Activity Center for Prince William SoundPrepare to Be Amazed...
The natural beauty and adventure in Valdez is amazing! Valdez is the activity center for Prince William Sound- a mix of tidewater glaciers, rainforests, and mountains. Wild animals, birds and nature flourish here. Unparalleled natural scenery is matched only by the abundant activities offered throughout the year. Come visit Valdez and experience your own Alaskan adventure.
A History-Filled Alaskan City
The growth and settlement of Valdez can be attributed to fur trading, salmon canning, and gold and copper mining. During the Klondike Gold Rush of 1897-98, prospectors came to Valdez believing the Copper River and Valdez Glacier to be the entry to the interior gold fields. From 1910 to 1916, copper and gold mining flourished in the area. In the early 1970's, Valdez became the staging area for work on the lower portion of the Trans-Alaska Pipeline. Today, Valdez hosts the Valdez Marine Terminal, which is the southernmost end of the 800-mile oil pipeline.
Abundant Marine and Land Wildlife
Valdez and vicinity is abundant in marine and land wiildlife. Brown bears and black bears flourish in Valdez due to the abundant fish and plentiful berries for bears to eat. Every year countless people come here to witness the bears up close and personal. Although uncommon, bears will attack humans and their pets when they are feeling threatened. Please come into the Valdez Visitors Bureau to get Bear Awarenes and Safety information.
The sea waters near Valdez abound with fish, sea otters, Dall porpoise, harbor seals, Stelller sea lions, and humpback and orca whales. Coastal mountain cliffs are home to mountian goats, and the surrounding landscape boasts black and brown bears in addition to many other smaller animal species. Valdez takes fight with area bird viewing opportunities. Bald eagles are abundant and scores of ducks and shorebirds can be identified through most of summer and fall. Please be sure to observe wildlife and their dens, rookeries, and nests with respect.
Unparalled Natural Scenery
Unparalleled natural scenery is matched only by the abundant activities offered throughout the year. Valdez is home to five glaciers that can be accessed by cruising, flying, walking, driving, or enjoy glacier trekking, exploration and even ice repelling. See the beautiful Columbia, Meares, Worthington, Shoup, or Valdez glaciers. You can raft nearby rivers floating through magnificent canyons and underneath towering waterfalls. Kayaking is another way to explore the region up close and personal. Hike or bike historic Gold Rush trails. Watch the past come alive before you while visiting the local museums and collections displaying Alaska Native artifacts and area history from early to recent days of the previous century.
Premier Fishing Destination
Valdez’s Prince William Sound is a premier fishing destination. Open year round, our waters are home to of all species of salmon, rockfish, lingcod, and some of the most accessible halibut in Alaska. You can drop a line from shore, take your own boat or take a charter into deeper seas. Either way, you’re likely to catch enough fish to eat for dinner or fill up your freezer.
If you want to fish for a bigger catch, the waters surrounding Valdez offer salmon shark fishing at its finest. These 300-pound-plus sharks will test even the best angler’s abilities and endurance. During winter, ice fishing in upcountry lakes and ponds is popular. In the warm season, fly- fish for trout, grayling, and Dolly Varden.
Valdez is home to the oldest fish derbies in Alaska, awarding thousands of dollars in prize money each year. Young and old, all skill levels, the thrill of reeling in a record-breaking fish will keep you coming back for more.
Clear Choice for Winter Adventures in Alaska
Valdez is a clear choice for winter adventures in Alaska. The surrounding Chugach Mountains receive over 600 inches of fresh powder each year. Helicopter and snowcat skiing and snowboarding is the best in the world, ranging from intermediate to extreme. Backcountry, telemark and cross-country skiing provide more options. Snowmobiling near Valdez is also a world class experience with endless peaks, valleys and glaciers to explore. Cold temperatures serve to freeze waterfalls around Valdez, providing unparalleled ice climbing opportunities. Traveling to Valdez adds more fun to any Alaskan vacation. Several intermodal options are available: Drive the Richardson, Alaska’s first highway, past the Wrangell-St. Elias and Chugach mountains; fly to Valdez on a state regional airline with regularly scheduled service; cruise to Valdez from Whittier or Cordova on the Alaska Marine Highway or a private charter service.
There are various ways to get to Valdez;
How to Get to Valdez...
Fly: Take a short 45-minute flight from Anchorage. Daily flights offer spectacular views of the coastal Chugach Mountains, vast glacial ice fields and the beautiful Prince William Sound.
Drive: The 6-hour drive from Anchorage provides breath-taking views of glaciers, waterfalls, towering mountains and incredible scenery. The road winds along the nation’s largest national park, the Wrangell-St. Elias and leads to Worthington Glacier-one of Alaska’s most accessible glaciers. Cascading waterfalls greet you from the Keystone Canyon walls as you enter the gateway to Valdez.
Take the Ferry:With daily service in the summer, The Alaska Marine Highway is an exciting and beautiful way to travel to Valdez and experience the majestic Prince William Sound. The Marine Highway offers service throughout the year to all three major coastal Prince William Sound communities. Expand your itinerary by including a visit to Cordova.