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Wildflowers 

Discover a wide array of wildflowers throughout Valdez, visible from our many hiking trails.

Information is available on the following species:

Please respect trail etiquette and leave wildflowers in place for others to enjoy. 

Alaskan Poppy

Alaskan poppies (Papaver alaskanum) are short yellow flowers with four overlapping petals. Flowers bloom in June and July. 

While traveling to Valdez, look for poppies at stopovers along the Glenn Highway and the Richardson Highway. 

an Alaskan Poppy flower

Alaskan Poppy near Glennallen, Alaska. Photo by Keenan J. Britt

Arctic Daisy

Arctic Daisies (Chrysanthemum arcticum) stand out with their bright white and yellow colors atop a long, slender stem. These distinctive flowers can be found in coastal areas and in meadows. 

In Valdez, check for daisies while hiking Shoup Bay Trail. 

A shashta daisy in a field in Valdez. Mountains in the background.

Daisy. Photo by Cody Allen 

Arctic Lupine

Arctic Lupine (Lupinus arcticus) can be found in dry areas on slopes and along roads in June and July. 

If you are visiting Valdez, look for lupine on the Richardson Highway leading into Valdez or the Edgerton Highway leading to the communities of Kenny Lake, Chitina, and McCarthy. 

Arctic Lupine flowers

Lupine near Chitina. Photo by Keenan J. Britt

Chocolate Lily

Chocolate Lily (Fritillaria camschatcensis) flowers are known by several other names, including Rice Lily, Kamchatka Lily and Skunk Lily. The name "Chocolate" lily refers to the dark brown color of the flowers, and the alternate name "Skunk" lily refers to the unpleasant odor of the flowers. These lilies grow in Southeast and Southcentral Alaska in damp areas of woodlands and meadows. The flowers bloom in June and July.

In Valdez, look for Chocolate Lily along the creeks near Homestead Trail

A Chocolate Lily flower in bloom

Chocolate Lily. Photo by Keenan J. Britt

Columbine 

Western Columbine (Aquilegia formosa) produces unique red flowers which hang from a thin stem. These flowers can be found in meadows, woodlands, and on mountain slopes. 

As Columbine can be found on mountain slopes, one location to find them near Valdez is along the upper portions of Mineral Creek Trail

Columbine flowers hang among foliage

Columbine flowers. Photo by Keenan J. Britt

Dwarf Dogwood (Bunchberry)

Dwarf Dogwood (Cornus canadenisis) can be found throughout much of Alaska. This plant grows low to the ground in woodland, tundra and alpine areas. A small white flower blooms in June or July, and small red or orange berries are produced in August or September. Thees berries cluster close together, and Dwarf Dogwood is sometimes called "Bunchberry" for this reason. The edibility of the berries is debatable, so it is advised not to eat them.  

In Valdez, look for Dwarf Dogwood along Dock Point Trail.  

Dogwood flowers in Valdez

Dwarf Dogwood flowers. Photo by Selah Prather.

Dwarf Fireweed (River Beauty)

Dwarf Fireweed (Epilobium latifolium) is a smaller cousin to fireweed. This flower is also known as "River Beauty" and, as the name suggests, it can be found along streams and riverbanks. It may also be found on slopes. Dwarf Fireweed blooms later in summer, in July or August.

Fireweed and other plants in Valdez, Alaska

Dwarf Fireweed (pink). Photo by Gary Minish. 

Fireweed

Fireweed (Epilobium angustifolium

(fireweed flowers in bloom

Fireweed flowers in bloom. Photo by Gary Minish.

Monkshood (Wolfbane)

Monkshood (Aconitum delphinifolium) can be found in many areas of Alaska. The flowers are spread apart on a tall, thin plant and are shaped like the hooded robes worn by monks (hence the name). These flowers bloom in July and August. Warning: Monkshood is traditionally known as Wolfbane, and this plant is highly poisonous. Do not attempt to ingest this plant. 

In Valdez, Monkshood can be found along Shoup Bay Trail

a monkshood flower

Monkshood. Photo by Keenan J. Britt

Mountain Avens

Mountain Avens (Dryas octopetala).

Look for these flowers in Thompson Pass.

Mountain Avens

Mountain Avens in Thompson Pass. Photo by Keenan J. Britt

Salmonberry Flower

Salmonberry (Rubus spectabilis) 

salmonberry flowers blooming in a field

Salmonberry flowers at Tatitlek. Photo by Keenan J. Britt

Shooting Star

Shooting Star (Dodecatheon frigidum). 

shooting star wildflowers growing in a field. Mountains in background.

Shooting Star wildflowers. Photo by Meta Mendenhall

Wild Geranium

Wild Geraniums (Geranium erianthum) produce soft purple or lavender flowers with five petals. They bloom from June to August, and can be found in meadows or wooded areas. 

In Valdez, wild geraniums can be found along Homestead Trail

wild geranium flowers by a creek

Wild Geranium flowers. Photo by Keenan J. Britt

Wild Iris

Wild Irises (Iris setosa) grows one to two feet tall and produce three large purple colored sepals and three smaller petals. Irises can be found in wetland areas, meadows, or along lakes. They grow in most of Alaska south of the Brooks Range.

In Valdez, look for wild irises can be found near Crooked Creek and the Valdez Duck Flats. Look for them from the bike path running along the Richardson Highway. 

Wild Irises

Wild Irises. Photo by Gary Minish

Hiking Trails

Learn more about Valdez's hiking trails.

Wildflowers of the National Forests in Alaska

A guide to Alaskan wildflowers. From the USDA Forest Service

Valdez Highlights