Alyeska Resort, Alaska

Nov 1, 2008
Outside Magazine
Tell Us What You Think

Did we nail the best resorts in North America? Or did we miss your favorite ski area? Weigh in on our ski resort smackdown.

Snowfall: 742 inches (at the summit)
Area: 1,400 acres
Vertical Drop: 2,500 feet (with hike)

During a seven-day blizzard that trapped me in Alyeska a few years back, I found myself checking my back for moss and commenting when I saw my shadow. There was that much moisture pouring off the Pacific. Nobody was flying a heli within 200 miles and there I was, storm- skiing waist-deep powder with no more than 50 other people. Alyeska—less than an hour south of Anchorage—gets you the treeless Alaskan skiing experience without the risk of sitting in a lodge all day watching it snow. Although foreign owners neglected the place for years, the Alta ski bum turned Alyeska savior John Byrne III bought the resort two years back. He can't do anything about the daylight (don't go until February), but expect more expert terrain and backcountry access. The beginner and intermediate lift service has already seen big upgrades, and the locals are waiting for lifts and gates to the big peaks out back.

Get Alyeska snow reports, mountain maps, and more from