Girdwood lies in a valley 40 miles south of Anchorage, nestled between the Turnagain Arm and the Chugach Mountains. The town, originally called Glacier City, is surrounded by seven permanent glaciers. The town was created in 1896 as a supply camp for miners searching for gold in the creeks feeding into Turnagain Arm. Growth continued with the construction of the railroad in 1915 and the Seward Highway in 1949. In 1964, the Good Friday Earthquake destroyed the town as it sunk into Turnagain Arm. It was rebuilt in its current location two and a half miles up the valley.
Girdwood is a ski resort community built around Mt. Alyeska. The first chairlift opened in 1960 and continued growth has made it one of the top 25 rated ski resorts in the nation. The Alyeska Resort is a spectacular summer destination as well. Summer activities include hiking, fishing and rafting. For incredible valley and glacier views take the Alyeska Tram for a seven-minute ride up Mt. Alyeska.