Valdez, Alaska may be a small town, but it packs a punch when it comes to adventure and fun. Tucked away in the heart of the breathtaking Chugach Mountains and boasting a picturesque waterfront, Valdez is a playground for outdoor enthusiasts. Whether you're a thrill-seeker or a nature lover, there are plenty of activities that you simply can't miss out on. To help you make the most of your visit, we've compiled a list of 12 must-do activities that will leave you awestruck in Valdez, Alaska.
|Hiking||Explore various hiking trails in the Chugach Mountains and witness stunning views of glaciers and wildlife|
|Fishing||Experience world-renowned salmon and halibut fishing in Valdez's creeks and ocean|
|Helicopter Tours||Take a breathtaking helicopter tour over Columbia Glacier and the surrounding areas|
|Wildlife Watching||Spot bald eagles, sea otters, whales, moose, and bears in their natural habitat|
|Snowsports||Hit the slopes or go backcountry skiing and snowboarding at Thompson Pass|
|Kayaking||Paddle through the calm waters of Prince William Sound and marvel at the glaciers up close|
|Horseback Riding||Enjoy scenic horseback rides through the beautiful Alaskan wilderness|
|Museums & Galleries||Visit the Valdez Museum and Historical Archive to learn about the town's history and explore local art galleries|
|Glacier Cruises||Take a boat tour to see the majestic glaciers that dot Prince William Sound|
|Mineral Springs||Soak in the natural hot springs and indulge in the therapeutic healing benefits|
What You'll Learn
- Hike to Worthington Glacier
- Take a Columbia Glacier cruise
- Explore the Valdez Museum
- Go fishing in Prince William Sound
- Ski or snowboard at Thompson Pass
- Kayak or paddleboard in Valdez Harbor
- Enjoy the wildlife at the Solomon Gulch Fish Hatchery
- Take a scenic flight over the Chugach Mountains
- Visit the historic town of Old Valdez
- Attend a local event like the Valdez Winter Carnival
- Go heli-skiing or snowmobiling
- Soak in the hot springs at Tonsina Point
Hike to Worthington Glacier
Valdez, Alaska is known for its stunning scenery and outdoor recreation opportunities. Among the many adventures to be had in this rugged wilderness is the hike to Worthington Glacier.
The glacier is located just 28 miles northeast of Valdez and is one of the most easily accessible glaciers in the area. The hike to the glacier is short, but it offers incredible views of the surrounding mountains and valleys.
The trail to Worthington Glacier is just over a mile long and begins at the Worthington Glacier parking lot. From there, hikers will follow a well-maintained trail through a forest of spruce and aspen trees. Along the way, there are several lookout points that offer breathtaking views of the glacier and the surrounding scenery.
As hikers approach the glacier, the terrain becomes rockier and the trail becomes steeper. The final approach to the glacier involves scrambling over boulders and crossing a small stream. For those who are up for the challenge, this section of the hike is both thrilling and rewarding.
Once hikers reach the glacier, they can explore the icy landscape and get up close to the blue-tinted ice walls. It's important to exercise caution when exploring the glacier, as it can be hazardous due to shifting ice and crevasses.
Overall, the hike to Worthington Glacier is a must-do for anyone visiting Valdez. It's a relatively easy hike that offers stunning views and the opportunity to witness one of Alaska's most magnificent natural wonders up close. So lace up your hiking boots, grab a camera, and get ready for an unforgettable adventure.
14 Fun Things to Do in Eureka Springs for Couples
You may want to see also
Take a Columbia Glacier cruise
Valdez, Alaska is a beautiful and unique travel destination offering breathtaking scenery and plenty of outdoor adventures. One of the most popular activities in Valdez is taking a Columbia Glacier cruise. Here's why:
The Columbia Glacier is a massive river of ice that flows from the Chugach Mountains down into Prince William Sound. It's one of the most active glaciers in the area, constantly calving large chunks of ice into the surrounding water. Visitors who take a Columbia Glacier cruise will be treated to stunning views of this natural wonder.
