If you can walk, odds are you can also snowshoe. It’s a relatively easy sport that provides a great source of exercise. When you snowshoe in Alaska, it not only gets the blood pumping, but it provides a unique and memorable way to capture the state’s beauty and wonder. Need further convincing. Consider these 10 outstanding snowshoeing destinations as inspiration to discover our snow-covered paradise.
Denali National Park
Despite what some say, Denali does not shut down in winter. The park remains open and winter means blankets of snow, plenty of animal tracks, and pure tranquility. The Murie Science and Learning Center becomes the park’s wintertime visitor center. For those that make the trip, the center provides snowshoe that can be borrowed for free and even snowshoe guidance from NPS Rangers.
Alyeska Resort offers miles of snowy trails that are perfect for snowshoeing. Numerous trails, such as Moose Meadows, are located right at the resort’s doorstep. Many others, such as Winner Creek and Crow Creek Gold Mine, are conveniently located at the base of Mt. Alyeska. Snowshoes are available at the resort’s rental shop for $15 per day.
Several locations in Fairbanks provide excellent snowshoeing experiences with incredible scenery and spectacular photo opportunities. A few quick hot-spots include: Chena Hot Springs, Creamer’s Field and the UAF campus.
Granted, snow is not always prevalent in Juneau. However, when it does drop, grab some snowshoes and view Juneau from a different perspective. The Foggy Mountain Shop on Franklin Street is a great source for snowshoe rentals and tips on excursions.
The Arctic Circle
Alaska’s isolated North Slope is as far north as you can get in Alaska. It’s an extremely rugged environment that can witness intense arctic winds. If you can bear the conditions, the region provides trail-less snowshoeing opportunities where adventurists will experience trekking in pure solitude. Word to the wise though… consider using an expert guide service.
Homer’s Wynn Nature Center is a 160-acre playground with amazing scenery and excellent wildlife viewing. The center enjoys a plethora of snowshoeing trails that can be enjoyed by both novices and seasoned snowshoeing enthusiasts alike. The Center for Alaska Coastal Studies in Homer also rents snowshoes and provides guided walks.
Anchorage is home to both hundreds of miles of multi-use trails, as well as, several huge parks. Translation. The city is an excellent snowshoeing destination. A few top areas close to downtown include: Kincaid Park, the Hillside trail system, Far North Bicentennial Park and Powerline Pass at Glen Alps.
Eklutna Lake and Eagle River
This family-friendly snowshoeing destination is located just 20 minutes from Anchorage. A must stop is The Eagle River Nature Center. The center sits in a breath-taking valley setting and offers an extensive trail network. Guided hikes are available and the center also offers public-use cabins and yurts on a rental basis.
The Mat-Su Borough
This destination, located north of Anchorage, is comprised of approximately 40 miles of maintained trails and over 130 lakes and ponds. Snowshoers will be treated to fantastic wide-open valley views and untouched snow. Hatcher Pass is one of this destination’s most popular snowshoeing spots.
Anywhere Else, Really
Alaska is a unique frontier rich in spectacular wildlife, gorgeous scenery and unforgettable culture. The state also enjoys an abundance of snowfall. All of this means that you really can’t go wrong with snowshoeing anywhere in the state, snow permitting of course.
Leave a different kind of footprint in Alaska this winter. Toss the hiking boots aside and grab some snowshoes. Once you do, get out there and enjoy a beautiful state in a new, fun and rewarding way. Let the snowshoe adventures begin!