Winter Sports

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A snowy scene from Turnagain Pass

Snow, ice, wind, cold… Winter in Alaska!

For some people it's the best season.

Being able to drive down the scenic Seward Highway, hop out of your car, slap on a pair of skis or snowshoes, and bound into the backcountry has a definite appeal.

We aren’t all about hoofing it though. Snowmachining is another much-loved and highly anticipated winter activity. Imagine skiing or snowmachining into one of your favorite cabins and spending the dark night stargazing or catching the awesome northern lights. What’s not to love?

(photo provide by Gemma Amorelli and Kevin Keeler)

Be Safe in the Cold and Snow

Safe winter travel whether on established roads, trails or into the backcountry travel requires extra preparation, planning and knowing the conditions before you go. Weather conditions can change rapidly and having the appropriate clothing and safety gear is critical.

If you head into the backcountry during the winter, we encourage you to take an avalanche and/or winter safety class. Classes are offered throughout the winter. The Chugach National Forest Avalanche information Center offers daily avalanche forecasts and education classes and talks.

Water crossing in winter demands vigilance and awareness of ice thickness on lakes, swamps and rivers. (See the winter driving, avalanche safety and ice crossing quick link articles for specific information.)

Freezing temperatures and wind causes body heat to dissipate more rapidly. It is important that you are able to recognize signs of frostbite and other cold-related conditions and know the appropriate measures to take. Find out more here.

Remember you are responsible for your own safety and that help may be unavailable or far away.


Areas & Activities