Photo Credit: Stan Stephens Cruises

Valdez Day Tours & Attractions

Day Cruises View All

Valdez • Best Glaciers • 5 hrs from Anchorage by car
Season: May 15 to Sep 19 $140+ 6 or 8.5 hrs

This fam­i­ly-run com­pa­ny oper­at­ing out of Valdez will show you the best glac­i­ers, with great cus­tomer ser­vice along the way. On any giv­en day trip you’ll like­ly see huge rafts of sea otters, horned and tuft­ed puffins, cor­morants, hump­back whales, or even bald eagles. Stan Stephens offers two dai­ly tours, one of which fea­tures Colum­bia Glac­i­er, the largest tide­wa­ter glac­i­er in South­cen­tral Alaska.

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Sea Kayaking Tours View All

Season: May 15 to Sep 20 $74+ day tours, $452+ multi-day trips 3 hrs - 7 days

Through­out the decades, Anadyr has care­ful­ly tai­lored its trips to offer an option for just about any­one. Nev­er kayaked before? Try the Valdez Glac­i­er Tour for a relax­ing pad­dle on a lake with an easy hike to the glac­i­er. You’ll explore ice­bergs and even kayak into a glacial cave. Got a six year old that can’t wait to get out there? At 3 – 4 hours, the Duck Flats tour offers a mix of wildlife (sea lions and otters are com­mon) and Valdez history.  ...more

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Parks & Trails View All

Difficulty: Easy

Bridal Veil Falls and the Valdez Goat Trail: This two-mile-long hike is a restored sec­tion of the Trans-Alas­ka Mil­i­tary Pack-train Trail that was the first glac­i­er-free route from Valdez to the inte­ri­or of Alas­ka. There’s a fan­tas­tic over­look about a mile down the trail.

One of the most vis­it­ed nat­ur­al attrac­tions along the Richard­son High­way, this four-mile-long glac­i­er descends almost to pave­ment and is easy to approach on foot. The state recre­ation site fea­tures park­ing, pit toi­lets, and a cov­ered pavil­ion with a mod­el of the glac­i­er and inter­pre­tive signs, all close to small lake.

Difficulty: Easy Distance: 1 mile

This easy loop trail — just 0.8 miles long with less than 500 feet in ele­va­tion gain — offers prob­a­bly the best bang for your buck in Valdez. It’s close to town yet feels immersed in nature, comes with awe­some views, and you can do it in just 30 – 45 min­utes at a leisure­ly pace.

Difficulty: Moderate Distance: 7 miles Elevation Gain: 680 feet

This trail has a split per­son­al­i­ty: It’s bro­ken out into two dif­fer­ent sec­tions that will appeal to two dif­fer­ent kinds of hik­ers! Sec­tion A is the tame sib­ling — a 6.5‑mile mod­er­ate round-trip that takes about 4 hours. Sec­tion B is the wild child: A full 12.6 miles out and back, this stretch takes 10 hours or so to hike and is difficult.

Difficulty: Moderate Distance: 12 miles Elevation Gain: 800 feet

If you’re inter­est­ed in see­ing rem­nants of Alaska’s Gold Rush her­itage, you’ll find some fan­tas­tic ruins from that era along this 12.2‑mile trail that fol­lows an old grav­el road and takes about 6 hours. Don’t want to walk it all? Rent a bike in Valdez and ped­al your way.

Difficulty: Moderate Distance: 3 miles

About four miles in, there is a fish hatch­ery on this trail. The trail was cre­at­ed to pro­vide a close look at the hatch­ery’s dam, lake, and aque­ducts. It also offers a good view of the Port of Valdez. It can be a step hike at times.

Pad­dle around a qui­et lagoon with the impres­sive Shoup Glac­i­er at one end and ice­bergs that have calved from the glac­i­er, mar­vel at the live­ly black-legged Kit­ti­wake Rook­ery, and take in the feel­ing of being some­where remote — even if you’re only 5 miles from town.

