Things To Do In Cordova

Cordova Parks & Trails

Difficulty: Difficult Distance: 8 miles

This 4.1‑mile trail starts through for­est and muskeg mead­ows. You’ll cross a beau­ti­ful bridge over a creek that in mid-July and August is full of spawn­ing chum salmon Then once you’re at the top take in views of Cor­do­va, Nel­son Bay, and Prince William Sound. 

Difficulty: Easy Distance: 3 miles

This 1.5‑mile hike is an easy stroll down to the lake that offers a great pay­off in the form of a gor­geous glac­i­er. If you’re here in win­ter, bring your ice skates for some wilder­ness ice skating!

Difficulty: Easy Distance: 6 miles

6.2 round-trip easy hike through the Chugach Nation­al For­est to a glacial lake. Pop­u­lar in win­ter for fat bik­ing and ice skat­ing. In sum­mer, hik­ing and paddleboarding. 

Difficulty: Easy

Locat­ed at Mile 17 of the Cop­per Riv­er High­way. An acces­si­ble board­walk leads vis­i­tors to stun­ning views of both the expan­sive wet­lands of the Cop­per Riv­er Delta and the sur­round­ing moun­tains. A wide vari­ety of wet­land ani­mals includ­ing trum­peter swans, moose, brown bear, and shore­birds can be seen in the area, espe­cial­ly dur­ing the spring and fall. The first half of this trail is paved with geoblock, so that it does not have a negative…  ...more

Difficulty: Difficult Distance: 6 miles

This ridge route has amaz­ing views of Prince William Sound, Eyak Lake, and the Cop­per Riv­er Delta. About halfway down the trail, there is small shel­ter avail­able for day use or overnight camp­ing. It is avail­able on a first-come first-serve basis.

Difficulty: Difficult

This is a light­ly slop­ing trail that par­al­lels the Scott Val­ley and pass­es the shores of large and small lakes. The trail pass­es through an area that was pre­vi­ous­ly logged. It is not a well-main­tained trail. 

Difficulty: Easy Distance: 1 mile

An easy trail, about 0.6 miles long, that will take about 1 hour to hike and leads you to excel­lent views of Child’s Glac­i­er. Impor­tant note: While the For­est Ser­vice still main­tains it, you can’t get here by car, as the Cop­per Riv­er high­way is washed out at Mile 36. You can only access the trail by hir­ing a boat or a plane from town.

Difficulty: Moderate

This trail fol­lows Pow­er Creek then leads it’s hik­ers up mul­ti­ple switch­backs. Mid­way, the Cor­do­va Elec­tric Hydropow­er Dam Can be seen from the trail. The last half pass­es by many beaver ponds and hang­ing glaciers. 

Difficulty: Moderate

This ski trail weaves through muskeg and for­est and grad­u­al­ly gains ele­va­tion until it ends. The trail leads to a high muskeg that over­looks the Cop­per Riv­er Delta, Heney Range and the Gulf of Alas­ka. This trail is very wet dur­ing all sea­sons exclud­ing win­ter and is not a hik­ing trail. 

Difficulty: Difficult Distance: 2 miles

This is a steep climb that ends where Crater Lake sits. The first half climbs over rocky sec­tions with numer­ous switch­backs, with mud­dy areas and wood bridges. The sec­ond half con­tin­ues to climb, but at a much nicer grade. At mile 1.2 there is an inter­tie to Ski Hill trail and at the lake there is the option to hike the Alice Smith Inter­tie. The entire loop from Crater Lake to Pow­er Creek Trail­head is 12 miles. Along this trail there is good…  ...more

Difficulty: Easy

This is an easy 2.4‑mile hike with excel­lent fish­ing for sock­eye, Dol­ly Var­den and cut­throat. You’ll find access to McKin­ley Trail and McKin­ley Lake pub­lic use cab­ins. It is a well-main­tained trail that has sev­er­al bridges for easy stream cross­ings and inter­pre­tive signs to explain the trail’s history. 

