Alyeska Resort is one of Alaska’s most popular and most beautiful ski resorts. Alyeska has a top elevation slightly above 2,700 feet, a vertical drop of 2,500 and the area gets an average annual snowfall of 631 inches.
Alyeska has some of the best skiing in the world, and another nice benefit of Alyeska is that you won’t run into long lift lines or overly crowded slopes. Currently, Alyeska has six (6) chairlifts, one (1) high-speed tram, and two Magic Carpets. Of the 6 chairlifts, one is co-owned by Alyeska and the Tanaka Foundation (Chair 5). Chairs 6 and 4 are high-speed detachable quads, while Chairs 7 and 3 are normal quads. Chair 4 was updated to a high speed quad in 2012. Chair 1 is the oldest chair lift on the mountain, and leads up to the Roundhouse and Upper Tram Terminal. It also houses a “midway” loading station in the center of the lift.
Chair 4 ends halfway up the mountain. Chair 1 and the tram end three-quarters of the way up the mountain. The interconnected buildings contain the Roundhouse (patrol quarters), and a much newer facility housing the upper tram terminal, a quick-service cafeteria, and the Seven Glaciers 4-star restaurant and bar. At the base of the tram is the modern 300-room Hotel Alyeska.
Chair 6 goes to the highest lift served point on the mountain at 2,750 feet (840 m). Several areas above Chair 6 are occasionally opened, but require hiking to access. Plans to build a new chair lift higher up the mountain have been announced.
Mount Alyeska is a fairly challenging mountain, and has a much higher percentage of advanced and expert runs, as compared to most other mountains in North America. It has a small section for the novice, but the rest of the mountain is almost entirely for the intermediate and the advanced skiers.
Night skiing is not only allowed but it may be one of most awe inspiring ski experiences you’ll ever have. Snow capped mountains, hanging glaciers and the infamous Northern Lights are just a few of the visual bonuses of night skiing at Alyeska. It was ranked number nine in Skiing Magazine’s annual top twenty-five killer ski trip reviews.
The season begins in mid November and runs through mid April at Alyeska and with close to sixteen hours of daylight each day during April, this area of Alaska boasts the longest period of daylight anywhere in the United States. On the other hand, in December, there are only about seven hours of daylight but with their fabulous night time skiing it’s really not an issue.
The Alyeska Prince Hotel is the wonderful place to stay. You’ll enjoy elegant rooms, fine dining and nightly entertainment is also available. In addition, there are other nightlife watering holes in the area that are not associated with the hotel.
If tubing interests you, then visiting the Glacier Tubing Park is an absolute must. It features two lanes of terrain and a surface lift and everyone in the family will enjoy spending time at the tubing park. The Alyeska Terrain Park is a must for snowboarding enthusiasts. Other winter activities that can be enjoyed in and around the Alyeska Resort include flight seeing, heliskiing, ocean cruising tours, dog sledding, ice climbing, back country skiing, mountaineering and polar bear watching tours.
The Alyeska Resort not only offers some of the best skiing on the continent but when you consider the broad range of available winter activities that can be enjoyed by the entire family, it represents one of the best winter vacation destinations in the world. Alyeska Resort is Alaska’s premier year-round destination featuring the 303-room Hotel Alyeska. Located just 40 miles from Anchorage and Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport, Alyeska Resort is your base camp for summer and winter excursions.