Discover Valdez: Maps & Trails
The Dock Point Trail, although rather short, numbers among one of the prettiest for its size. Close up views of a grass and wildflower meadow from the boardwalks, along with spruce trees and ground dogwood, offer good photographic opportunities. The West and East overlooks offer good overviews across Valdez Bay. An eagle's nest located an one of the islands can be seen from the north side of the trail. A variety of plant life makes this trail a nature lover's delight.
Mineral Creek Valley is one of the most scenic drives in this area. The rough gravel road begins at the upper end of Mineral Creek Drive and runs for a distance of approximately 5.5 miles before reaching a gate and parking area. With mountains rising to over 5,000 feet and beautiful waterfalls on each side, the scenic vistas can be overwhelming.
The trail climbs through a beautiful coastal spruce forest where it intersects with the Trans Pipeline Service (TAPS) road and continues to Solomon Gulch. During 1915 an aerial tramway, 5.25 miles long, was put into operation and ran from the beach, up Solomon Gulch, to the Midas Mine (Jumbo claim). More than 1,000,000 pounds of copper were produced before closing down in 1919. The tram was run by current that was furnished by the then local electric plant on Solomon Gulch. The present dam and power station were finished in 1982 and supply power to the Valdez and Glennallen areas during the summer months.
Section A of the Shoup Bay Trail runs from the trail head to Gold Creek bridge. This scenic tract transverses the West Mineral Creek flats, running through an alder forest. It then opens out onto the grasslands after 8/10 a mile. Many wildflowers and interesting prospects can be seen for the next 2/10 of a mile until the trail starts to climb.
Section B of the Shoup Bay Trail runs from the Gold Creek Bridge to the north end of Shoup Bay. Starting from the bridge, the trail runs through a grove of spruce trees. It will then start a gradual, and at times steep, climb to the divide overlooking Shoup Bay. This section may be very muddy and difficult to follow at times due the overgrowth. Spectacular views of Shoup Bay can be obtained from the divide. The trail continues along the east side of the bay until the inner bay is reached. From this point there are good views of the kittiwake rookery.
To reserve the State Park cabins in Shoup Bay call (907) 269-8400 or (907) 269-8400
Partly due the extreme hardships experienced on the Valdez Glacier Route to the interior, a military pack trail was proposed to extend from Valdez to Eagle City (Fort Egbert) located on the Yukon River. The southern portion of the trail was ready for packhorses on June 17, 1899. Starting from the gravel flat of Lowe River Valley, it ascends the mountain with many switchbacks and turns in order to maintain a suitable grade for horses and dogs.
Because of the increased use of the 1899 Pack Trail, it was upgraded in order to accommodate sleds, wagons, and eventually automobiles. By 1905, the Valdez Transportation Company was offering a nine day stagecoach trip to Fairbanks for $150. In 1913, the first automobile traveled from Valdez to Fairbanks over the improved trail, even though the Goat Trail section was difficult to maintain due to snow and rock slides.