Difficulty: Moderate Distance: 5 miles Elevation Gain: 2506 feet

Dis­cov­er year-round recre­ation above Cor­do­va on this gor­geous moun­tain. In win­ter, you can lose your­self among the puffy snow­drifts and pow­der-cov­ered trees as you schuss down the slopes. And in the sum­mer, you’ll find berry pick­ing, hik­ing, and festivals.

Difficulty: Easy Distance: 3 miles

The 3.3‑mile long trail is most­ly board­walk over muskeg. This is an excel­lent spot to bird-watch, look for water­fowl feed­ing on Eyak Lake. Trum­peter swans fre­quent this lake. Most fly south for the win­ter how­ev­er, up to 100 swans will win­ter here in this ice-free lake. 

Difficulty: Moderate

This is an easy .8‑mile board­walk trail with lots of stairs. The board­walk leads to over­look of the Cop­per Riv­er Delta with many signs. Be sure to bring your cam­era, this is a great place to see moose and bear. 

This very active glac­i­er forms a wall along the fabled Cop­per Riv­er near a his­toric rail­road route that once ser­viced the world’s largest cop­per mine. NOTE: A bridge at Mile 36 of the Cop­per Riv­er High­way is cur­rent­ly (2020) impass­able, with repairs not expect­ed for sev­er­al years. Child’s Glac­i­er is not cur­rent­ly acces­si­ble by road. Con­tact Cor­do­va Ranger Dis­trict for cur­rent venders pro­vid­ing trans­porta­tion options to the far side.  ...more

Difficulty: Easy

This trail has impres­sive views of the Chugach Moun­tains. Short spur trails offer access to five small lakes that are excel­lent for cut­throat fishing.

Difficulty: Difficult Distance: 2 miles

The hike begins through the for­est before it begins to climb. There are rock cairns to help guide you along the way. From the top, you’ll have impres­sive views of the Sheri­dan and Sher­man glaciers.

Difficulty: Difficult Distance: 2 miles

The first mile and a half of this trail leads up over rocky slopes that offer a great view of Eyak Lake and the Orca Inlet. At this point the trail splits in two and the hik­er has a choice of going around the south end of Mt. Eyak or climb­ing straight up to the top.

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Cordova Museums & Cultural Centers

With exhibits, lore and its own orca whale skele­ton, this muse­um on the Cor­do­va water­front cel­e­brates the cul­ture, art, his­to­ry and eco­log­i­cal wis­dom of the region’s rich Native heritage.

This cozy, well-regard­ed muse­um in the heart of down­town Cor­do­va will bring you up to speed on the community’s nat­ur­al his­to­ry, Native and pio­neer her­itage, and a tumul­tuous mod­ern era that includ­ed the Great Alas­ka Earth­quake of 1964 and the 1989 Exxon Valdez oil spill in Prince William Sound.

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Cordova Fairs & Festivals

Season: Jul 16 to Jul 17

It’s only fit­ting that an Alas­ka fish­ing vil­lage throws a great salmon fes­ti­val. Every year in July, the town of Cor­do­va takes a break from fish­ing to turn out for the Cop­per Riv­er Salmon Jam. This fes­ti­val aims to cel­e­brate salmon and pro­mote the health and sus­tain­abil­i­ty of local salmon runs.

Con­sid­ered one of Alaska’s top bird­ing events, this annu­al fes­ti­val dur­ing ear­ly May cel­e­brates the arrival of more than 5 mil­lion migra­to­ry birds on the Cop­per Riv­er Delta east of Cordova.

Cordova’s old­est fes­ti­val — which start­ed back in 1961 — is about offer­ing a cure for the win­ter blues. This week­long fes­ti­val hap­pens dur­ing the hope­ful time of year when the days are start­ing to get longer!

This annu­al three-day event cel­e­brates the Cor­do­va region’s abun­dant crop of wild mush­rooms with class­es, art and hand­craft ses­sions, expert talks, kid’s activ­i­ties and dai­ly-guid­ed trips into the rain for­est foothills and the Cop­per Riv­er Delta.

