. Engage in the sights, sounds, and smells of the north­ern­most tem­per­ate rain­for­est while expe­ri­enc­ing the thrill of the throt­tle through the wind­ing wood­ed trails of the Chugach Moun­tain Range. In the alpine mead­ows of this wilder­ness area, there are fre­quent sight­ings of both brown and black bears, moun­tain goats, and Dall sheep.

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Wildlife Parks View All

See rescued wildlife • 20 min drive from Girdwood
Season: Year Round $16

At the 200-acre Alas­ka Wildlife Con­ser­va­tion Cen­ter, see Alaskan wildlife up close. The center’s mis­sion is to pro­vide refuge for orphaned, injured, and ill ani­mals — those that can’t sur­vive in the wild. The cen­ter, which opened to the pub­lic in 1993, edu­cates vis­i­tors about Alaska’s wildlife. Coy­otes peer out from behind the brush while a bald eagle swoops in on the salmon remains left by a griz­zly bear. Wood Bison plod through 65 acres of tidal  ...more

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Trams View All

Breathtaking views • 45min drive from Anchorage
Season: May 17 to Sep 20 $35

The Alyeska Resort’s Aer­i­al Tramway is a sev­en-minute ride that lifts you to a view­ing deck with breath­tak­ing panoram­ic views of moun­tains, hang­ing glac­i­ers, streams, spruce, and an array of wildlife. Enjoy a relaxed mid­day pic­nic or beau­ti­ful evening sun­set on Mt. Alyeska’s obser­va­tion deck, more than 2,000 feet above sea lev­el. Tele­scopes inten­si­fy what Conde Nast Trav­el­er Mag­a­zine rat­ed the best view of any U.S. ski resort. Go exploring,  ...more

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Historic Park or Site View All

Crow Creek Mine • Ghost Forest • Gold rush history

Quick: what’s the longest com­bined rail and high­way tun­nel in North Amer­i­ca? It’s the Ander­son Memo­r­i­al Tun­nel, and you’ll dri­ve through it on the scenic and his­toric dri­ve to Whit­ti­er. The Kenai Moun­tains-Tur­na­gain Arm Nation­al Her­itage Area is a place whose val­leys and moun­tains, com­mu­ni­ties and peo­ple tell the larg­er sto­ry of a wild place and a rugged fron­tier. This audio guide gives you the inside scoop on its fas­ci­nat­ing his­to­ry. You’ll…  ...more

Season: May 15 to Sep 15 $10+

Crow Creek Mine has been in oper­a­tion since 1896, and gold is still found in its claims today! Your guides will be mem­bers of the min­ing fam­i­ly that keeps Crow Creek oper­a­tional. This is their home, so tour groups are kept small, cre­at­ing a more inti­mate envi­ron­ment and allow­ing more time for ques­tions. Try your luck at pan­ning, and keep what you find. 

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Fairs & Festivals View All

Forest Fair • Slush Cup • Blueberry Festival

Love ski­ing and wacky cos­tumes? The Slush Cup is the per­fect oppor­tu­ni­ty to see both. Com­peti­tors dress up and try to skim across a 90-foot-long pool of freez­ing water on skis — and not many make it! There are lots of oth­er activ­i­ties as well, includ­ing a swim across the freez­ing pool, face paint­ing for kids, food booths, and more. 

The Alaskan blue­ber­ry: plump, deli­cious, and so pop­u­lar that every year Gird­wood puts on a big cel­e­bra­tion in hon­or of blue­ber­ry sea­son. As many as 4,000 peo­ple have been flock­ing to Gird­wood one week­end every August for the past 7 years, and the fes­ti­val gets larg­er and more excit­ing each year, with peo­ple com­ing from all over Alas­ka. The two-day fam­i­ly-friend­ly event makes for a great excuse to vis­it this gor­geous area.

If you’re vis­it­ing Gird­wood the first week­end in July, you’ll feel a pal­pa­ble ener­gy in the air — a lit­tle extra jolt of excite­ment. It’s because of the For­est Fair — a huge fes­ti­val cel­e­brat­ing Alaskan music, arts, and crafts. Artists and vis­i­tors pour in from all over Alas­ka to per­form or just have fun, and the entire com­mu­ni­ty comes togeth­er to make it hap­pen. It’s the kind of event that vis­i­tors may stum­ble across, then return the following  ...more

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Visitor Information Centers View All

Information on lodging, activities, restaurants, shops

Vis­it the Gird­wood Cham­ber web­site for infor­ma­tion on lodg­ing, activ­i­ties, restau­rants, shops and more. You can also view a map of the town to help plan your stay in Gird­wood. The Gird­wood Cham­ber does not have a phys­i­cal loca­tion, vis­it web­site or email for information. 

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Points of Interest View All

The most spec­tac­u­lar and acces­si­ble water­falls around Alas­ka you can see from the road, from a hike, or from a day cruise.

Crys­tal-clear Willi­waw Creek and its bank-side trail sys­tem in Portage Val­ley at the head of Tur­na­gain Arm offers excep­tion­al­ly good con­di­tions for watch­ing spawn­ing in action. Coho, sock­eye and chum salmon con­verge on the creek as it winds through the brushy flats begin­ning in mid-August, with some late-arriv­ing fish still present after first frost in the fall.

How and where to find Alaska’s glac­i­ers — some of the state’s most beau­ti­ful nat­ur­al attractions

Quick: what’s the longest com­bined rail and high­way tun­nel in North Amer­i­ca? It’s the Ander­son Memo­r­i­al Tun­nel, and you’ll dri­ve through it on the scenic and his­toric dri­ve to Whit­ti­er. The Kenai Moun­tains-Tur­na­gain Arm Nation­al Her­itage Area is a place whose val­leys and moun­tains, com­mu­ni­ties and peo­ple tell the larg­er sto­ry of a wild place and a rugged fron­tier. This audio guide gives you the inside scoop on its fas­ci­nat­ing his­to­ry. You’ll…  ...more

Spencer Glac­i­er ris­es 3,500 feet in a stun­ning, nat­ur­al ramp from a lake of roy­al-blue ice­bergs in the Chugach Nation­al For­est just 60 miles south of Anchor­age. It’s a fam­i­ly-friend­ly recre­ation des­ti­na­tion fea­tur­ing camp­ing, hik­ing, glac­i­er explo­ration, nature walks, pad­dling and sight­see­ing. Maybe best of all: You have to take a train to get there!

The Coastal Clas­sic (Anchor­age – Seward), and the Glac­i­er Dis­cov­ery (Anchor­age to Whit­ti­er, Portage, Spencer Glac­i­er) stop in Girdwood

Portage Val­ley south­east of Anchor­age at the head of Tur­na­gain Arm offers so many poten­tial adven­tures that you might have to tow a trail­er loaded with gear to sam­ple them all. What will you find here? Bik­ing, hik­ing, pic­nick­ing, fish­ing, pad­dling, wildlife view­ing, poten­tial ice­berg sight­ings — plus a nat­ur­al his­to­ry vis­i­tor cen­ter packed with inter­ac­tive dis­plays about the ecosys­tem of the val­ley and Prince William Sound. It’s like an outdoor  ...more

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