A Local's Guide to Anchorage Trails
Kikkan “Kikkanimal” Randall is an Olympic champion, active mom, cancer-fighter, and “Get-Active-”ist. Raised in Alaska since age 3, Kikkan has always been an athlete at heart, aspiring to the Olympics and beyond. She was a trailblazer for the U.S. Cross Country Ski Team, being the first American woman to win a World Cup and medals at the Olympics and World Championships. She is a three-time Overall World Cup Sprint Champion and an Olympic gold medalist.
In addition to her athletic pursuits, she is passionately involved with Healthy Futures and Fast and Female organizations that promote the benefits of healthy, active lifestyles to youth. She represents the voices of athletes as an International Olympic Committee Member and a U.S. Olympic Committee Board Member. In June 2018, just three months after winning Olympic Gold, she was diagnosed with breast cancer and has been bringing her determination and positive attitude towards her cancer battle, hoping to inspire others along the way to stay active and persevere through any challenge! Kikkan is an active mom to son Breck. Learn more about Kikkan.
What I love most about Anchorage is the access to amazing trails and parks wherever you are in the city! I love that I can run, bike, or ski through town without having to worry about car traffic.
It’s pretty special to have such incredible access to trails in a big city — and such beautiful views. I also love that you can get lost on singletrack or be on trails where you feel totally out in nature, and yet you’re still right in town. I love seeing our big wildlife out and about.
1. Crust Skiing at Portage Glacier
In April, when the days are getting longer, we get an awesome condition called “crust” that occurs from warm days and cold nights. The snow freezes hard and smooth and it’s possible to glide on top of the snow with my skate skis. The hard surface allows me to explore wide-open spaces and ski across Portage Lake and climb up and over the ridge to look down into Prince William Sound. The snow is hard and fast and makes me feel like a hero. You have to get out early to get the hard conditions and it’s only possible on sunny days. But it’s the most incredible views skiing under the morning sun and exploring right up next to glaciers. I love to ski with friends and just enjoy playing on the natural snow features. It’s also possible to get good crust skiing at Glen Alps in Chugach State Park and around Skookum and Spencer Glaciers south of Anchorage.
2. Kincaid Park
So many trails and so many possibilities!! No matter the season, there is always so much to do in beautiful Kincaid Park. During the summer I love running the Bluff Trail and getting down to the beach along the mudflats. Great mountain-bike trails that seem to grow in number every year. A smooth and fun bike trail through the middle of the park that connects to the Tony Knowles Coastal Trail is great for biking and roller skiing. In the winter, there are so many fun ski trails for cross-country skiing. During daylight or in the dark under the lights, there are trails for every ability and plenty of chances to test yourself!
I love stopping at my favorite local coffee roaster before or after hitting the trails. I always see good friends and there is something special in a local brew. Kaladi Bros. Coffee has always been such a great supporter of the community and I just love their vibe. They have locations all over the city to pair with any adventure or just catching up.
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