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Alaska Nature Hikes

Enjoy a Nature Hike in Girdwood while exploring part of the Historical Iditarod Trail. A naturalist guide will point out and discuss the flora and fauna of North America's northern-most temperate coastal rainforest. In the company of a naturalist, you will: Nibble on edible leaves, flowers and berries, Explore traditional and contemporary herb lore, Identify bird song & animal behaviors, Enjoy stories about Native and Alaskan history. When blueberry season is in full swing the trail is blooming with scrumptious delights sure to please anyone. You may even see a moose!

Trips start & finish at the Tramway Circle at the Hotel Alyeska. The Winner Creek trail has gentle, graded, maintained sections with boardwalks as well as plenty of rugged, rooty sections of trail. This moderate and informative 5 mile (round trip) hike consists of a walk over the Winner Creek Gorge on a boardwalk.


  • Knowledgeable and fun naturalist hiking guides. 
  • Granola bars/snacks and bottled waters.
  • Bear Protection
  • Ecology, glaciology and natural history discussions.
  • Trekking poles and extra attire, if needed.

Half Day Hike

Season: May 25 - Sept 16, 2019 Ages: 7-70


Departs: Girdwood

Group Size

2-40 Ratio: 10/1

Activity Level

No Experience Necessary Easy
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5 miles or less round trip. Elevation gain: 160 ft


This is an easy to moderate activity; however, No experience is necessary.


  • Ages: 7-70. 
  • This trip is great for families, groups and solo travelers
  • Trips operate in all weather conditions
  • Trip min: 2 people. Max: 80 people
  • Max Ratio: 10:1
  • Custom departure times and private buyouts are available
  • Advanced reservations of at least 1 month are recommended
  • All guests are required to fill out our online Hiking Application and Waiver in advance.
  • After reserving your spot- you can easily login to our reservation system to make any changes up to 14 days in advance of your trip (with no fees or drama!)
  • Availability is limited so book your trip today!



Wear comfortable warm synthetic clothes dressing in layers (long sleeved shirt, long pants, fleece jacket, rain jacket, rain pants, gloves, wool/fleece hat, sunglasses, ball cap) hiking boots or sneakers. Bring a backpack, camera and binoculars. For specific advice on what to wear, read our Be Prepared Document.



Gratuities for your awesome guide!


Trips start and finish at the Tramway Circle at the Hotel Alyeska in Girdwood, Alaska at trip meeting time.

Tramway Circle at the Hotel Alyeska: 1000 Arlberg Ave 


Yup. Girdwood is home to North Americas Northern-most Temperate Coastal Rainforest

While the glaciers collect over 1000" of snow per winter, down in the valley floor we see Rufus Hummingbirds, mosses, ferns and hundreds of species of lichens. 

Do you know how a lichen is formed? "Freddy Fungus met Alice Algae- they took a lichen to each other- and got married. Ever since then, their relationship has been on the rocks....!"


Girdwood is a small ski town in winter and a mecca for adventure and nature loving tourists to Alaska in the summer. It is home to the Alyeska Ski Resort and hotel, which has the longest double black diamond ski runs in North America. The northern most latitude of North America's Temperate Coastal Rainforest stops in Girdwood. Songbirds and rufous hummingbirds migrate worldwide to mate and fledge their young in the abundant Hemlock and Sitka Spruce forests of Girdwood. In Fall, blueberries, salmonberries, wild raspberries and numerous species of mushrooms can be found valley wide. The Alyeska Hotel hosts the Fiddlehead Fern festival, Blueberry Festival and Fungus Fair among other festivals and musicians every summer. 

Annually, Fourth of July weekend, brings the decades old Forest Fair. It's is a 3 day festival that hosts musicians, yummy food, and local artists with handmade art, crafts, clothing, jewelry and pottery. The kiddos have their own art booth where they can make art and crafts. Also, local Girdwood and Alaskan kids have the opportunity to have booths to sell their handmade treats and crafts. This is such a popular event that includes a parade and fun run. 

Girdwood was founded during the Gold Rush era of the late 1800's. It was originally called Glacier City due to all the hanging glaciers you can see capping all the surrounding mountains. It is a glacier carved valley surrounded by mountains ranging in size from 4,000 - 7,000 feet. The mouth of the valley abuts the Turnagain Arm which leads to the Pacific Ocean. We can see Beluga Whales in the Turnagain Arm surfing the BoreTide. This town is truly picturesque. 

Salmon run up Glacier Creek in summer. As a result, you can see black and brown bears in town fishing or foraging for berries. 


Hiking, Ice and Rock Climbing, Glacier Hiking, Sea Kayaking, Helicopter Tours, Mountain Biking, Camping, Gold Panning, Nature Photography, Birding, Berry Picking, Mushroom Foraging, Fishing, Paragliding, Rafting, Wildlife Viewing and Whale Watching are all accessible activities in and near Girdwood. 


Due to high demand and limited space available we recommend reservations be made several months in advance. Bookings made 1 week in advance of departure date may be cancelled and fully refunded if we cannot accommodate.

Is it worth it?

Yes... Trips include naturalist hiking guides, max 10:1 ratio (hiker to guide) and interpretive natural history and ecology discussions. A snack and water is provided. Guests visiting the Rainforest come away with better respect and knowledge about the flora and fauna, temperate coastal mountain rainforest and the history of Girdwood, not to mention some great photographs!

If you have questions about the physical requirements of this trip, please read our Essential Eligibility Criteria on our FAQ's page, email or call us and we would be happy to talk with you and determine if this trip matches your abilities.