EXPLORING VALDEZ AND THOMPSON PASS
Valdez is situated on a deepwater fjord in Prince William Sound. The Chugach and Ahtna Ahthabascan people were the first to use the area for fishing and trading. Valdez was established in 1897 as a base camp for gold prospectors making their way to Interior Alaska and the Klondike.
Visitors traveling north view the Lowe River in historic Keystone Canyon. The sheer canyon walls contain a number of waterfalls and interesting rock formations. Thompson Pass climbs to 2,678 feet, showcasing tundra meadows, numerous lakes, streams, and glaciers.
Together, the three largest hotel properties in Valdez offer over 220 guest rooms. Each hotel is centrally located for easy access to shopping, dining, and attractions. Valdez is just 45 minutes by air from Anchorage.
Marine services in Valdez include the newest Alaskan fast ferry and several private tour and transportation services experienced in transporting cruise passengers between Cordova, Whittier, and Valdez.
There are numerous tours and attractions in Valdez, including several new adventure tour options.
- Glacier & wildlife cruises to Meares and Columbia Glaciers.
- Helicopter tours to glaciers, Chugach Mountains and more.
- Kayaking in Prince William Sound or one of several interior rivers.
- Fish without the crowds or sightsee many species of wildlife, marine animals, and birds.
- Raft through the gorgeous Keystone Canyon and see spectacular waterfalls and so much more.
If you're visiting Valdez in winter, add the following activities to your itinerary:
- Premier Heli and Snowcat Skiing: Valdez and the surrounding Chugach mountains define skiing and boarding. You are sure to find a vast winter wilderness and thousands of long, untracked, wide-open runs.
- Ice Climbing: Whether top-roping or multi-pitch lead climbing, the dozens of routes around Valdez will become your pathway to adventure.
- Snowmobiling: Valdez has a full race schedule and an abundance of snow sure to challenge even the best riders. Our mountains, valleys, and glaciers also offer the ultimate in backcountry snowmachine experiences.
- Nordic Skiing and Snowshoeing: Nordic skiing and showshoeing can be an adventure on either groomed trails or backcountry terrain. Several world-class areas exist in and around Valdez.