Girdwood may be the most famous snow-sports area near Anchorage, but when it comes to easy access to the slopes, Hilltop Ski Area has it beat. Just 15 minutes from downtown Anchorage, this 30-acre winter recreation area—located at the base of the Chugach Mountains—offers both convenience and super-economical snow sports, for an easy day of skiing, snowboarding or telemark skiing.

Plenty of Easy Slopes

With a base elevation of 486 feet, Hilltop gets between 12 to 30 inches of natural snow annually, supplemented by manmade snow. About 80 percent of its trails are deemed easy, with another 10 percent intermediate, and 10 percent advanced.

Mellow, Fun Atmosphere

You can rent gear, take group or private lessons or kick back at the snack bar. While it’s not fancy—a good comparison might be Ashland Ski Area in Oregon—it’s fun, and getting increasingly creative, with more features such as rails and terrain features being added regularly.