Downhill ski and snowboard areas are near Anchorage  (Alyeska Resort, Hilltop Ski Area, and Alpenglow), Juneau  (Eaglecrest), and Fairbanks  (Moose Mountain and Skiland). The largest of these is Alyeska (www.alyeskaresort.com ), with 500 skiable acres, 60 trails, a 60-passenger aerial tram, 8 chair lifts, and 2 pony lifts.
Cross-country skiing (both classic and skate) is very popular in Alaska, particularly in Anchorage, where many miles of lighted and groomed trails are available throughout the winter. Anchorage may well have the finest cross-country skiing of any American city, and a number of the nation’s best Olympic skiers come from here. The city’s main cross-country ski areas are in Kincaid Park, Hillside Ski Area, and the Tony Knowles Coastal Trail . Additional groomed ski trails are around Fairbanks , Homer , Juneau , Palmer , Eagle River, Seward , and Valdez . The Nordic Skiing Association of Anchorage (907/276-7609, www.anchoragenordicski.com ) is Alaska’s largest cross-country association, and its website has links to the state’s other Nordic skiing groups.
Dogsledding has a rich history in Alaska , and sled dog races are a major winter staple across much of the state. The most famous are the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race  from Anchorage to Nome in March and the Yukon Quest International Sled Dog Race  between Fairbanks and Whitehorse  in February. A number of companies offer wintertime dogsled tours, some of which are timed to coincide with the Iditarod or Yukon Quest.
During the summer months, visitors can ride on wheeled sleds behind teams of dogs, providing a chance to get the feel of the real thing. These very popular rides—some led by Iditarod mushers—are offered in Fairbanks , Seward , Skagway , Wasilla , and Denali. In addition, summertime dogsled tours take place on glaciers near Juneau , Skagway, and Seward. Tourists are flown up to the glacier by helicopter and given a chance to ride along as the dogs head across the ice and snow. It’s a unique—but very expensive—experience.
Snowmobiling—or snowmachining, as it’s called in Alaska—is both a bush necessity in the winter and a favorite of the motor-head crowd in urban centers. The Alaska State Snowmobile Association (www.aksnow.org ) has additional info on their website. Rentals and tours are available in Anchorage  and Fairbanks .