During the cruise, you'll have the opportunity to see not only the glacier, but also a variety of wildlife. Common sightings include sea otters, harbor seals, sea lions, and different species of birds. Some cruises even offer a whale watching component, giving visitors the chance to see humpback whales or orcas in their natural habitat.
Columbia Glacier cruises typically depart from the Valdez harbor and last several hours. The journey to and from the glacier itself is also incredibly scenic, with panoramic views of the surrounding mountains and forests. Along the way, your guide may share interesting facts about the local history and ecology.
Some cruises offer additional activities such as kayaking or hiking on nearby beaches. If you're feeling particularly adventurous, you could even opt for a glacier trekking experience, where you'll actually step foot onto the icy surface and explore its crevasses with a guide.
Overall, taking a Columbia Glacier cruise is a must-do activity for anyone visiting Valdez, Alaska. It provides a chance to witness the awe-inspiring beauty of one of Alaska's most stunning natural wonders while also getting up close and personal with local wildlife. Be sure to bring a camera, as you'll want to capture these memories to last a lifetime.
12 Fun Activities to Experience on Fort Bliss
You may want to see also
Explore the Valdez Museum
Valdez, Alaska is a stunning coastal community renowned for its rugged beauty, wildlife, outdoor activities, and rich history. Located in the southern part of the state, Valdez was first settled in the late 19th century as a hub of mining, fishing, and transportation. Today, it's a popular destination for tourists seeking adventure, culture, and education. One of the must-visit attractions in Valdez is the Valdez Museum, which showcases the town's past, present, and future in a unique and engaging way.
The Valdez Museum is a nonprofit educational institution that aims to inspire curiosity, foster learning, and promote appreciation for the people, places, and stories of Valdez. Its main facility, located at 217 Egan Drive, houses a diverse range of exhibits that cover various topics such as Native Alaskan heritage, gold rush days, World War II, the 1964 earthquake, the oil spill, and contemporary art. The museum also operates three satellite locations: the Old Valdez Townsite, the Valdez Glacier Campground, and the Solomon Gulch Fish Hatchery.
One of the highlights of the Valdez Museum is its collection of artifacts, photographs, documents, and interactive displays that document the town's evolution. Visitors can see rare objects such as a hand-carved Native Alaskan totem pole, a Victorian-era hearse, an original telegraph machine, a replica of the Trans-Alaska Pipeline, and a life-size diorama of a fishing vessel. They can also browse through archives of newspapers, maps, oral histories, and video documentaries that provide insights into Valdez's past and present.
Another unique feature of the Valdez Museum is its programs and events that cater to different age groups and interests. The museum offers guided tours, scavenger hunts, art workshops, lectures, film screenings, and cultural celebrations throughout the year. Some of the popular events include the Iceworm Festival in February, the Historically Haunted Tour in October, and the Christmas Open House in December. The museum is also a hub of community engagement where residents can share their stories, donate heirlooms, volunteer, and learn from each other.
In conclusion, exploring the Valdez Museum is a great way to immerse yourself in the history and culture of Valdez, Alaska. With its fascinating exhibits, engaging programs, and welcoming atmosphere, the museum provides a window into the town's past, present, and future. Whether you're a first-time visitor or a longtime resident, you'll leave the museum with a deeper appreciation for the people and places that make Valdez such a special place.
12 Exciting Activities for Memorial Day Weekend in Baltimore
You may want to see also
Go fishing in Prince William Sound
Valdez, AK, is a city located in the southern part of the state, known for its stunning scenery and outdoor recreation opportunities. One popular activity for visitors to Valdez is fishing, with the city being located on the shores of Prince William Sound, which is home to a wide variety of fish species.
If you are looking to go fishing in Prince William Sound, there are many options to choose from. Whether you prefer to fish from shore, a charter boat, or a kayak, there are plenty of opportunities to catch fish in this area.
