Things To Do In Valdez
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!
Want to see it all from above? A flightseeing tour gives you a birds-eye view. Some even offer the opportunity to get out and walk right on the ice.
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
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.
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.
Valdez Day Tours & Attractions View All
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
Discover the Alaska of your imagination from up above — a helicopter tour out of Valdez with VS Helicopter Tours takes you to explore the area’s treasure trove of glaciers, waterfalls, and wildlife. Their most popular tour includes a glacier landing so you can walk around on the ancient ice and explore its features like moulins and deep blue melt pools.
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.
Valdez Parks & Trails View All
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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