Difficulty: Easy

There are only a few places where you can spend time along the Lowe Riv­er with­out the sound of cars and motor homes — this unmarked turnoff is one of them. From here you can explore a lit­tle bit upstream and find a nice place to relax next to the riv­er. And the only peo­ple you may see are local rafters, as this is used as a pick­up spot after float­ing through Key­stone Canyon.Just one warn­ing: don’t fall into the water! Alaskan water temperatures…  ...more

Difficulty: Moderate Distance: 5 miles

Hike uphill until you reach about 3100ft where you will find a good place to cross the stream. At 3500ft you will need to cross yet anoth­er stream. Walk along­side the hill until you reach a laks. The trail opens for many options here, all with excel­lent views of glac­i­ers, ravines, and peaks. 

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Museums & Cultural Centers View All

The muse­um por­trays the com­mu­ni­ty’s unique and col­or­ful his­to­ry from Euro­pean explo­ration in the 1700s to con­tem­po­rary oil trans­porta­tion. Per­ma­nent exhibits are accent­ed by tem­po­rary exhi­bi­tions of arts and crafts. Major arti­facts include a 19th cen­tu­ry Fres­nel Light­house Lens, a beau­ti­ful­ly restored 1907 Ahrens Con­ti­nen­tal” steam fire engine and a com­pan­ion 1880s Glea­son & Bai­ley hand-pumped fire engine, salt­wa­ter aquar­i­ums with the…  ...more

The Max­ine and Jesse Whit­ney Muse­um has one of the world’s largest col­lec­tions of Native Alaskan art and arti­facts. Dis­plays include Tro­phy Class Taxi­dermy mounts, Native Alaskan dolls, bead­work, bas­kets, masks, archae­o­log­i­cal arti­facts, and a large col­lec­tion of ivory carv­ings and tools. Hours Sum­mer: Dai­ly 9am-7pm Win­ter: Mon-Fri 9am-12pm, 1pm-5pm, exclud­ing col­lege hol­i­days. Admis­sion Adults: $5, Seniors over 60 and mil­i­tary: $4, Children…  ...more

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Historic Park or Site View All

This road­stop hon­ors Lt. Bil­ly” Mitchell, con­sid­ered the father of the mod­ern air force, and show­cas­es the moun­tain named in his honor.

This was the orig­i­nal port and city of Valdez. The city was moved to its cur­rent loca­tion 4 miles down the road after it was dev­as­tat­ed by the 1964 Good Fri­day Earthquake.

Dur­ing the win­ter of 1907 the A.J. Meals Co. freight­ed a 70-ton steam­boat over Mar­shall Pass from Valdez. The steam­er was car­ried piece-by-piece on horse-drawn sled to the Cop­per Riv­er, 31 miles east. The 110-foot-long ship trav­eled 170 miles of the Cop­per and Chit­na Rivers.

This rail­road tun­nel was hand-cut start­ing in 1905. Nine com­pa­nies were bat­tling to take advan­tage of the short route from the coast to cop­per coun­try. Progress on the tun­nel was inter­rupt­ed and after a gun bat­tle, con­struc­tion halt­ed and the tun­nel was nev­er fin­ished. You can read about the tun­nel and these events in Rex Beach’s nov­el, The Iron Trail.

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!

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Fairs & Festivals View All

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Points of Interest View All

When the salmon spawn from mid-June through August, the waters of the Solomon Gulch Fish Hatch­ery run thick with pink and Coho salmon. Their pres­ence attracts crea­tures who love to eat these deli­cious fish, so you may also spot sea lions out in the water, swim­ming with fish in their mouths. You may also see black and brown bears fish­ing from shore, espe­cial­ly at low tide.

