Free Places to Ski & Snowboard Near Anchorage
Winter is just around the corner.
These are all at your own risk. This is all generally ungroomed, backcountry, so you should have training in avalanche safety, and know how to use probed/beacons, etc. as well. These are also all backcountry, meaning: NO CHAIRLIFTS. So be prepared to march yourself straight up the side of a mountain.
South of Anchorage along the Seward Highway. Yeah… keep driving past Girdwood too. It’s about 50 miles south of Anchorage.
Pick a trail. There are tons of options up in Turnagain Pass! Corn Biscuit, Pete’s, Pastoral Peak, Tin Can, Eddie’s, Wolverine… just to name a few spots.
Mile-High Road, Eagle River
Just past the mile 3 marker on Eagle River road (in Eagle River of course!). Switchback up a way until you see the pull-off at Beaver Road. Walk on past the antennae thingy (if you’re looking up the mountain this would be to your right). You should see the start of the trail. You will eventually land in the saddle, looking to your right you’ll see Mt. Magnificent. This is the better side to come down in my opinion.
This is a good option especially if you live in Eagle River.
Located out in the Mat-Su valley. Technically the southwest of the Talkeetna Mountains. Plenty of places to hike up and ride down.. Or you can join the hillbilly ski lift (ok, maybe that’s just what I call it), otherwise known as 16 Mile, someone drives you up, you ride down, they pick you up and repeat.
South Fork, Eagle River
Back Hiland road out in Eagle River. Start hiking up from the South Fork Trail Head.
Sometimes the actual ski lift will be open. But if you want to go for free or if it’s not open there are plenty of places to hike up around back here. Take the Arctic Valley exit off the Glenn Highway.