The last frontier is our state’s cheery slogan. For many of us, it can feel totally unfamiliar to what we might be used to. Cold, bitter temperatures, short days as we rotate further away from the sun, and ever-growing dark days. Often, throughout these long winter spells, many people grow tiresome and can even become seasonally depressed. Coupled with shorter days and the lack of sunlight, it can be troublesome to find suitable activities for the whole family to enjoy; however, during these long winter spells, some of Alaska’s most pleasurable activities are born, and I am here to shed some light on what activities to take advantage of this winter!
If you are in Anchorage, you might not have ever heard of Arctic Valley, or if you have, you might be wondering what there is to do out there? Arctic Valley is a ski area, and it is located about 20 minutes from Anchorage. This winter, they have several fun activities for the whole family to enjoy; take your family up here to enjoy tube sledding down a giant hill on a sunny day, or for the thrill-seeker, they have a downhill track for skiers and snowboarders to enjoy, or simply go for the adventure and catch a breathtaking view of our city.
What I enjoy most about Anchorage are the many parks and trails available for everyone to see year-round. One of my favorite spots here is Russian Jack park right off Debarr Rd. If you have never been, I highly recommend taking your family here to get away from the city without ever actually having to leave Anchorage. Rent a pair of cross-country skis and explore the many trails inside this hidden cove; you can also come out here and walk the trails for a quick escape or simply come out to catch a beautiful view of the sunset. I highly recommend that you bring the right gear to keep the snow out of your boots and a warm enough jacket to enjoy the beauty behind the trees.
This can be a shell shocking experience for many of us, especially if you are coming from warmer weathers. As a kid growing up, I was intimidated to go out and do the things many other people do year-round until someone showed me how fun and exciting winters could be. For youths who want a more upbeat and exciting time, I recommend checking out Hilltop or Alyeska Ski resorts. They both can be an adrenaline junkie’s dream. Downhill skiing or snowboarding can be a dangerous sport, so I recommend taking a few classes before you go up on the slopes alone; however, this can be a lifelong passion and a truly electric feeling with a little practice. Alaska has a lot to offer when you know what is out there. I recommend joining a club or building a strong social network with other people with similar interests to break that boundary and experience all this state has to offer. After all, the pandemic does not have to stop you from enjoying the outdoors and getting a much-needed dose of fresh air and highly needed vitamin D!
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