Chugach National Forest: Alyeska

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Chugach National Forest

The Chugach National Forest conserves nearly seven million acres in the Kenai Peninsula, Prince William Sound and Copper River. The Chugach includes shorelines, glaciers, forests and rivers. National Forests advocate conservation, which allows for some commercial use of the natural resources. In Chugach, there isn’t much logging, but there is some commercial fishing, mining and recreation allowed.

The Iditarod National Historic Trail runs through Chugach. This network of 2,300-mile winter trails originally evolved to connect Alaskan Native villages. Later, it established the dog-team mail and supply route during Alaska’s Gold Rush.


Alyeska Resort is a ski resort in Girdwood. Anchorage lies approximately 30 miles north of the resort. Mount Alyeska is part of the Chugach mountain range and the Alyeska Resort is the largest ski area in the state.

The ski area opened in 1959. It included the octagonal Mt. Alyeska Roundhouse day lodge, which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The Roundhouse now showcases exhibits on local ski history. Olympic gold medalist Tommy Moe trained at Alyeska in the 1980s.

Our transfer tour from Seward to Anchorage brought us to Alyeska as the third stop on the tour. We ate lunch in the resort at the base. Then we rode the tram to the summit for breathtaking views of the Chugach mountains. We perused the displays in the Roundhouse before riding back down the mountain.

The trail head for Winner Creek Trail begins near the tram station at the base of the mountain. This trail is a segment of the Iditarod National Historic Trail. You can hike this section without snow cover. Most of the Iditarod requires snowshoes or sleds. Signs near the entrance of the trail warned it was an avalanche run-out zone, so we did not venture too far down.

Seward Posts

Location: 1000 Arlberg Ave, Girdwood, AK
Designation: National Forest
Date designated/established: July 23, 1907
Date of my visit: June 6, 2022