Alaska Winter Activities

Willing to bear the cold and short daylight hours for a bit of that Alaskan grandeur? If so, you are in for some exclusive exploration. Since Alaska only has a fraction of the visitors in the winter as in the summer you are sure to enjoy a more private experience. We’ve traversed the cold for you and have gathered a list of the top winter activities to do in Alaska. Follow along as we adventure the world of few crowds, cold temperatures, cozy accommodations, and epic experiences.


Imagine waking up with a hot beverage to head out onto untouched powder fields. All is quite and serene and you have time to take in all the small details. Snowshoeing provides the perfect space for peace and tranquility. You can spot wildlife, take time to catch beautiful photographic shots, and enjoy the quite of softly stepping along soft new snow.

Snowshoeing is a great family winter activity and can be used for a variety of different terrains and snow conditions. This winter activity doesn’t take long to figure out and is a great way for a wide variety of ages and experiences to get out there and enjoy Alaska in the winter.

Snow Machining

Taking a snowmobile out into the tundra of Alaska is a great way to cover a lot of ground and catch some stunning views. In the Matanuska Valley you can even take a snowmobile tour to the glacier for a trek around towering walls of blue ice. Or, you can cruise across the nearby mountains. There are options and trips that suite everyone from novices to experts.

There are tons of recreation trails to explore as well and plenty of snow fields to bound through. Snow machine tours exist throughout the state and often supply gear if needed. Snowmobiling can be a great way to travel and connect your winter destinations. Simultaneously, this activity let’s you travel the less seen sides of Alaska, and quickly.


It’s no secret, Alaska is home to some of the best powder stashes and untouched snow fields in the continental U.S. So, skiing out here can be out of this world, whether it be alpine, nordic, or backcountry skiing. There are hundreds of thousands of acres of public lands accessible for those who desire those fresh lines.

Areas like Hatcher Pass, Chugach State Park, and recreation park areas are great spaces for both nordic skiing and backcountry skiing. Heading into National Parks, like Denali, is a great way to explore Alaska’s hallmarks in the snowy season. All of these places are not too far from Anchorage and fairly easy to get to.

If you want to enjoy some excellent views from a chairlift, not far down the road, is Alyeska Resort in Girdwood. Get in bounds skiing without the crowds. And, it’s right on the way to the coast for some spectacular views of mountains, ice, and the ocean on clear days. If tram access isn’t enough you can always search out a helicopter skiing opportunity with a local outfitter.

backcountry of the Matanuska Glacier

Explore a Glacier

Glaciers in Alaska can often be very busy and crowded during the summer months. However, during the winter, the crowds dissipate, and you have more space to explore all to yourself. Ice features change in the winter and there are different structures to explore that you cannot access during the summer because of meltwater.

Accessing a glacier in the winter can provide a more private experience than what you would normally find. Simultaneously, since the winter time offers a different kind of glacier landscape to explore, some companies offer exclusive trips.

Helicopter Tours

Hop in for an epic heli-skiing opportunity, a drop off on a glacier, or just an epic view of the wintery wonders of the last frontier. Taking a helicopter ride is a great way to see some of the most breath taking views around. This winter activity is great for solo-travelers and small groups. And, maybe even that romantic getaway you’ve been dreaming of.

Local outfitters just outside Glacier View now offer helicopter trips that take you to a secluded glacier cave on the Matanuska Glacier. Or, you can get dropped off to explore a picturesque glacier canyon and trek around. Professional guides accompany you the whole way so that you can find the best features and make the most of those day light hours.

helicopter landing on white ice on glacier
mushing team at the ready

Dog Sledding

One of Alaska’s more well known activities is dog sledding. There is a lot of history around the sport and many festivals to back up the community. Most of them happen in the summer, like the Iditarod. Do not fret though, there are many areas that offer dog sledding tours in the winter as well.

Meet the dogs, see where they live and what their days are like, and maybe you’ll get to learn a thing or two about mushing even. Its like a rollercoaster across snow and icefields powered by dogs. This is a great activity for the adventure seekers and animal lovers.

Winter in Alaska

Sure winter in Alaska can be a bit brisk. And as some folks say “there’s no bad weather, just not the right gear”, so bundle up and pack your warmest layers. The daylight hours are quite short but that leaves you with the longest golden hour around. Alaska gets lots of snow and plenty of it, so be sure to be aware of the dangers of avalanches and wilderness settings that are out of your limits.

Cozy up for the long nights and light shows across the sky created by the Northern lights. And, get out there for an Alaskan winter adventure. How you enjoy your time out there is up to you.