Photo Credit: Suzanne Depalma

Prince William Sound & Copper Basin

Getting There

Anchorage to Whittier Car 1.5 Motorcoach 2 Train 2.5
Anchorage to Valdez Car 6-7 Plane 1
Fairbanks to Valdez Car 7.5-8

How Long to Spend

2 nights

With the densest concentration of tidewater glaciers in the world, Prince William Sound is one of the best places in Alaska to see spectacular coastal scenery and tidewater glaciers calving into the ocean. You can find these breathtaking views on a glacier cruise, a jet ski tour, or a sea kayaking expedition out of Whittier or Valdez.

While it’s known for glacier tours and day cruises, the area around Prince William Sound is abundant with glacier-carved mountains, wildlife-rich wetlands, lush forests, and countless waterways. It’s an excellent jumping-off point for activities such as hiking, wildlife viewing, boating, sport fishing, flightseeing and much more. In winter, the neighboring Chugach Mountains get 600 to 900 inches of snow, perfect for winter activities like snowboarding and cross-country skiing.

Don’t forget to spend some time in the towns around Prince William Sound. See the fascinating Anton Anderson Memorial Tunnel on your way into Whittier, or stop by a museum in Valdez to learn about its notable history. And if you’re in the mood for celebrating salmon and art, stop by Cordova in July for the Copper River Salmon Jam!


There are multiple ways to get from Anchorage to Whittier—see our transportation guide for different options. It’s also a good idea to learn about the Whittier Tunnel ahead of time (view our Whittier Tunnel tips here).

The most direct way to get to Valdez is by car. Check out our drive guide to see the highlights.

When to Go

Summer & Winter

Length of Stay

2 nights


You’ll find a range of lodging options in the area, from hotels to campgrounds—even a bear viewing charter right on the water!

Towns & Areas of Interest

Things to Do in Prince William Sound & Copper Basin


Where to Stay View All