Snow, snow, everywhere and…plenty of things to do with it. Around here, snow is in no way an excuse to stay in. Bikes, running shoes, and hiking boots don’t get a winter break. Playgrounds and dog parks aren’t shut down, and actually stay reasonably busy. A sled hill in the middle of town yesterday was as packed as a summertime water park.
For our Sunday afternoon fun, we had our sights set on covering some snowy terrain right in the middle of Anchorage. The Hilltop Ski Area and Hillside Trail System are right next to each other off Abbott Rd., which has major shopping centers and malls just a few miles down. We weren’t interested in any of those conveniences yesterday, but the proximity to town makes the area super fast and easy to access.
Hilltop is a tiny ski park and perfect for beginners, our 4 1/2 year old little grommet being a prime example. Silas’s first ski season was last year at Mt. Shasta, and he really picked up a lot. John went with him yesterday and reported that after a first warm up run, it all came back to little Si. We are certainly pleased to be able to raise two little skiers in Alaska. Olympics 2026? Maybe 2030?
While Silas and John were playing with gravity’s pull, Skye and I were literally across the street in the Hillside Trail System. The trail system provides miles and miles of wooded dirt trails in summer and groomed and lighted nordic and multi-use trails in winter. With Skye back in the carrier, we snowshoed for about an hour. Times like these are some of Skye’s best naps.
When they say Multi-Use, they really mean it. In the short window of time we were out, I crossed paths with examples of 5 of the 6 listed users. I saw several people hiking or walking their dogs in regular boots, one skijorer, a pair of fat-tire cyclists, multiple nordic skiers, both skate and classic, and one runner with a waist leash for his dog. It shouldn’t have been a surprise; with temps above 20 and partly sunny skies, it was an amazing day to be out.
Overall, as a family we found a place that meets all our needs for getting out on the weekends. Close, cheap, beautiful, and acres and acres of snow! I think we’ll be coming here every weekend, all winter…at least until Silas is ready for Alyeska.