Winner Creek Gorge Trail, Girdwood
Updated: Aug 3, 2018
Girdwood is a cute little ski town 36 miles south of Anchorage along Turnagain Arm. The drive is always stunning and on lucky days, we spot the Bore Tide rushing up the arm. It looks like a mini tidal wave due to the changing tide. Turnagain arm is home the the 2nt largest Bore Tide in the world and surfers like to try to ride them. For a list of Bore tide times, Click here.
Winner Creek trail is located in Girdwood and is a 3.5 mile easy trail leading from Crow Creek Rd to the Alyeska Resort. It travels through the lush rainforest where wildlife encounters can be exciting but time consuming. We had to wait a very long time for a cow moose and her two calves to move away from the trail before we could continue.
Our exciting goal was the gorge and the Winner Creek hand tram and they did not disappoint! While the trail was relatively empty of hikers, the tram caused a bottle neck effect and there was a bit of a wait to cross over. On the positive side of this, there were lots of people who were enthusiastic about cranking the line to tow people across. While we waited, we observed families, bikers, trail crew and even a man with his cat come across the tram. I was amazed that the cat did so well, but I suspect the cat was a frequent hiker. My eldest LOVED the trip across. My dog and middle son were not so thrilled. I found it invigorating and was sad when our cross was swiftly over.
I couldn't recommend this trail more for this wonderful experience. But there was still more to see and as we hiked on we were thrilled when we crossed the bridge over the gorge. What a stunning view! This sheer drop to swift water gives the viewer a great appreciation for nature and the raw force of water. Also, hold tight to toddler hands! The railing is not toddler friendly.
We spent a couple hours hiking and enjoying this trail. If you want to do the full loop like we did, the City of Girdwood offers a free hourly shuttle service to return hikers to their cars parked at either end. For the Glacier Valley Transit schedule, click here.
As we were heading out of town, we spotted a playground and pulled in for some end of day park play. There is a skate park adjacent to the playground and my boys ran over there and made friends on the skate ramps while my toddler ran wild everywhere else.
It was a fun filled day in Girdwood and we look forward to coming back and exploring more another time.