Chugach powder

Welcome to Girdwood, Alaska!
Activities ~ Girdwood Weather ~ Girdwood's History ~ Wildlife ~ Eating Out

Outdoor Activities


Upper Winner Creek Trail Girdwood AK

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Mountain Biking
Paragliding at Alyeska
Glacier Hikes
Girdwood Forest Fair

July 2,3,4 2010

Wildlife Viewing
Gold panning
Flight Seeing
Summer dog sledding
Summer Snowmobile Tours
Sea Kayaking
Glacier Cruises



Backcountry Ski Touring - Girdwood AK

Downhill Skiing (Alyeska Resort)
Backcountry Skiing Avalanche Forecast
Cross Country Skiing
Helicopter Skiing
Wildlife Viewing
Flight Seeing
Ice climbing
Dog sledding
Snowmobile Tours




Girdwood's Weather
Girdwood Weather Forecast NWS ~
Girdwood RADAR ~ Alaska Road Weather Information

Girdwood lies in the northernmost region of the west coast temperate rain forest. On average, Girdwood's annual precipitation is about 70". Typically, June and July are the driest months, while fall and winter bring heavy rains and snows. Temperatures range in the 50's -70's for May - August, while wiinter temps range from 0 to 40. The record high for Girdwood is 88 and the record low is - 30.


Rainbow at Sunset - 11:30 pmPhoto by Peanuts

It is a good idea to pack clothing for a variety of weather on your visit to Alaska.





Mom and 2 newborns moose calves in the meadow behind the hostel

In and around Girdwood, you may encounter some wildlife, and I'm not talking about the Alaskan locals.
Moose, Porcupine, Wolverine, Spawning Salmon, Black Bear, Brown Bear, Arctic ground squirrels, Ptarmigan, and many species of migratory birds spend summers in Girdwood and surrounding wetland areas. And if that's not enough, check out The Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center , where you can see Bears and many other Alaskan animals, without fear.

Brown Bear -



A Brief History of Girdwood

Alpenglow on Alpenglow - Chugach Mountains Alaska - photo from Hostel
Girdwood was originally called Glacier City and founded as a supply camp for placer gold miners with claims along the glacial creeks draining into Turnagain Arm. It was renamed for Colonel James Girdwood, a Belfast-born entrepreneur and linen merchant who staked the first four gold claims along Crow Creek in 1896. Mining in the upper Crow Creek area continued into the late 1930's until mine closures by a World War II presidential order, made Girdwood a near ghost town. In 1949, Girdwood sprouted again as construction began on the Seward Highway, connecting the seaport of Seward to Anchorage. In 1960, the ski resort came to life when Francoise de Gunzburg imported a used chair lift from France that was dismantled, shipped to Alaska, then rebuilt at Mt Alyeska. The original town was moved 2.5 miles up the valley after the devastating Good Friday Earthquake of 1964, when the land under the town site sank 6- 10 feet, putting much of the town below high tide. Girdwood was incorporated as a city in 1970 and became part of the Municipality of Anchorage when the Greater Anchorage Area Borough unified with the City of Anchorage in 1975. Girdwood lies in a narrow valley, the northern most extent of temperate rain forest in the Chugach Mountains, 38 miles (61 km) southeast of Anchorage city limits. Girdwood is host to Alyeska Resort, Alaska's largest ski resort, and a year round destination.
The busiest single weekend is the first full weekend of July in which the Girdwood Forest Fair takes place.

More Girdwood History Here


Dining out
in Girdwood

Cheap Eats
Meals Under $15

Mid Range
Meals $15 - $25
Meals $25 and up
Java House
espresso, breakfast-lunch sandwiches
Jack Sprat
World cuisine, beer/wine
Jack Sprat
World cuisine, beer/wine
Bake Shop
breakfast, lunch, soups

Chair Five
pizza,burgers, full bar

Double Musky
Cajun,large steaks, full bar
Chair Five
pizza,burgers, full bar
Alyeska Resort
Cafe's, Sushi, Fine dining
Alyeska Resort
Cafe's, Sushi, Fine dining

Silvertip Grill
burgers/wraps/beer and wine


Coast Pizza
pizza, cheese steaks, pasta
Alpine Diner / Bakery



For advance reservations call 907-783-2222 after 6pm Alaska time
or email us

Alyeska Hostel does not maintain set office hours. Assisted Check in after 6pm-10pm, check out is 11am.

227 Alta Drive
PO BOX 953

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All contents of this site copyright © Alyeska Hostel LLC 2003-2013 unless otherwise noted.

Girdwood Alaska's best lodging value! Centrally located in the Chugach Mountains near:
Alyeska Ski Resort, Alyeska Tramway, Crow Creek Mine gold panning, Flight seeing with Alpine Air, Crow Pass Trail, Chugach National Forest, Turnagain Pass, Chugach State Park, Chugach Powder Guides Heli-skiing, Turnagain Arm, Portage Glacier, Paragliding, Dog sledding, mushing, Prince William Sound: Kayaking, Fishing, and Marine Wildlife Tours.
Family owned and operated. Member of the Alaska Hostel Association, an independent group of Alaska Hostels. The original Girdwood Hostel, not associated with Alaska Backpackers Inn or Hosteling International.