Located in the Prince William Sound, Valdez is home to five glaciers, spectacular mountains, towering waterfalls, historic sights, and the historic Gold Rush trails. Alaska truly is the last great frontier with wild and never tamed peaks that call those with a thirst for adventure vacations. Spend time before you travel by reading about the history of the area.
The north shore of Port Valdez, a deepwater fjord in Prince William Sound, is home to this town. The area seawaters are home to Humpback and Orca whales, sea otters, porpoise, harbor seals, and Stellar sea lions. The area is a premier fishing destination with some of the most accessible big halibut in Alaska and all species of salmon. Fish from shore or take a charter from the boat harbor.
The town is surrounded by the Chugach Mountains that majestically rise straight up from the inlets shores. These steep mountain cliffs that rise from the sea are home to mountain goats, black bears, grizzly bears, bald eagles, and many other smaller animal species. Take the opportunity to experience serious bird watching. There are even places where one can see a dozen or more eagles in one tree. The different wildlife agencies throughout the state make it a point to remind visitors and travelers to observe wildlife and their dens, rookeries, and nests with respect.
Summer activities and adventures in the area include hiking, biking, kayaking, or helicopter flight seeing for an up-close visit to the area’s glaciers, incredible sights, and Prince William Sound. River rafting or kayaking will take you under gigantic waterfalls. Come and hike the historic Gold Rush trails, go whale watching, bird watching, or take the historical bus tour and visit the local museums and collections displaying native artifacts and area history from early to recent days of the previous century. Other activities include boating, sightseeing, glacier and wildlife cruises, camping, fishing, and much more. Incredible scenery and an abundance of wildlife and marine life provide unparalleled photography opportunities. Lodging choices in and around the town range from luxury hotels, motels, and bed & breakfast inns to cabins, camp grounds, and RV parks. All are surrounded by spectacular glittering marine landscapes and scenic alpine beauty. Learn more about things to do in the area.
As a bird flies, Valdez is 120 miles east of Anchorage. Just traveling here offers more fun to any Alaskan vacation. Drive the state's first highway, the Richardson, which passes by Wrangell St. Elias, the country's largest National Park, as well as the awesome Chugach Mountain range. Outside of the city, there is a visitor center at the foot of Worthington Glacier. This is your chance to see a glacier up close, without a long hike or having to get into a boat. Other ways to visit the area includes regularly scheduled summer flights or by cruise ships. If time allows take the mail boat ferry to the town of Cordova—known to have mountain scenery that surpasses the Swiss Alps.
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