There 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?
To 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.
Technorati tags: Anchorage, Alaska, winter, sledding