This one’s not for weekend warriors. Located 140 miles southeast of Fairbanks, in the middle of the Alaska Range, the three-year-old Lodge at Black Rapids is perfectly situated for long cross-country and backcountry ski expeditions. Built on a bluff overlooking the ruins of a gold-rush roadhouse, the timber-frame lodge has six rooms plus hostel-like accommodations on the ground floor. But that’s not why you come. This season, owners Mike and Annie Hopper opened three miles of rugged, hand-cut cross-country ski trails, which lead to towering waterfalls, offer views of the mighty Hayes Range, and connect to a local 5K track. But if you’re more of a fat-ski person, you’ll definitely want to bring your powder boards and avy gear. Mike lets experienced guests tag along on his forays up drainages and down steep chutes. After dark, meals like local halibut, salmon, and bison are served family style, and guests gather in the enclosed top-floor deck to watch the northern lights. Doubles from $145.
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