Summers in Cordova are a very popular time to visit, spilling over with things to do and wild places to explore. But for many visitors and residents, winter is the best time of the year! The bustle of summer is long gone. Days are short, but sweet. Here are some of Cordova residents’ favorite wintertime activities:
Cordova Iceworm Festival. This quirky, fun weeklong event is always scheduled around the first weekend of February and has a little something for everyone. The main events include: Variety Show, Survival Suit Races, Parade and a Fireworks Extravaganza! But there’s much more to the festival than that. For those with a competitive streak, there are tournaments for volleyball, basketball, ping pong, cribbage, euchre, bunco (dice) and even paper airplanes. There’s also a variety of cook-offs, a homebrew competition, oyster shuck & suck, preserves contest, beard growing contest, beer-mile, arts and crafts fair, food fair and more.
Mt Eyak Ski Area is home to one of the oldest operating ski lifts in the world and offers runs that are breathtaking in more ways than one! A handful of runs is all you need to experience sweeping views of town, Orca Inlet, Prince William Sound and the Copper River Delta from your skis or board. Beginner runs wind in and out of steeps rivaling any ski area in the state. Brand new skiers and riders along with kids and toddlers can hone their skills on the bunny hill or grab a bite from the snack shack. Hop on the lift and take a ride up to Midway for a quick run, or to Top Station where you can come all the way down from a variety of routes or don your skins and venture further up into a backcountry experience. Wherever you ride, just enjoy the snow while it’s there. In coastal Alaska, there’s never a guarantee what tomorrow will bring!
Sheridan Glacier is a favorite destination for ice skating in Cordova. It’s often frozen a little earlier than other places because the glacial water is already chilled. When conditions are just right, the icebergs rising from the lake can make you feel like you’re in another world, and brave souls can even venture into bright blue caverns between the bergs. Closer to town, Lake Eyak can be an ice skater’s dream with crystal clear ice that is almost scary to peer down into. The trick to a perfect ice skating day in Cordova is to time your outing on a day with no recent snow when the temperature has been well below freezing for awhile. That can actually be tricky to do here. Calling the USFS office is a good first move when planning any excursion into the wild. They’ve got all the latest intel!
Fat tire bikes can be a fun and surprisingly stable mode of transportation on and off road year-round. There are rentals available in town and many options for destinations. Power Creek road is a favorite for bikers. It and Orca Road both curve along the ocean with dramatic waterfalls (frozen and running) and wildlife to see along the way. There are some trail riding options in town as well. Saddlebag Glacier trail is great when the road is plowed to get there. Again, a quick call to the Forest Service can help you sort out your options ahead of time.
Cordova has an active Trap & Gun Club with updated facilities, year-round events and even an on-site playground for the littlest ones to play safely while older family members hone their skills. The shooting range is located just past the airport on Sheridan Glacier Road and offers Skeet, Trap, 5-Stand, 100 & 300 Meter Rifle, and Handgun targets. Archery coming soon! Education opportunities in shooting sports, hunter safety, proficiency, personal protection and archery are also offered through the club. All ages and experience levels are welcome!
Cordova Disc Golf Club invites you to try out their brand new Meals Reservoir Course. The hike up the Reservoir Trail at 0.5 mile Whiteshed Road is stiff at first, but pays off big time! Nine holes can be accessed pretty much year-round and the course holds claim as the most scenic in the state. We recommend wearing waterproof boots or sandals when it’s not frozen! Discs are available for purchase in town!
Quilting, felting, knitting, crocheting, sewing… if it has to do with turning fiber into something beautiful, the artisans and hand-crafters in Cordova have done it. The Net Loft is the place where most crafty Cordovans find materials, inspiration, assistance and camaraderie with regular classes, knit-alongs, patterns for sale and general awesomeness in all things Fiber Art. It’s a super cozy activity in all weather types and often produces pieces that reflect the awe-inspiring landscapes and creatures of this beautiful place.