Wild berries are an integral part of a hiker's experience in the Valdez area. From late July until the first snow, one doesn't have to look far to find them on the trails that surround the town. Salmonberries and raspberries abound in the undergrowth along paths, while blueberries are generally located higher on hills and around streams or other moist mossy areas.
Lesser known edibles such as watermelon berries and gooseberries are found scattered throughout the local woods as well. A good book or chart, which can be purchased at local gift shops, can eliminate the risk of ingesting poisonous berries. Finally, keep in mind that after a salmon dinner, bears love nothing more than a belly full of sweet berries for dessert. They are typically afraid of humans and will run away if given the chance, so bells, noisemakers and conversation are good options should you find yourself in the hunt for some sweet Alaskan berries.
Mountain cranberry photo by Gary Minish. Blueberries photo by Priscilla Brooks.