Things To Do In Valdez

A humpback whale jumping out of the water

A humpback whale says hello during a tour with Stan Stephens Cruises

1. Go on a Glacier & Wildlife Tour

Take a day cruise out on Prince William Sound, where you’ll pass icebergs and spot glaciers. Keep an eye out for the marine wildlife that’s common in this part of Prince William Sound, like sea otters, puffins, eagles, and whales. Or get even closer to the scenery by taking a kayaking tour, paddling along the shimmering waters and through a glacial cave!

2. Valdez Glacier 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

3. Sea Kayaking in Prince William Sound

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.

5. Hike the Local Trails

Sea Kayaking with Anadyr Adventures

Kayaking on Valdez Glacier Lake with Anadyr Adventures

Love to hike? Valdez was made for you. You’ll find a number of breathtaking hiking trails here that lead you to spectacular spots like waterfalls and mountain passes. And in winter, the snowy Chugach Mountains make for fantastic skiing, snowboarding, heli-skiing, and ice climbing.

6. History

Valdez has a notable history, with events both natural and man-made. Learn all about the 1964 earthquake that resulted in Valdez relocating to higher ground, as well as the Exxon oil spill. In addition, you can visit one of the town’s many historic parks and sites, including a historic railroad tunnel.

7. Winter Magic

In the winter, the nearby Chugach mountains get 600 to 900 inches of snow; the peaks are perfect for heli-skiing, and ski bump flights, as well as snowboarding and cross-country skiing.

Valdez Day Tours & Attractions 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.

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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Valdez 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.

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: 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.

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

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: 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.

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. 

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.

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