The Duck Flats
"Only 1% of the estuaries in Prince William Sound are salt marshes such as the Duck Flats. The Valdez Duck Flats are one of the largest salt marshes in the sound encompassing approximately 1000 acres. Nearly half of this area is composed of unvegetated tidal mudflats. This complex and highly productive ecosystem acts as a nursery for juvenile dolly varden, as well as pink and silver salmon fry; a nesting and feeding habitat for waterfowl and shorebirds; and it attracts several species of terrestrial and marine mammals such as sea and river otters, black and brown bears. Less conspicuous are the microorganisms, which break down and recycle the nutrient rich detritus produced in the Duck Flats wetland where it is ultimately distributed into deeper areas of the port," Valdez Parks & Recreation
Just a mile or so from the Valdez townsite are the tidal wet land areas known as the "Duck Flats". Be on the lookout for bald eagles, Harlequin ducks, Arctic terns, red-necked grebes, and great blue herons. Along the flats is one of our local salmon spawning areas, Crooked Creek, and a National Forest Service cabin. A paved walking/bicycle path runs along the Richardson Highway and the Duck Flats.
How To Get There
It's easy to view the Duck Flats from along the Richardson Highway or from Dock Point Trail. Exploring the flats is possible with a kayak trip. Kayak tours of the Duck Flats are available with local kayak tour operators. The Duck Flats make for an easy trip for beginning kayakers.
Valdez Duck Flats
Shooting Star wildflowers at the Duck Flats Photo by Keenan J. Britt