Valdez to Worthington Glacier
Where can you drive to see an amazing glacier, a museum with a saloon, and an old town site in a little over 30 minutes? The 32-mile trip from Valdez to Worthington Glacier is short, but worthwhile. The drive itself is beautiful, with this span of the Richardson Highway just alongside Lowe River.
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
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.
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.
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
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.