Vis­it one of the best nature and wildlife areas close to Valdez. The flats offer nest­ing grounds for water­fowl, so it’s a pop­u­lar spot for bird­ing. It’s also a rear­ing ground for pink salmon, and you may also spot black and brown bears who feast on them.

One of the most vis­it­ed nat­ur­al attrac­tions along the Richard­son High­way, this four-mile-long glac­i­er descends almost to pave­ment and is easy to approach on foot. The state recre­ation site fea­tures park­ing, pit toi­lets, and a cov­ered pavil­ion with a mod­el of the glac­i­er and inter­pre­tive signs, all close to small lake.

If you’ve yet to set eyes on an ice­berg, this is your chance: Gor­geous Valdez Glac­i­er Lake is often home to large chunks of float­ing ice that have calved off from the Valdez Glac­i­er. Appre­ci­ate the chunks of ice from shore, or join a guid­ed kayak expe­di­tion to pad­dle around the ice

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!

How and where to find Alaska’s glac­i­ers — some of the state’s most beau­ti­ful nat­ur­al attractions

Alpine tun­dra often brings unim­ped­ed views, easy walk­ing, and an inde­scrib­able light­ness of being. It also usu­al­ly requires sev­er­al hours of hik­ing to reach. But what if you could skip the exhaust­ing hike and just dri­ve there? The Thomp­son Pass is a great oppor­tu­ni­ty, rain or shine, to take advan­tage of easy access to this spe­cial envi­ron­ment — make the time for a stop. There are spots to pull over on either side of the road-cut that marks the…  ...more

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!

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Visitor Information Centers View All

First time visiting Valdez? Or been before and want to discover something new? These are great sources for finding local hot spots

Stuffed bears and musk ox: The Valdez Vis­i­tors Cen­ter serves up some unex­pect­ed exhibits, along with all the infor­ma­tion you need to know to have a great expe­ri­ence in town. The knowl­edge­able locals who staff the cen­ter can help answer ques­tions, hand out town maps and vis­i­tor guides, and direct you to the wealth of brochures on tour oper­a­tors and hotels.

Oper­at­ed by the U.S. For­est Ser­vice and open only in sum­mer­time, it’s staffed by guides who can help you under­stand the area. There’s also a stream that runs thick with pink and chum salmon when they return each sum­mer to spawn. Thanks to a foot­bridge over the stream and the clear Alaskan water, it’s easy to see the fish. (The best view­ing is from mid-July through Octo­ber.) You may also see black bears, who come to feast on the fish.

The Alas­ka Avalanche Infor­ma­tion Cen­ter works to increase pub­lic aware­ness and safe­ty through avalanche edu­ca­tion, and the net­work­ing of avalanche pro­fes­sion­als. It is entire­ly run by vol­un­teers who are pas­sion­ate about the outdoors.

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Winter Activities View All

Season: March - May Custom - Call for estimate

Take a ski-bump flight and enjoy a nice long run with­out hav­ing to hike. Or, book a mul­ti-day trip to a glac­i­er ski camp. With Tok Air Ser­vice you’ll fly from Valdez or Thomp­son Pass to dra­mat­ic areas of the Chugach Moun­tains, East­ern Alas­ka Range, and the moun­tains in Wrangell St. Elias Nation­al Park.

Begin­ner hill for skiers and snow­board­ers. There’s a warm­ing hut, as well as a sin­gle han­dle rope tow.

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Whale Watching Tours View All

Season: May 15 to Sep 19 $140+ 6 or 8.5 hrs

This fam­i­ly-run com­pa­ny oper­at­ing out of Valdez will show you the best glac­i­ers, with great cus­tomer ser­vice along the way. On any giv­en day trip you’ll like­ly see huge rafts of sea otters, horned and tuft­ed puffins, cor­morants, hump­back whales, or even bald eagles. Stan Stephens offers two dai­ly tours, one of which fea­tures Colum­bia Glac­i­er, the largest tide­wa­ter glac­i­er in South­cen­tral Alaska.

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