Winter in the Mat-Su Valley
Alaska winters are spectacular in the Mat-Su Valley. Alpenglow sunsets over Denali, winter ice fishing, piles of powder primed for snowmobiling, snowboarding or snowshoeing and some of the earliest pre-season skiing in the country - it's no wonder why this is where Alaskans come to play in the winter. March is a great time to visit - longer days, warmer weather and community events to keep you busy all month long!
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Skeetawk Ski Area
Skeetawk, located at Mile 10.6 Hatcher Pass Road, is the Mat-Su Valley's first-ever triple chair lift ski area. The completion of a ski area in Hatcher Pass has been years in the making, and finally came to fruition thanks to a nonprofit organization, Hatcher Alpine Xperience. With chair lift installation completed in spring of 2020, the new downhill ski area finally opened in December of that year. The ski area will be open Saturdays and Sundays, as well as all school holidays.
Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race
The official start of the world-famous Iditarod race is in the beginning of March in the community of Willow. Don't miss the exciting start to the "Last Great Race." Mushers and their teams of huskies leave the starting chute at Deshka Landing. While no spectators are allowed due to Covid-19 protocols, race fans may see the mushers on the Susitna River. They will cover more than 1,000 miles through the Alaska Range, through Interior Alaska and the Norton Sound Coast and ultimately finish in Nome. The grueling race attracts mushers from around the globe.
March in Talkeetna
March in Talkeetna is busy in March as the days get longer This year, the Oosik Ski Classic is a virtual event - pick a day and a location and ski 25 kilometers to participate. Pack your skis and enjoy many of the world-class Nordic skiing trails. The Alaska Railroad runs north on Saturdays and south on Sundays throughout the winter. Winter is at its peak in Talkeetna!
Government Peak Recreation Area
Located at the base of Hatcher Pass, Government Peak Recreation Area is a Nordic skier's delight! With more than 6.5 kilometers of groomed and lit trails, the area is Alaska's premier cross-country skiing venue. There is a warming chalet where you can also rent fat tire bikes and snowshoes. Spend a day or spend a weekend hitting the trails.
Dog Mushing Adventures
Ever wanted to mush your own team of huskies? You can do that in the Mat-Su Valley! The area has many mushers who offer kennel tours. Come learn about what it takes to mush in the Iditarod, Alaska's rich history with the sport of dog mushing and meet the canine athletes up close and personal.
Real Alaskans know that fishing season doesn't stop just because it's winter time. Ice fishing is exceptional in the Mat-Su Valley, with lakes scattered throughout the region producing giant char, landlocked salmon, trout and more. Do it on your own or go with a guide who knows all the secrets to landing a lunker.
Northern Lights Viewing
The Mat-Su Valley is ideal for watching the northern lights. Just 35 miles from Anchorage, you escape the lights and traffic. Popular areas include the Knik River Valley, Hatcher Pass and the upper Susitna Valley. Dress warm, pack a thermos and get ready to be amazed by the dazzling display of the aurora borealis.
The Mat-Su Valley is a snowmobiler's dream - trails in every direction that lead to glaciers, the backcountry and spectacular views of Denali. Petersville is a virtual playground for snowmobilers in the upper Susitna Valley, Eureka is a favorite along the Glenn Highway, and the Knik River area is spectacular and leads to views of the glacier. If you don't have a "sled," don't worry - you can go with a guide who knows the best spots.
Whether you are on a pair of skis, a fat tire bike or snowshoes, there are many winter trails that are ideal for a day's worth of recreational activities in the Mat-Su Valley. See a list of popular trails for winter enthusiasts.