My Favorite Sledding Hill

by Michael R Dougherty

You jump on your sled and you start flying down the snowy hill - the faster, the better.

The wind rushes past your cold face as the runners on your sled cut through the snow and you quickly head toward the bottom of the hill. It feels like you're going so fast.

Kids in Alaska love to go sledding.

And every kid who's experienced winter time in Alaska, has a story or two about sledding down their favorite hill.

When we lived in Mountainview, we were just across the street from a wooded area. And just beyond the wooded area was an old gravel pit with a long, steep dirt road leading to the bottom of the pit.

One winter, we found two old metal Pepsi Bottle Cap signs. They were the perfect size (about the size of today's saucer sleds). The old signs had a sharp edge, just like an actual bottle cap, but were otherwise perfect for a fast ride down a snow - covered hill.

My brother Tom and I took our two "Pepsi sleds" to the gravel pit road to try them out. Tom agreed to be the "test pilot" and took off down the hill first.

Wow - did he fly. I don't know if it was the metal, or the surface of the sign, or the shape, but boy did he ever zoom down that hill.

After his first run, Tom said that he couldn't steer it, so he had to put his feet out so he could at least keep the "Pepsi sled" on the road.

When I sat down on my sled and took off down the hill I was going so fast it was almost scary. But what a ride. A couple of times we missed a turn near the bottom and actually flew off the road and down the brush-covered side.

Later, we went back to the hill with our friends and let everyone try our "Pepsi Sleds". And they all had the same experience. Fast, a little scary, but lots of fun.

After using our "Pepsi Bottle Cap" sleds, our regular old sleds with runners seemed tame.

How about you?

Where was your favorite place to go sledding in Anchorage?


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Crazy Sled Hill
by: Anonymous

There was a crazy ski hill where everyone would take two cars.

One to pick up you up at the bottom if the hill.

It was by Fort Richardson, can't remember the name but it was always busy with sledders. (We would move when the skiers went by).

It was FAST.

We found the wood sled was the fastest but the toboggan was safer.

Sledding in Spenard
by: Jaqueline Almdale Biggs

We had two favorite places.

One was just down the street from where we lived at 1904 McKinley Ave.

We walked with our sleds down Lois Drive to where it met Jefferson and turned right to end abruptly in a dirt trail to the railroad tracks.

On the left was a very steep bank at the bottom of which was Fish Creek. Once the creek froze over we used to tear down the steep bank and across the icy stream. It was great fun!

The other place was across Spenard in Turnagain.

It was called, I think, Forest Park Supper Club? It was a posh private club but they had a sledding hill and anyone could sled there.

After the 1964 quake I remember walking across Spenard to Turnagain with my sled, only to find the supper club and hill were completely gone!

There was only a steep crumbling gash down to the ocean. At age six, I could not for the life of me figure out where the sledding hill went--until I was in 5th grade at Woodland Park and our class went on a field trip to Earthquake Park.

Sledding at 3rd and F in Anchorage
by: George Barrett

The hill beginning at 3rd and F street was a very busy sledding hill.

After the snow cover was sufficient for sledding, the city would barricade the hill at 3rd and F to prevent vehicle traffic.

It was a very popular place to sled for the neighborhood as well as other city residents. When snow conditions were real good, you could start your run at 3rd Avenue, slide down F street to second avenue, then make a left turn and proceed to Christianson road, then take a right and slide down as far as the Alaska Railroad depot.

It was especially a great place for my family as our family lived on the corner of third and F from 1946 to 1955. There is now a parking garage where our home once was. That home has been moved and is located at the east shore of Lake Spenard and looks like it did when our family lived there.

by: Donna

Our sledding was 3rd and F down to 2nd and F.

We had yearly sledding races and one year I got 2nd place and won an Esterbrook pen and pencil set.

Christianson Hill was pretty exciting and a long run.

Sledding Hill
by: Beth Ervin-Blackburn

When I lived on Elmendorf the area behind our house was empty so when they cleaned the roads on base they dumped all the snow on the empty lot.

It got pretty high and then they used the blower to put the snow even higher up.

It was great for all the kids, we had so many different paths going from top to bottom and even had some smaller runs for the younger kids...

Sledding on a 49 Ford Hood
by: Bill Ward

We had 3 hills on Gov't Hill, the Teen Club hill where the curling rink is located.

The Gully on the west end of the Hill, and Suicide Hill which was through the woods by the water tower.

We found an old 49 Ford hood at the dump by Merrill Field with sledding in mind we got it home.

We rolled four 55 gallon drums of water to the top and iced down the top of the hill, loaded 5 of us in the hood and took off down the hill towards Loop Road.

On a sled we rarely made it to the road, but this time we made it to the road, across the road and down the hill into the rail road yard.

I can still remember the look and the face of the driver of a car heading down the road.

We left the hood and went back to sleds. We had the bright idea of wanting to take it down suicide first.

Thankfully icing the Teen Club hill won.

My Favorite Sledding Hill
by: Wynn Wittmer

Cherry Hill on Elmendorf AFB late 50's, early 60's.

Favorite Sledding Hill
by: MH

Great story!

Brought back memories.

Future Arctic Boulevard Sled Hill
by: Louie Mass


Your brother Tom was a pal of mine in ninth grade, after my family move to the east side.

Enjoyed your sledding story and was motivated to share my own from the Spenard perspective.

Our neighborhood hill was located on the north side of Fireweed Lane where Arctic Boulevard heads north today. Then it was a steep dirt trail that winter transformed into a a kid daredevil’s dream sled hill especially when coated with ice and you were equipped with an American Flyer steel railed sled.

The steep gradient made for many exciting runs and some carnage.

Unfortunately, or fortunately I can’t remember too many details other than the memories of trepidation when making the first run of the day laying stomach down and gripping the wood steering handles when there was a rain slicked ice surface.

One crash engraved tumbling visions of the newly constructed Greek Orthodox Church in my hippocampus.

But mostly there was the memory of broad smiles and laughter that hill brought us.

A Note From Mike of Anchorage Memories


Thank you for adding your very interesting comment.

Unfortunately, my brother Tom is no longer with us. But I'm sure he would have enjoyed your story very much.

"Sledding Stories"
by: Mary J Dougherty

Sledding was a great winter past time in Anchorage.

We all loved to go sledding. I remember seeing the "Pepsi Bottle Cap Sign" and I knew of other kids who used one as a sled in our neighborhood.

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