Today is your day! Your mountain is waiting. So…get on your way. ~Dr. Seuss
Nestled between Turnagain Arm of Cook Inlet and the Chugach Mountains, this former mining town offers abundant outdoor activities including hiking, paragliding, fishing, whitewater rafting, historic mining tours, sea kayaking, climbing, road bicycle riding, cross country skiing, a rainforest canopy zipline tour and something special not found in everyday Alaska: the Alyeska Resort, a world class ski resort that also offers summer tram rides to hikers and mountain bikers.
Because of its proximity to the city of Anchorage, visitors do not need to travel far to purchase the supplies needed to equip themselves for a Girdwood adventure. When planning your trip, keep in mind some travelers have stayed for 3 days and some still haven’t left!
The best way to experience Girdwood, Alaska is to set a base camp at the Girdwood Alaska Backpackers Inn. With GABI’s great location near the Seward Highway, shuttle bus and train stops, bike paths, and the local Girdwood shuttle Glacier Valley Transit, a person only needs to focus on the adventure and not the logistics.
When staying at GABI, a traveler immediately notices the clean and safe environment. This means that on a day hike there won’t be any lingering doubts about one’s possessions locked away at GABI. A traveler only needs to focus on the grizzly bear meandering in the meadow or ponder the life cycle of the returning king salmon.
At GABI we are interested in you and assume other travelers also want to hear about your great day on the mountain. We will offer coin operated tv, jukebox, and internet. Don’t boo hoo the free market. We actually will probably take a financial loss on these money making gadgets because who would want to watch Fox News or surf the Earthworm Envy website when a traveler can sit on our 2nd story deck facing the mountains, listen to the eclectic Girdwood Community Radio station, borrow a book from our bookshelf, cook dinner amongst new friends in a full kitchen, or take a walk along the glacier fed river that flows 35 feet behind the hostel. A traveler can follow the river all the way out to the peaceful Cook Inlet.
When not exploring the Chugach Mountains or lounging in the common room, explore the hostel. The hostel building has been renovated with the goal to be LEED certified. Without getting into the science behind energy efficiency, a couple of renovations can easily be explained in common sense terms:
Dual light switches: A person doesn’t need the same amount of light when staring at the athletes in a Sports Illustrated magazine versus reading a regular size print anthology of poetry.
Dual flushing toilets: Poop is usually thick and clumpy which needs more water to be flushed down the drain then watery pee.
Shower with a water flow system that the traveler controls: There are many variables when it comes to a person’s water hygiene. Maybe someone’s crotch smells good so they only want to wash their stinky left armpit. The hostel’s water efficient showers give the individual the power of control.
When it’s time to dab on patchouli and head out on the town, Girdwood offers everything except Applebee’s and Wal-Mart.
The Girdwood Grind is the best place to get a cup of coffee, with old coffee house charm, a plethora of reading material, Raven’s Brew Gourmet Coffee, friendly service, free wireless internet and Modest Mouse on the stereo.
The Bake Shop has plenty of outside seating, delicious sandwiches, all natural baked products and soups made from scratch.
The Ice Cream Shop is the local origami of ice cream. Watch a simple scoop of ice cream morph into milkshakes, malts, sundaes, and floats. Try a signature Alaskan ice cream flavor of Fireweed & Honey or Alaska Wild Berry.
Learn more about Girdwood business at Girdwood Chamber of Commerce
Whatever type of city life you find, day or night, the Glacier Valley Transit runs from 7:30 AM to 2:30AM on the weekends in the winter.