Hatcher Pass is definitely wearing white after Labor Day, as the first major snowfall of the season created a winter wonderland this week. About six inches of snow was reported at Independence Mine.
Daily tours hosted by Salmon Berry Tours, the Independence Mine concessionaire, have been closed for the winter season as of Thursday. The gate to the upper parking lot will remain closed until spring. However, that doesn't mean Independence Mine is closed! Those looking for a little adventure in their life can still park at the lower lot and walk on the road to the mine. The buildings are closed for the season, but you can still walk throughout the park, which has interpretative signs throughout. Later in the season, cross-country skiers can ski up to the mine as well.
Hatcher Pass in winter is spectacular, with some of the best snow in the state. Once the snow makes its way down to lower elevations, Government Peak Recreation Area has world-class, lighted ski trails at the base of Hatcher Pass. Alpine lovers can head to Skeetawk, which will begin its third year of operations later this winter.
Just because the snow is coming doesn't mean the adventure stops. Bundle up, get out and enjoy Alaska this winter!