How to Conquer Anchorage This Summer

Words: Megan Michelson

The keys to getting the most out of your Alaskan vacation: learn to paraglide in one of the most picturesque places on the planet. 

Do This

You can paraglide in countless places, but why not take a leap off a mountain with a canopy overhead in the one state where everything’s bigger, bolder and more stunning: Alaska. From your bird’s eye view, you’ll spot bald eagles, snow-capped peaks and islands scattered throughout the Gulf of Alaska. 


“There’s nothing like being in the air over the beautiful state of Alaska. The scenery is like nowhere else. Compared to skydiving, paragliding is a much calmer and more peaceful way to experience the beauty of flight,” says Jon DeVore, captain of the Red Bull Air Force and an Alaska native who’s logged more than 18,000 skydives. 

© Camilo Rozo/Red Bull Content Pool

Gain This

Ashley Merryman, co-author of Top Dog: The Science of Winning and Losing, says activities like paragliding teach you how to make tough decisions—like when to embrace risk and how to prepare for it—that will help in every avenue of your life. “The appeal of a physically perilous sport like paragliding isn’t the inherent danger of it,” says Merryman. “It’s about the process of managing risk and anticipating challenges. You need to figure out how to prepare and control everything you can and then you need to be ready for the things you can’t control.” 

Get Started

If it’s your first time, sign up for a tandem paraglide. You’ll be strapped in and paired with a trained expert who will control the paraglider while you enjoy the ride over the Chugach or Talkeetna Mountains. At Anchorage’s Skydance Paragliding, certified instructors will teach you safety protocol, offer tips for aerial body positioning and then lead the way back to the ground. They fly year-round but the best time to go is April through September. 

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