Southcentral Alaska Ski Zones
Southcentral is one of five distinct regions in Alaska. It consists of a complex mix of mountains and water that caps the Gulf of Alaska. Home to over half of the state’s population, the region has the advantage of remote wilderness combined with amenities and access via highways and Anchorage International Airport.
The four most accessible mountain ranges in Southcentral are the 250-mile-long Chugach Mountains; the 450-mile-long, Alaska Range with its numerous sub-ranges (Delta, Hayes, Central Alaska Range, Kichatna Spires, Tordrillo, Revelation) that arc westward from the Canadian border; the Talkeetna Mountains, sandwiched between the Alaska Range and the Chugach Mountains; and the 120-mile-long Kenai Mountains, jutting southwest from the Chugach into the Gulf of Alaska near Whittier. The city of Anchorage lies near the convergence of these ranges, making it the gateway for mountain adventure in Southcentral.
Kenai Mountains (Turnagain and Summit Pass)
Driving south down the Seward Highway from Anchorage are the gorgeous Kenai Mountains on the Kenai Peninsula. These steep and dramatic mountains have a maritime climate with a deep and stable snowpack much like Thompson Pass near Valdez. Turnagain and Summit Pass offer the best roadside skiing around Anchorage. An hour skinning will take us away from the crowds onto untracked terrain.
Talkeetna Mountains (Hatcher Pass)
The sharp granite peaks of the Talkeetna Mountains have an inter-mountain climate much like Montana. If it's dumping in the Kenai Mountains, there's a good chance we'll find clear skies in the Talkeetna Mountains and unlimited options.
Thompson Pass (Valdez)
The venue for big mountain free skiing is also world-class backcountry and ski mountaineering. Each day we will commute from the coastal oil port of Valdez to Thompson Pass, where we will choose an objective: a steep chute, long powder runs, a multi-pass glacier tour with thousands of vertical feet of skiing. Thompson Pass has it all.
Central Alaska Range (Denali)
We begin this fly-in ski base camp expedition from Talkeetna, a two-hour drive from Anchorage. We'll ski among dramatic granite towers in the shadow of Denali. Situated on the Pika Glacier, a tributary of the Kahiltna Glacier, our base camp has access to glacial passes, summits long ski runs and breathtaking scenery.
Recommended trip: Denali Ski Base Camp.