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. You’ll likely want to spend some time at the top, however, looking out over the gorgeous harbor and Duck Flats—a thriving saltwater marsh with excellent birding opportunities. There is one steep hill along the way, but do as the locals do and hike the loop clockwise—that way you’ll go downhill instead of up.
Even if you don’t hike it, you can take advantage of the trailhead area. Bring a picnic and enjoy it overlooking the beach; you’ll also find BBQ grills here. From the parking area, you can also walk down to a typically Alaskan rocky beach, where you’ll get incredible views of the mountains across the water.