Hike Winner Creek Trail in Girdwood

Winner Creek Trail is a 6.4-mile roundtrip hike in Girdwood that rewards you with a stunning gorge within the middle of an enchanting forest.

This trail is rated as easy and it’s one of the best hikes in Girdwood. It’s best used from May to October but you can sometimes hike it during winter, depending on conditions.

In this post, I’m going to share how to hike Winner Creek Trail in Girdwood, Alaska.

Hike Winner Creek Trail in Girdwood, Alaska

Trail Summary

Traditional Land: Dena’ina (Visit Native-Land.ca to identify whose land you live, work, and play on.)
Distance: 6.4 miles roundtrip
Time: 3 hours
Elevation Gain: 500 feet
Difficulty: Easy
Dogs: Yes

Quick Tips

  • Bring bear spray
  • Carry water
  • Bring snacks
  • The hand tram has been closed indefinitely

How to get to Winner Creek Trail from Anchorage

Winner Creek Trailhead is located 42 miles south of Anchorage, which is about a 1-hour drive.

  1. From Anchorage, head south on the Seward Highway to Girdwood
  2. Take a right on the Alyeska Highway
  3. Follow the Alyeska Highway until you get to the T-intersection.
  4. Take a left onto Arlberg Ave and you will find Alyeska Resort at the end of the road

Winner Creek Trail is #23 in the Southcentral Alaska 100 Hikes Challenge

Winner Creek Trailhead

Access to Winner Creek Trail can be found behind the tram building at Alyeska Resort. You can park for free in the hotel’s daytime parking lot.

If you need to use the restroom, you can walk through the hotel and there are plenty of restrooms to use.

winner creek trailhead alyeska hotel

The Winner Creek Trail follows a wooden boardwalk through a spruce and hemlock forest and leads you to a gorge with a picturesque series of small waterfalls and cascades.

It’s a mostly flat trail but there’s about 500 feet of uphill and downhill sections.

There is a small wooden bridge that gives you views directly above the Winner Creek Gorge and is a fun spot to take photos.

wooden boardwalk trail alaska
winner creek gorge bridge

You can find the hand tram another five minutes down the trail. When you reach this sign post, it’s only 0.2 miles away.

winner creek trail sign

Winner Creek Hand Tram

Winner Creek Trail is the most popular trail in Girdwood because most people are looking to pull themselves across Glacier Creek using the unique Winner Creek tram. It’s a fun and exciting experience to hang above the creek in a small metal crate.

Unfortunately, the hand tram has been closed since 2019 after a hiker fell over the safety netting trying to help another person.

Most likely the hand tram will never reopen to the public again and the rumors are that a bridge will be built in place.

Winner Creek Trail Tram Girdwood Alaska Hike
Winner Creek Tram Girdwood Hike Alaska

Once you reach the hand tram, you will have to turn around to make your way back to the Alyeska Hotel where you started.

Before the hand tram was closed, you could cross the creek and hike another mile to reach Crow Creek Road and Mine.

If you only hike out-and-back from the Alyeska Hotel trailhead to the Glacier Creek crossing it’s only 5 miles roundtrip and it will take you less than two hours.

Where to Eat and Drink in Girdwood

One of my favorite places to stop in Girdwood is the Girdwood Brewing Co. They have amazing beer, a great outdoor seating area with fire pits and they usually have a food truck on site.

There are also plenty of places to eat inside of the Alyeska Hotel. You can also take the tram up to the top of Mt. Alyeska to eat at a restaurant called Seven Glaciers.

alyeska resort tram
no woman no cryo beer girdwood brewing co alaska

Other Hikes in Girdwood

If you’re looking for more hikes in Girdwood, check out Alyeska North Face, Crow Pass Trail, Chutes and Ladders, Virgin Creek Falls, and Penguin Ridge.

Happy hiking!

Pin For Later

Hike Winner Creek Gorge in Girdwood, Alaska. This is the best hike in Girdwood in Southcentral Alaska. If you are traveling to Girdwood, Alaska, this is a great day hike to add to your Alaska vacation. #alaska #hiking #alaskahike #girdwood #travelalaska

Do you have any questions on hiking Winner Creek Trail in Alaska? Let me know in the comments.

About Andrea Kuuipo

I was born and raised in Anchorage and have been able to travel to many places around Alaska. As an Alaska Travel Blogger, I love sharing my favorite things to see and do in my home state to help others plan an incredible trip!

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.