If you’re wondering what it is Alaskans do with their free time over these cold winter months, the answer is most definitely not to join the bears in hibernation. We’d have to put Nordic skiing and winter hiking/snowshoeing near the top of the list. Not only are these activities undeniably beautiful, and a great way to get out and experience Alaska’s vast wilderness in a whole new way, but it’s also a great way to get in some much-needed exercise.
Winter in Juneau is actually relatively mild when compared with more northern and interior parts of the state. That makes it all the easier to get outside and enjoy our natural surroundings all year long! When blanketed by a fresh, powdery layer of snow, there’s nothing that beats getting outside for some Nordic skiing or even snowshoeing, on the trails around Juneau. There are plenty of opportunities, too – many of which aren’t even very far from our hotel! Interested? Then it’s time to book a room at the incredible Silverbow Inn Hotel & Suites, located in downtown Juneau!
The Best Nordic Skiing Trails in Juneau
Whether you plan to be in town for the upcoming legislative session or other business in the State’s Capital, or you’ve decided you need a change of scenery, there’s plenty to love about winter in Juneau. Nordic skiing is only the beginning!
While it’s true that Nordic skiing can be both exhausting and challenging, that’s one of the things we love about it! It feels good to get outside during these darker months of winter, to stretch our muscles, and to keep our bodies strong and healthy. But when you give yourself the chance to move beyond the challenge of the day and pause to look around you, you’ll be captivated by Juneau’s stark and beautiful landscapes in winter.
Here are just a few of our favorite places for Nordic skiing in and around Juneau:
- During the winter, the Mendenhall Campground becomes a recreational mecca for Nordic skiing. There are a few hills here, but they are small and the trails are mostly flat, which is partly what makes them so popular. From here, you can see Mendenhall Lake and Mendenhall Glacier, which just adds to the beauty of the day.
- Another popular place for Nordic skiing in Juneau is Mendenhall Lake – but this is a recommendation we make cautiously, as the ice and snow conditions must be suitable for you to venture out onto the lake. Nordic skiing on the lake offers some truly outstanding views of the surrounding mountains and Mendenhall Glacier, but because you aren’t protected by any trees, it can also be quite windy.
- Montana Creek Kaxdigoowu Héen is a trail that starts on Montana Creek Road at the entrance to the outdoor gun range. These trails are heavily forested and absolutely peaceful in the wintertime. They are suitable for all abilities and offer rewarding views of Montana Creek and even Mt. McGinness.
- There are also Nordic skiing trails at Eaglecrest Ski Resort. They offer both an upper and lower loop, which are groomed and professionally maintained. Day passes (or season passes if you’d prefer) are required here, and they also offer rentals so you don’t have to bring your own equipment.
- Another great place for Nordic skiing in Juneau is at the Eagle Beach Campground. The trails are pretty flat here, and you’ll enjoy the chance to enjoy the river, forest, and mountain views.
- There are also plenty of backcountry options for Nordic skiing and snowshoeing. We have plenty of suggestions for you if you’re staying with us, but one favorite destination is heading up to the Spaulding Meadows area. You’ll be rewarded with unspoiled nature and Alaska’s vast wilderness in every direction you look – a definitely “must” experience in our book!
Warm-up & Get Cozy at our Downtown Juneau Hotel
At the end of an exhilarating day outside in the snow, odds are you’ll be looking for a comfortable place to land, where you can put your feet up and thaw out. The comfortable accommodations at our downtown Juneau hotel offer you exactly that! Sink into the plush beds in our guest rooms, soak your tired muscles in our rooftop hot tub, make yourself a hot cup of cocoa or tea, and order dinner from one of downtown Juneau’s restaurants for delivery.
Everything you need to wind down at the end of your day – including a delicious craft beer – is just minutes from our very walkable hotel. Next door, you’ll find one of the finest restaurants in town, too, In Bocca Al Lupo! We’re so well situated that it makes your stay at our hotel that much easier, which is the entire point of your accommodations in the first place. We really do stand alone as the best hotel in downtown Juneau. Come see what sets us apart this year, and book your room at the Silverbow Inn Hotel & Suites.