Get out of the city of Anchorage and take the Turnagain Arm Shuttle to Girdwood/Alyeska Resort, a small, quaint, alpine ski village. This self-guided Alyeska Tram ride is truly ideal for the independent traveler who enjoys breathtaking views. Your shuttle will take you directly to Girdwood where you can take the free Glacier Valley Transit shuttle to the Alyeska Resort and ride the Tram to the top of Mt. Alyeska and enjoy stunning hiking trails and views that will take your breath away and make your heart palpitate.
The Alyeska Aerial Tram is a three-to-seven minute scenic ride from the Hotel Alyeska to 2,300 feet in elevation at the top of Mt. Alyeska. From the Tram, you can see for miles in all directions – including views of the Turnagain Arm, up to seven "hanging" glaciers and endless peaks deep into the Chugach Mountain range. Don't forget to look down! Moose and bear sightings are common on our aerial tram rides, too.
At the Upper Tram Terminal, there is an observation deck providing even more breath-taking panoramic views of majestic mountains, hanging glaciers, sparkling streams, towering spruce, and a wide array of birds and wildlife. Conde Naste Traveler rated Alyeska ~ "Best view of any U.S. ski resort." The observation deck is a perfect place to enjoy a relaxed lunch or beautiful evening sunset. Telescopes are also available along the deck. You can also enjoy exploring, berry picking and even hiking on a glacier.
What You Can Expect
The self-guided Alyeska Tram Tour allows you freedom to break away from the tour groups and explore on your own and return at select times. Your journey to Alyeska begins with a custom tour of Turnagain Arm, a treat you won't want to miss. On the way to the Alyeska Tram you will be traveling down Alaska's most scenic stretch of highway known as Turnagain Arm. Your adventure includes a Turnagain Arm Tour with highlights listed below.
When you are ready to continue on, simply board the shuttle at the Girdwood Station near the entrance of Girdwood. We will be making a stop at Turnagain Gallery and Potter Marsh on the return journey back to Anchorage.
- Beluga Point: Popular photo stop with panoramic views of Turnagain Arm, with possible opportunities to see Dall sheep and Beluga whales.
- Portage Valley: Enjoy a meal at Portage Day Lodge and enjoy stunning hiking trails like the Trail of Blue Ice and Byron Glacier Trail. You can also rent a bicycle for a relaxing tour of the Valley. Other activities include taking the one-hour cruise on Portage Lake up to the face of Portage Glacier. We really recommend this cruise for the full effect, if you're up for it, time on the water is life altering! And you can discover the interesting geology and natural history of Portage Valley at the Begich Boggs Visitor Center.
- Turnagain Art Gallery: Owned and operated by professional, competitive wood carvers, the gallery is full of stunning sculptures, unique jewelry, deeply moving paintings and photographic prints.
- Potter Marsh: With its nearly panoramic view of Turnagain arm, Potter Marsh, peppered by spruce, cottonwood and alder trees, is one of the most accessible and scenic wildlife viewing areas in Anchorage. About halfway along the boardwalk, Rabbit Creek flows underneath and provides a good spot to see spawning chinook, Coho, or humpback salmon from May to August, depending on the species. Moose also frequent the marsh year round. May and June are good times to see these large ungulates standing in the marsh foraging for new growth.
Duration: 4.5 hours
Round-trip shuttle service with a tour of Turnagain Arm between Anchorage and Girdwood where you will connect with the free local bus called Glacier Valley Transit to the Alyeska Tram.
The price of the Tram ticket is not included in the price of this tour.
The price of the Portage Glacier Cruise is not included in the price of this tour.
Tour Times: 8 AM, 10 AM and 11 AM.
Duration: Plan for a full day of 8 hours.
Prior planning is best, please dress in layers, wind and precipitation are common in the mountains where the sea is close by. Remain well hydrated to ensure your comfort and maintain situational awareness of your time and surroundings for best safety.