Just past the Chugach Mountains lies your next Alaskan excuse for adventure. A mountain town sufficiently removed from the hustle and bustle of daily living, Girdwood has quickly evolved from a mountainous mining town into a must-see Anchorage haven. Ample average snowfalls, year-round recreation, and sights and sounds exclusive to the Girdwood region make this Alaskan mountain town uniquely capable of delivering world-class hospitality. Read on to discover a jam-packed day full of adventure for those planning an overnight visit to Girdwood, Alaska in the summer.
Breakfast at the Girdwood Picnic Club
When it’s time to take a hiatus from your outdoor adventuring, venture indoors for some American comfort food! Welcome to the Girdwood Picnic Club, complete with a winning atmosphere and affordable pricing. From acclaimed breakfasts to friendly staff, this location makes quick work of your hunger.
Get your visit to the Girdwood Picnic Club started the right way, with a signature mimosa or a draft beer, straight from the tap. Seasonal brews and drinks sourced from the Denali Brewing Company make your beverage selection a virtually endless one. Pair the perfect, liquid refreshment with an equally impressive menu item, like their fajita tacos, Picnic panini, or spicy curry bowl. Even if you’ve visited the Girdwood Picinic Club in the past, you should stop in again. The menu changes with the seasons keeping things fun and fresh. Take life at a pace comfortable for you, at an eatery ideally suited to satisfy your craving for top-tier Girdwood cuisine.
Bears, Trains & Icebergs with Chugach Adventures
Board the AK Railroad’s Glacier Discover Train at Girdwood at 11 am for a family-friendly day packed full of bears, trains & Icebergs exploring Alaska via an entirely unforgettable adventure. First up, the train will drop you off at the Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center for a guided & interpretive tour of the animals in one of Alaska’s premier rehabilitation facilities for injured and orphaned wildlife. This is where you are given a safe environment to capture some amazing photos of BEARS and other Alaska Wildlife. This section of the tour runs 1.5 hours and includes a sack lunch.
Back to the Glacier Discovery Train where your adventure takes you next to Spencer Glacier where you get a close and personal view of ICEBERGS! Relax as experienced river guides row you right up to these magnificent icebergs offering stunning photographic views! With a total of about 2 hours on the water, you’ll eventually float down the Placer River and be once again picked up by the Glacier Discovery Train. Check out Chugach Adventure’s Website for specific trip details or ways to add a little extra excitement to your trip if you’re looking for more.
Afternoon Crisp Refreshments at The Girdwood Brewery
The perfect conclusion to your productive day in Girdwood, the Girdwood Brewing Company has for years delivered craft beer to satisfied guests, via their onsite, 10-barrel brewing system. Originally founded by twin brothers and certified brewing engineers, this location allows you to arrive directly from a hike, a ski trip, or the street, to enjoy world-class liquid refreshment via a cozy tasting room.
Take a growler to go, purchase a can for the road, or enjoy fellowship, tasters, and 12-ounce pours on the premises, at a location that regularly hosts events, social gatherings, and functions of all kinds. From their light Down the Chute to their cultural IPA selection to their non-alcoholic root beer, the Girdwood Brewing Company understands how to render the distance between yourself and top-tier beverages a short one. Learn more about their beers via their website!
Morning Exercise or Relaxing Ride, Your Choice!
Before loading back up in your car, experience some spectacular scenic views of Girdwood with this choose your own adventure style morning activity.
Getting to the Top: For the Go-Getter
Before loading back up in your car, stretch the legs with a hike up Alyeska’s North Face Trail. This 2.2-mile trail takes anywhere from a little over an hour for experienced hikers to about 2 hours for the casual hiker. This trail is difficult with steep sections and lots switchbacks but the views get even more spectacular with every step you take. The best part about hiking this trail is you get an amazing uninterrupted panorama view of Girdwood Valley at the top & a FREE rain ride back down! Bonus – if you’re traveling with a dog, you can hike up the mountain with the dog and they will allow them to ride in a crate (provided) back down! (Note: Dogs are not permitted to ride the tram up though!)
Getting to the Top: For The More Casual Traveler
For those who are short on time or would rather not hike something steep, enjoy the comfort of Girdwood’s aerial tramway. Suitable for individual of all ages, tickets are always affordable, and the tram runs daily. If half your party is hiking, you’ll have an areal view of their climb on your 3-7 minute ride up. The tram has 360 degree views of awe-inspiring natural wonders of the region, from a perch that allows you to see for miles in every direction, especially on clear Alaskan days.
SOMETHING FOR EVERYONE!
Once you’ve made it up 2,300 feet in elevation to the summit of Mount Alyeska top either by foot or tram, catch sight of outdoor landmarks like the Turnagain Arm, the details of the Chugach Mountain range, and up to seven glaciers! If you’re lucky you may spot a diversified variety of local species, including moose and bear. Make your way to the top of Mount Alyeska
From the tram deck, guests enjoy the privileges of a wide observation deck, where your view of the great Alaskan wilderness extends in virtually every direction. Take in the local waterways, trees, and crisp air, all from one of the state’s top-rated attractions.
If you’re staying longer in Girdwood, fill up your itinerary by browsing all the things to do in Girdwood!
*Thank you Trip101 for your contribution to this article.