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Alaskan winters aren’t lacking for the powdery white stuff, which, combined with surreal landscapes, wilderness solitude, and challenging terrain, make for a paradise for winter sports enthusiasts who don’t mind braving the cold. The northern reaches of the country – especially near the Fairbanks area – are also noted for having some of the best aurora borealis viewings in the world, while the season also brings special events like the action-packed Iditarod race and the World Ice Art Championships.

Alaska Winter Activities

Dog mush

If checking out the Iditarod as a spectator simply isn’t enough, winter visitors can learn how to drive the dogs firsthand at an area kennel – Seavey Kennel, in Sterling (135 miles from Anchorage, Kenai Peninsula) is reputedly among the best. The 10-mile ride takes visitors through a snowy wonderland.

Seavey Kennel, 38250 Montana St., AK, 800-478-3139,
Tags: outdoors | dog sledding | winter activity | educational

Hit the slopes at Alyeska Resort

Alaska’s winter sports highlights include hitting the slopes via skiing, snowboarding, heli-skiing, or even tubing. The most upscale ski resort, which offers all of these options, is easily accessible within an hours’ drive south of Anchorage.

Alyeska Resort, 1000 Arlberg Ave., AK, 800-880-3880,
Tags: luxury | skiing | snowboarding | resort | winter activity

View the Aurora Borealis from Chena Hot Springs

Ogle one of most mystifying of the world’s Seven Natural Wonders – the Northern Lights – from the comfort of thermal hot springs at Chena Hot Springs resort, which has been soothing miners and other visitors in its geothermal pools since 1905.

Chena Hot Springs, 206 Driveway St., AK, 907-451-8104,
Tags: editor pick | hot springs | winter activity

Watch the Iditarod

Share in the rush as expert dog mushers and their canine teams prep to set out on the famed 1,150-mile Iditarod dog sled race to Nome. The opening ceremony in Anchorage, held every March, is a fine place to absorb the exhilarating starting energy of the race – put in a winning bid and you can soak up the action of the race’s first 11 miles from a seat aboard a competing dog sled (bidding starts in November, from $500;

4th Ave., AK, 907-248-6874,
Tags: editor pick | outdoors | dog sledding | spectator sport | winter activity

World Ice Art Championships

Every March for some two decades, Fairbanks has set the stage for this major international ice sculpting championship, which draws artists from around the globe, and spectators who come to admire the larger-than-life entries chiseled from ice blocks cut from a Fairbanks pond.

Ice Park, 1925 Chena Landings Loop, AK, 907-451-8250,
Tags: family | editor pick | art | winter activity

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