When I have family come visit me in Alaska I try to take them to my favorite places in Alaska. A few summer’s ago my aunt came to visit, and I had the opportunity to do a tour I had never done before. My family traveled to Girdwood, Alaska for a day trip from Anchorage. Girdwood is located about 30 minutes south of Anchorage via the Seward Highway. The drive is beautiful because the highway follows the Turnagain Arm which is part of the Cook Inlet and is surrounded by the Chugach and Kenai Mountain Ranges. Girdwood is home to the Alyeska Resort. Our first order of business was to take the Alyeska Tram to the top of Mt. Alyeska for some breathtaking views.
On the way up the mountain a paragliding guide from Alaska Paragliding was giving my family information on the tour they offered, and it sounded so exciting that I had to try it. I was wearing flip flops at the time, but their office located at the top of the tram had shoes and suits for clients to wear for the excursion. The trip is a tandem trip, and perfect for a first timer like me. The paragliding trip departs from the smooth sloping hill top of Mt. Alyeska.
My guide gave me complete instruction for take off, and we ran until we produced enough lift to leave the ground! The excitement and the view on this tour were amazing! I was soaring so far above the ground and could see all around me and out into Turnagain Arm. Part way into the trip my guide taught me how to steer and I was able to steer us in the air myself which was a great feeling. We landed in Moose Meadow, close to The Hotel Alyeska, and the tour had staff there to pick me up. This was a fun and exciting way to view this beautiful area of Alaska, and a trip I would recommend it to any adventurous traveler.