Moose Mountain

Moose Mountain Ski Resort makes Alaska’s famously bitter winters worthwhile, and is located just ten miles west of Fairbanks Alaska. Moose Mountain’s southern exposure also makes the resort a welcome 20 to 30 degrees warmer than Fairbanks.

Moose Mountain Lodge is situated at 680 feet above sea level. The peak is at almost 2,000 feet, for a total vertical drop of over 1,300 feet. Peculiarly, Moose Mountain Ski Resort has no ski lifts. Instead, skiers and snowboarders access the 35 designated trails and 200 skiable acres via “variable capacity turbo charged terrestrial trams,” basically buses with ski racks. When it gets busier, Moose Mountain just runs more buses.

The terrain at Moose Mountain Ski Resort is mostly suitable for experts and intermediates, although there is a small learning area called Moose Meadow. Most of the runs are rated blue. Some of the best wide-open intermediate runs are White Spruce and Alpenglow. There are enough short blue runs crisscrossing Moose Mountain to make for a varied and enjoyable day on the slopes.

There are never really any crowds on Moose Mountain, but the Bear Bowl is especially quiet. Intermediates should head down Lost Bear and cut down Baby Bear or Brother Bear. Way Bear is also a nice blue run, but once you get to the bottom, it is a long walk back to Moose Mountain Lodge.

Experts will love the Bear Bowl at Moose Mountain, especially the hard steep Grizzly Gulch. The North Slope also has some steep and challenging runs. A ride down the black-rated Steeps is a must.

Moose Mountain Lodge has a wonderfully charming laid-back atmosphere. Tickets here are cheap: just $35 for a day pass. Students and military members get a $5 discount and when its below 0 degrees Fahrenheit at the Moose Mountain Lodge, everyone gets $5 off. Friday afternoons feature a special $25 pass.

Moose Mountain Ski Resort is open on weekends only (Thursday through Sunday) from roughly mid-November until mid-April. The hours are 10 am to 5 pm, but from November through January Moose Mountain closes at dusk, which can come early this far north.

Moose Mountain Ski Resort probably is not worth a trip from the lower 48 states, but if you live in Alaska or find yourself in Fairbanks during the winter, it is well worth a visit. You will probably never ski a more unique mountain.

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