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 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.

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: 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: 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.

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 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.

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

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.

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 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.

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Fairs & Festivals View All

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Points of Interest View All

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

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.

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

In Prince William Sound you’ll find some 150 glac­i­ers packed into an area just 70 miles wide. These are the few that you shouldn’t miss! 

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.

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!

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.

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!

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

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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

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.

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.

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

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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