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Cordova Points of Interest

Bald eagles. Brown bears. Black bears. Hump­back whales. Orcas. Stel­lar sea lions. Har­bor seals. Sea otters. Moose. Wolves. 200,000 seabirds of over 220 dif­fer­ent species. You can find this impres­sive col­lec­tion of icon­ic Alaskan ani­mals right in Prince William Sound. Here’s where to go in each town for the best wildlife-view­ing opportunities!

Here’s our list of the best wildlife view­ing spots in Cor­do­va. Search for salmon, shore­birds, and more.

Difficulty: Easy Distance: 3 miles

This 1.5‑mile hike is an easy stroll down to the lake that offers a great pay­off in the form of a gor­geous glac­i­er. If you’re here in win­ter, bring your ice skates for some wilder­ness ice skating!

NOTE: The Cop­per Riv­er High­way is cur­rent­ly closed beyond mile 36, where there is a failed bridge. As of this time, the road does not go beyond that point. The 49.5 mile Cop­per Riv­er High­way leads from the town of Cor­do­va to the Mil­lion Dol­lar Bridge. The Mil­lion Dol­lar Bridge was once used by the rail­road to haul cop­per from Ken­ni­cott to the port of Cor­do­va, and was added to the Nation­al Reg­is­ter of His­toric Places in 2000. Aside from the  ...more

Con­struc­tion of this ear­ly-1900s bridge cost a whop­ping (at the time) $1.4 mil­lion, which earned it the nick­name Mil­lion Dol­lar Bridge. But the bridge quick­ly earned its keep, allow­ing the rail­road to haul cop­per from Ken­ni­cott to the port of Cordova.

Eight signs will guide you through the Cop­per Riv­er water­shed land­scape. See if you can vis­it all eight signs on your tour through this upriv­er basin formed by the ancient, glacial Lake Atna!

This very active glac­i­er forms a wall along the fabled Cop­per Riv­er near a his­toric rail­road route that once ser­viced the world’s largest cop­per mine. NOTE: A bridge at Mile 36 of the Cop­per Riv­er High­way is cur­rent­ly (2020) impass­able, with repairs not expect­ed for sev­er­al years. Child’s Glac­i­er is not cur­rent­ly acces­si­ble by road. Con­tact Cor­do­va Ranger Dis­trict for cur­rent venders pro­vid­ing trans­porta­tion options to the far side.  ...more

The Cor­do­va Cen­ter is a state-of-the-art facil­i­ty built in 2014 that can hold groups of up to 200 peo­ple. It blends per­fect­ly into its sur­round­ings, with big win­dows that look out onto Orca Inlet and Hawkins Island. Once work is done, it’s a land­scape your group will want to explore!

Cor­do­va is the sea otter capi­tol of the world. They pup year-round, and there are many great places to see them!

Explore the Wild World of the Cop­per Riv­er Delta. In this Audio Guide, you’ll get to learn about car­niver­ous plants, mush­rooms that hunt their prey, and find out why Cor­do­va is one of the best places in the world to see migrat­ing shorebirds.

Every year, mil­lions of shore­birds migrate from South Amer­i­ca to Alas­ka, where they stop to rest and feed on the Cop­per Riv­er Delta mud flats at Hart­ney Bay. This area also has poten­tial for great bear view­ing when the salmon are running.

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Cordova Historic Sites

Look to the south and you’ll see a WWII era build­ing. Troops were sta­tioned at Cordova.

Eight signs will guide you through the Cop­per Riv­er water­shed land­scape. See if you can vis­it all eight signs on your tour through this upriv­er basin formed by the ancient, glacial Lake Atna!

Con­struc­tion of this ear­ly-1900s bridge cost a whop­ping (at the time) $1.4 mil­lion, which earned it the nick­name Mil­lion Dol­lar Bridge. But the bridge quick­ly earned its keep, allow­ing the rail­road to haul cop­per from Ken­ni­cott to the port of Cordova.

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