61 ° 8' 12.48" N,
145 ° 40' 55.56" W
5500 ft (1676.4 m)
Hiking, Skiing, Snowboarding, Snowmachining
Moonlight Basin is a popular run on the Valdez side of Thompson Pass. There is a large pullout of multiple vehicles on the hairpin turn, and another on a little bit further up the highway past the Blueberry Lake turn off.
The second higher turn off is more used for vehicles withsnowmachines in tow. While the hairpin turn is right at the base of Moonlight Basin and provides easier access for skiers and splitboarders, or families with sleds who make runs on the bottom hill.
The lower half of Moonlight Basin is essentially a series of large stairs steps on the slope. Each step face / mini-slope can range from 30ft to over a hundred in height and generally about a 40ft wide bench between each step.
The first few can be intimidating to climb for anyone new to snowmaching at some sections reach near vertical points and deep tracks may already be cut in the snow.
The transition section there is a half pipe ravine or smooth open slopes outside it to the east or uphill right.
Once on top there are a couple bowls creating the basin portion of Moonlight Basin.
From the top of the bowls a confident snowmachiner can traverse the ridge and come down inside Thompson Pass proper, or simply ride back down the slope.
Most snomanchines in Moonlight Basin are enroute to other locations or playing taxi for friends with skis or a board.
The ride down can be wonderful powder. On the ridge up top there can be wind blown crust.
Avalanche danger in Moonlight Basin is generally quite low and itâs assumed to be one of the safer locations in Thompson Pass. Also it is less prone to be fogged in as runs inside the pass may sometimes happen early in winter.
101 Wall, Blueberry Block, Republic of Boulder, The Sunny Side,Flats:Glaciers:
Bench Glacier, Deserted Glacier, DOT Glacier, Glacier G214117E61192N, Glacier G214139E61173N, Glacier G214148E60959N, Glacier G214151E61165N, Glacier G214161E61234N, Glacier G214175E61036N, Glacier G214177E61238N, Glacier G214183E60923N, Glacier G214183E61143N, Glacier G214188E61150N, Glacier G214199E61016N, Glacier G214222E60989N, Glacier G214304E61253N, Glacier G214314E61049N, Glacier G214324E61260N, Glacier G214328E60976N, Glacier G214334E60964N, Glacier G214344E60960N, Glacier G214354E60949N, Glacier G214367E61057N, Glacier G214428E61155N, Glacier G214430E61162N, Glacier G214432E61145N, Heiden Glacier, Hoodoo Glacier, Marshall Glacier, Scorpion Glacier, Tasnuna Glacier, The Beach, Tonsina Glacier, Tsina Glacier, Twentyseven Mile Glacier, Worthington Glacier, Wortmanns Glacier,Routes:
Angel, Bridal Veil Falls (Ice Climb), Cidersicle, Fast Friends, Flying Cloud, Foolagain, Glass Onion, Greensteps, Hanging Tree Left, Hanging Tree Right, Oil Slick, Plastic Jesus, Plow Truck, Popsicle Pillar, Secret Journey, Simple Twist of Fate, Spring Loaded, Stem City, The Bight, Tokyo Express, Tsuri Gane,Lakes:
Blueberry Lake, Thompson Lake, Worthington Lake,Locales:
19 Mile Wall, Bald Boy, Bro Bowl, Catchers Mitt, Cracked Ice, Diamond, DOT Face, Fracture Canyon, Girls, Gun Barrels, Heavenly, Heiden View Face, Little Diamond, Little Girls, Little Odyssey, Loveland Basin, Mega Sumo, Moonlight Basin, Nick's Happy Valley, North Odyssey, Promise Land, Python, RFS, Road Run, School Bus, Skate Park, Snatch, Stairway, Valley of the Tusk, Vertigo,Mountains:
Mount Dimond, Mount Dimond, Girls Mountain, The Island, Odessey,Parks:
Blueberry Lake State Recreation Site,Mountain Passes:
Marshall Pass, Ptarmigan Drop, Thompson Pass,Peaks:
Acapulco, Berlin Wall, Bronto, Cracked Ice, F-Top, Goodwills, Halibut Head, Ivory Tusk, Little Matterhorn, Loveland Peak, Python, Repeater Peak, RFS, Rhinestone Cowgirl, Sapphire, Stairway, Stone Mountain, The Tusk, Tones Temple, Twentyseven Mile Peak, Whistlers Mother,Ridges:
Hippy Ridge, Sushi Bar, The Books,Routes:
300 Days of Sunshine and Attitude, 5 Star Everything, 919, Afternoon Shadow Boxing, Anchor Man, Another Foolish Route, Artic Oven Lovin, Babar Yoga, Backflip Bum, Balaclava Joy, Bio-Dome, Blueberry Crack , Bluebies, Casa Bonita, Chain Letters From the Dalai Lama, Chain Letters to the Dalai Lama, Curry Popcorn, E-Talk the Talk, Elitist's Overcompensation, Entrepreneur, Ewok the Walk, Find The Cure, Fixe Fixie, Flatirons, Follow the Medallion, Game On!, Gingerade, Grandma's Barley Soup, Happy Rosh Hashana, Honey Badger, Hunka Munka, I Got A Fever of 5.7, I Love Lamp, Kombucha Crack, Last Train to Chossville, Learning Center for Ants, Love Bubble, Lucky Number Fifty-Sleven, McCarthy Bus Lane, McSchmiggens, Mecha Streisand, Meet You at the Station, Mimosa Morning, My Subaru Loves the Environment, Neptune, North Slope, Northurn Lights Delight, On The Grid, Organic, Party on Garth, Party on Wayne, Philanthroparian, Pika's Penthouse, Pika's Playhouse, Ping Pong Madness, S.K.K., Salami Heist, Saturday Night Fever, Scouts Honor, Sharp End, Six Figure Bums, Snot a Rocket, South Park, Steave's Goalie, Steve's Tanker, Stoken the Stove, Sway Penny Yoga, Talons, Thursday Night Cruiser, Tibetan Prayer Flags Made in China, Trustafarian (Rasta With a Trust Fund), Unknown, Unknown 3, Valet at the Movement, What Would Squeak Do?, Yippie (Yuppie Hippie),Streams:
Bear Creek, Bench Creek, Cascade Creek, Glacier Creek, Heiden Creek, Mill Creek, Ptarmigan Creek, Sheep Creek, Small Creek, Wortmanns Creek,Routes:
DOT Glacier Trail, Little Odessey Trail, Thompson Pass Pipeline Access Road, Trans-Alaska Trail - Valdez to Thompson Pass, Tsina River Trail, Worthington Glacier Ridge Trail,Valleys:
Heiden Canyon, Snowslide Gulch,Waterfalls:
Life's to short to put off seeing the world. Year after year had gone by and the stories of all the snow and terrain Alaska had to offer only built up. It was time to check it out and experience it for myself. I'd booked my flight and I was on my way to one of the snowiest places in North American. We were Alaska bound departing from the Pacific Northwest.