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Plan Your Trip to Valdez


Make planning your trip to Valdez, AK quick and easy with our visitor information and trip ideas. Find maps, weather, event listings, and visitor guides. Valdez is your year-round destination for adventures big and small. From the soaring Chugach Mountains to the waters of Prince William Sound to all our spectacular glaciers in between, let be your guide to Valdez.

With a spectacular natural setting and small-town charm, Valdez offers visitors a broad range of experiences. Valdez is famous for its fishing, glaciers, waterfalls, and extreme winter sports, but there’s even more.

When you plan a trip to a destination with such a wide variety of activities and year-round events, it can be hard to decide when to come and what to do. That’s why we have created the following resources to help with your planning process.

When's The Best Time to Visit Valdez?

Valdez’s northerly climate provides visitors with all four seasons. Seasonal length varies and dynamic changes are fun to experience! From long summer days to massive winter snowfalls, here are some of the best options for when to take your trip to Valdez.


Winter (November - March)


a person stands in an ice cave touching the icy walls

Photo: Stephen Bugno

Here in Alaska, we embrace the winter and we invite you to experience the best winter can offer. Our superb snowfall gives us nice opportunities for cross-country skiing on our trails right in town. For those eyeing a bit more adrenaline, heli-skiing here is world-class. Motor sports enthusiasts look forward to our snowmachine (snowmobile) races in March (Mayor’s Cup) and April (Mountain Man Hill Climb) as well as miles of municipality-maintained multi-use trails throughout the winter.

Valdez is also an epi-center of ice climbing, with the famed waterfalls of Keystone Canyon freezing up to create a season-long natural playground for climbers. Beginners to experts are all welcome at the Valdez Ice Climbing Festival each February. Finally, Northern Lights chasing is a favorite activity that can last from fall to spring.


Spring (April - May)


a fat biker in bright colors riding in a winter mountain pass


In Spring the snow starts to melt and the ice breaks up. We transition from our winter activities to our summer ones. The waterfalls come back to life and the whales return. Kayakers look forward to getting back on the water and bikers welcome the crusty snow. 

For those looking to stay in shape, fat biking has taken off in recent years and Valdez welcomes cyclists from around the state (and country) for the Fat Bike Festival each winter.

In May we prepare for the family-favorite Valdez Fly-In & Air Show. May also kicks off fishing season when plenty of local fishing charters head out daily to fish for halibut, salmon, and rockfish.



Summer (June-August)


a kayaker paddling in front of a tidewater glacier

Photo: Jiyeon Juno Kim

Summer is spectacular in Valdez and a time when mother nature shows off her colors and raw beauty. Summer is a time to explore by land, sea, and air. From the tiny wildflowers to the gigantic glaciers, Valdez impresses at every level.

RVers and campers enjoy our end-of-road vibes. Fishing in Prince William Sound is second-to-none, and outdoor activities are abundant. Cruising Prince William Sound is a favorite for visitors of all ages who come to admire glaciers and hope to spot marine mammals, birds, and other wildlife.

Flightseeing is an envy-inducing way to see and photograph our landscape from above. Hiking is a perfect way to slow down and experience the wilderness here. Valdez has several front-country and backcountry trails to choose from.

Don’t leave Valdez without dining out at a few of our outstanding restaurants and food trucks!


Fall (September - October)


a vehicle on the Richardson Highway with Worthington Glacier in the background

Photo: Jody Overstreet

Witness our short but colorful fall season from September to October. A drive along the Richardson Highway over Thompson pass will reveal the bright yellow of the birch, aspen, and cottonwood trees. 

In early autumn you’ll be able to catch sight of the last returning salmon to Solomon Gultch Fish Hatchery and if you act fast there’s still time for late-season fishing. As fall winds down, plan to stop into Valdez’s museums or go shopping for art at the Valdez Art Co-op. Finish your evening with a locally-brewed beer at one of our brew pubs/breweries.


These suggestions geared around the seasons should help you with your Valdez trip planning. See you whenever our climate suits your taste!










Highlighted Attractions

Winter Trails

Fat Tire Biking

Aurora Viewing

Snowmachine Tours

Whales Returning

Biking & Kayaking

Halibut Fishing


Glacier & Wildlife Tours

Peak Salmon Fishing

Local Seafood

Museums & Theatre

Fall Colors & Hiking

Silver Salmon Fishing

Bird Watching

Tasting Craft Brews

Highlighted Events

Ice Climbing Festival

Snowmachine Races

Fat Bike Bash

Fly In Air Show

Fish Derbies

Gold Rush Days

Music Festivals

Art Walks