There’s more to see and do at Eaglecrest Ski Resort in Juneau than just winter activities – though if you’re in Juneau from December through mid-April, you can certainly enjoy the incredible snow-covered runs.
But as a community-run resort that Juneau’s municipal government owns and operates, it features plenty of fun for the whole family year-round.
The resort is located on Douglas Island and features 36 alpine runs as well as 8 kilometers of Nordic trails. The resort encompasses 640 acres with a maximum vertical drop of 1,620 feet. The peak elevation is 2,750.
With only four lifts, the mountainside looks mostly untouched. You can carve your own path through the fresh powder. And with long runs, you’ll enjoy more time heading down the mountain than you will on a lift.
Given its location in Alaska on a real mountainside, the resort experiences 320 inches of snowfall on average each season. Its record snowfall was 640 inches.
Inexperienced skiers need not fear. The resort offers plenty of terrain for beginners with about 20 percent being designed specifically for beginners. You’ll also find about 40 percent of terrain for intermediate athletes and 40 percent for expert skiers.
If you want to spend a week or several days at the resort to enjoy the fresh powder that is unlike what you’ll find at most other resorts in the U.S., you can buy multi-visit cards to take advantage of savings. Otherwise, a day lift ticket is $68. Or if you’ll be spending the better part of the winter in Juneau, you can purchase a season pass to enjoy skiing all season long.
The resort also offers a special deal for those flying in on Alaska Airlines, Alaska Seaplanes or the ferry. Present your boarding pass on the same day as your arrival and get a free lift tick for that day. It’s a great option if you arrive too early to check into your hotel or resort or want to kick off your trip with an action-packed day.
Because the only way to reach Juneau is by plane or ferry, it’s not a very busy resort. You’ll feel like you’re all alone enjoying your time enjoying nature. And because Juneau’s tourist season is May through September, fewer people visit during the winter months when the resort is open.
During the summer when there is no snow on the mountainside, the resort transforms into a Summer Adventure Camp in June and July. The camps provided children with an opportunity to learn more about the mountains, explore trails, play games, complete arts and crafts projects and observe nature. There are camps for children ages 9-11 and 12-14.
You can also enroll in skiing or snowboarding lessons at the resort. Children ages 7 to adult can purchase 1.5-hour lessons. Lesson packages include rental equipment and lift tickets.
The lessons cover various zones on the resort to allow skiers and snowboarders of all abilities to get the lessons they need to improve.
Adults can enroll in the Sunday first-time special for just $45. Children as young as age 3 can enroll for lessons. For those looking to gain skills quickly, they can enroll in private lessons.
Parents looking for a fun way to spend their child’s winter break from school can enroll in one of the holiday camps. These are designed for children ages 4-14 and take place during the two weeks of winter break or the week of spring break in March.
SEEKING ACCOMMODATION IN JUNEAU?
The Mountain Bike Flow Trail is a popular place to enjoy mountain biking. However, be sure to have proper safety gear, including a helmet. Read and respect all signage.
It is not safe to hike on the mountain bike trails so stay on your bike and ride downhill only. Be sure to stay on paths that match your riding abilities and watch out for other riders.
While skiing down the side of the mountain is certainly incredible, it also comes with some risks compared to more manicured and man-made resorts you might find in other areas of the country.
Give other skiers and snowboarders space. There is some inherent risk with the sports so giving others plenty of room helps prevent larger accidents in case of a fall. Share the mountain and remember that others are trying to have a fun day on the slopes as well.
Respect all signage and never go down a slope that says it is closed. It is likely closed due to debris or other dangers that you might not be able to see or prepare for until it’s too late. Stay in control by avoiding speeds at which you cannot stop quickly.
Know that skiers and snowboarders who are downhill from you have the right of way. That means it is your responsibility to avoid them. They can’t see you until you come up on them so be sure to respect their space.
Ensure that when you stop on the mountain, you’re in a visible location. That way, you don’t risk a collision with another skier coming down the mountainside who can’t see you.
Spend some time to learn the area by reviewing maps before you head out. That way you know where the lifts pickup and drop off and can plot how you’ll get from slope to slope or the Nordic trails that most interest you.
Avoid using the lifts when you don’t feel well or are impaired by drugs or alcohol. Skiing and snowboarding are more extreme sports that require your full attention.
A common accident that can happen while skiing and snowboarding is falling into a tree well. These are depressions that form around a tree base. Evergreen trees tend to have the largest tree wells. Staying far away from trees while enjoying your descent will help you stay safe. If you do choose to go into a treed area, be sure to travel in pairs so that someone can help if you get trapped in a tree well.
If you do get involved in an accident or collision, tell another skier or an Eaglecrest team member to get help.
The resort engages in snow safety and avalanche mitigation efforts. However, snow slides can still happen because of how steep the mountain is. Learn how to avoid injury in case of an avalanche and what to do in case you encounter one.
When visiting Juneau in the winter to take advantage of winter sports like skiing and snowboarding, plan comfortable accommodations that will make it easy to store your gear and equipment. Juneau Hotel has suites with plenty of room for multiple guests or guests with tons of luggage or sporting gear. You’ll also enjoy a full kitchen and washer and dryer in every suite.
Enjoy winter specials, especially on long-term stays. Check availability and book your stay now.