Monday, January 07, 2008

Sledding at Arctic Valley Alaska

Sledding at Arctic Valley AlaskaThere is a sledding hill spoken of in legend, but not just any sledding hill. This hill is the world's greatest sledding spot.

Pretty big claim, huh? But it's true. Over the Christmas break we took the kids sledding just north of Anchorage near Fort Richardson army base where the old, winding Arctic Valley Road was closed after being bypassed by the new road. Banked at both ends it now makes a 1-mile sledding run that is unsurpassed. Unsurpassed do you hear?

The treat is that you drop the sledders off at the top of the run (you can see Spencer and Grace going over the top of the berm where the run begins) then you drive down to the bottom and meet them, driving them back up to the top to drop them off for each new run. See my cute little diagram?

Sledding at Arctic Valley RoadTo get there you just turn off the Glenn Highway at the Arctic Valley exit and go east toward the mountains until you pass the pump station on the left (it's the only building you'll pass so you can't miss it). Shortly beyond that on the right is a turn off area where the old road banks up against the new road and cars are meeting sledders. Continue on up the hill until you come to the upper turn off with a sign that says "Biathalon Range" That's where you drop off sledders--you can't miss it.

We thought we'd have the run to ourselves on a Thursday morning but even then there were a few cars and by 1 or 2 pm it was getting crowded enough that it was tricky turning around once I dropped people off. Everyone wants to get the sledding in while the daylight lasts.

The kids were thrilled by the length of the run and the luxury of having a ride to the top and I was amazed by the view of the Anchorage bowl area below but I have to say it's been a while since I've done the sledding thing and I think my brain was severely jarred out of place by the whole affair. Here's a video of the last 100 yards as an added bonus--like my vintage 80s jacket? And my red fleece hat of course, I always have that.



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36 comments:

J Fife said...

Wow! This makes the sled ride down our driveway look really lame. Yet another reason to visit Alaska...

Kacie said...

That looks amazing! I can't even imagine how fun a sled run like that could be.

Erica Douglas said...

OMG *1 Mile* That would be amazing!!

I'm such a big kid at heart. We woke up to a bit of snow this morning, can't wait for Erin to be old enough to go sledding.

Robin said...

That looks so fun! Good for you for being a cool mama and going with them.

Jacki said...

Awesome! That would totally be worth a plane ticket up to Alaska. It really would.

JMC said...

That looks like so much fun!

Amber said...

Oh, this brings back so many memories!! Mostly of bruises and butts we couldn't sit down on for a week. So fun!

Edi said...

It would be so fun to do the 1 mile ride! But, uh - what if the mom wants a ride down the hill, who is going to drive her back up???

We rarely get snow here but when we do, we head to a nearby park and slide down a small hill. Not quite exciting as the golf course hills of my youth - but it's enough for an 8 and 5 yr old...and a 39 year old.

MommyTime said...

The greatest ever? Hmmm.... I'd like to offer a challenge: the four foot addition we piled up at the top of our driveway to make the sled run into our neighbor's yard a good 30 feet. Kidding. Well, we did make the pile, and the 3-year-old -- who just learned the word toboggan -- was delighted. But, oh, you've just given me another reason to envy Alaska!

Kelly @ Love Well said...

That's AWESOME! And it looks like your snow pack has been replenished.

Sledding is one of the best things about living in a cold climate. Our kids are just getting big enough to enjoy this. I love it.

Babystepper said...

I remember a fantastic sledding hill from back in the day. It wasn't nearly as impressive as yours, but it was right in town, so much more accessible. Walking back up was always the hard part, of course.

Patty said...

How jealous my gang would be ! Not enough snow this year to sled down the drive!

Last year , they shoveld piles of it ONTO the deck steps! Made themselves a nice little ramp to go down! I think hubby will have to take them to one of the ski resorts to go sledding this year!

Love the way you write Michelle...so informative and funny!

Simply A Musing Blog said...

I used to LOVE sledding that hill with my husband! We'd get his mom to drive us back around until she got bored with it all...lol.

Melissa Markham said...

WoW! That's amazing! I am sooo jealous! I need to move to Alaska!

BJ said...

I think I would actually see my hate for winter diminishing with something like that!

My Ice Cream Diary said...

Awww, I miss sledding. I haven't gone in soooo long.

jennwa said...

That looks like so much fun. My kids and I would love that.

Simply Stork said...

awwww...how fun...I'm dealing with rain snow mixed...there is no fun in rain snow mixed...

thanks for adding the u-tube snippit...can't help but to smile :o)

(my son enjoyed watching it with me)

~simply~

Maria said...

Wow that looks like so much fun. You are so lucky to have that! And we think we're lucky to have the school nearby to sledride at (?).

Cocoa said...

Wow! We went tubing while in Utah and it was a BLAST! I would love to try going down a run like that. Amazing.

Irene said...

That does sound like such a good time!!! You are lucky!

Mrs. F said...

OMGosh. We don't get stuff like that in California. That is awesome! How fun!!!!

Daisy said...

Oh, the collapse at the end! It must have been fantastic. We have a tiny, but steep hill near our home, but nothing I know of can compare to what you're showing us.

ewe are here said...

1 Mile! Wow! Very cool.

Susan from Food Blogga said...

I suppose Alaska pretty much kicks butt on every other sledding place. Oh to be a kid again. In your family. :)

Countess said...

I would have edi's problem - I'd want to go too, and I would never manage the mile back up the hill (asthma). We could probably create a mile run, but it would be precarious as the end would be across the road and down into the ravine onto the railroad tracks. Then again, we rarely get enough snow for sledding, more's the pity. Just enough to make driving inhospitable.

SpokaneMama said...

Oh what fun! Maybe we will have to reconsider and move to Alaska! Or at least go visit in the winter next time! The kids would absolutely LOVE it....especially the part where we drive them to the top!
So what are the gas prices up there right now? LOL!

Mary@notbefore7 said...

That looks like so much fun and I'd love the drive back.

Now, the video wasn't clear enough to see the vintage jacket...how bout a pic? :)

Phyllis Sommer said...

world's greatest sled hill, eh? i totally thought that was my front yard! just kidding. that sounds amazing and fun and maybe i do want to visit alaska in the winter!

Ter said...

scary! But I loved the ending! lol!

Tiff said...

Now that's a sledding Hill! WOW!

bella said...

Wow.
This sounds and looks amazing and it felt freeing just reading about it.
So happy to have found you here.
I look forward to returning and reading more.

Mighty Morphin' Mama said...

How fun!!! I would love to try that, I just discovered that I still love sledding. I grew up in the North West territories in Canada and we had a little sled hill across the street from our house. We went every day when I was a kid, but nothing like that. Ever.

Michelle A. said...

What a blast! So great to see some of that beautiful -cold-country.

Geo said...

That looks like good screamin' fun!

Theresa said...

Oooooo! I have got to get my kids onto that next time we are down around Anchorage.
Btw, "hi" from a fellow Alaskan mom, up here in Fairbanks!