One of the most popular ways to fish in Prince William Sound is by charter boat. There are several companies in Valdez that offer fishing charters, ranging from small boats for just a few people to larger vessels that can accommodate groups of up to 20 or more. These charters can take you to some of the best fishing spots in the area, and the experienced captains and crew can help you catch a variety of fish, including salmon, halibut, lingcod, and rockfish.
If you prefer to fish from shore, there are several options as well. There are many beaches and fishing piers around Valdez that can be great spots for catching fish. Some of the most popular species to catch from shore include salmon and steelhead, and there are several fishing guides in the area who can help you find the best spots and offer tips and advice for catching these fish.
Another popular way to fish in Prince William Sound is by kayak. There are several rental companies in Valdez that offer kayaks for rent, and the calm waters of Prince William Sound can be a great place to paddle and fish. You can explore secluded coves and bays, and catch a variety of fish species including salmon, trout, and char.
No matter how you choose to go fishing in Prince William Sound, it's important to follow all local regulations and guidelines. Make sure you have the proper licenses and permits, and be aware of catch limits and size restrictions for different species of fish.
Overall, if you are looking for a great place to go fishing in Alaska, Valdez and the surrounding area are definitely worth checking out. With stunning scenery, great fishing opportunities, and plenty of options for all types of anglers, it's no wonder that this area is such a popular destination for fishing enthusiasts from around the world.
13 Hilarious Things to Do With Your Cat That Will Make You Laugh Out Loud
You may want to see also
Ski or snowboard at Thompson Pass
|Name||Valdez Heli-Ski Guides|
|Type||Ski resort in Valdez-Cordova, Alaska|
|Website||Go to website|
|Rating / Review count||5 / 7|
|Address||Mile 35 Richardson Highway, Thompson Pass, Valdez, AK 99686|
Valdez, AK is known for its breathtaking landscape and snow-capped mountains. And if you're a winter sports enthusiast, then you shouldn't miss out on skiing or snowboarding at Thompson Pass, located just 25 miles east of Valdez.
Thompson Pass attracts skiers and snowboarders from all over the world with its reliable snowfall, huge vertical drops, and diverse terrain. The pass holds some of the best steep slopes and challenging runs in Alaska, making it a top choice for experienced skiers and snowboarders.
Whether you're a pro or a novice, there's a run for everyone at Thompson Pass. The pass features a range of trails, from easy to difficult, so you can choose the slope that suits you best. Moreover, the sizes of the ski areas vary, depending on your preference.
The Thompson Pass has some of the most unpredictable weather in the state. The conditions can change suddenly, and the snow can pile up quickly. Therefore, it's crucial to come prepared with good quality ski or snowboarding gear and stay updated with the weather forecast.
If you're not comfortable skiing or snowboarding on your own, and it's your first time, you can hire a guide to accompany you. The guides are knowledgeable about the area and can show you around to the best trails in the region.
Visitors can enjoy exploring the area as they ski or snowboard, taking in the scenic mountains and landscape. Although the primary focus is on skiing and snowboarding, there are other winter activities available at Thompson Pass. These activities include sledding and snowmobiling for those who want to experience the thrill and excitement of the snow.
In conclusion, Thompson Pass is the perfect place to experience skiing and snowboarding in Alaska. With its breathtaking scenery, diverse trails, and unpredictable weather, the pass offers an unforgettable experience for any winter enthusiast. So, if you're in Valdez, AK, don't miss the chance to hit the slopes at Thompson Pass and have a remarkable time skiing or snowboarding.
11 Exciting Things to Do in Chimayo NM: A Must-Visit Destination for Any Traveler
You may want to see also
Kayak or paddleboard in Valdez Harbor
Nestled in the heart of Prince William Sound, Valdez in Alaska is a favored destination for adventurous travelers. Valdez offers a remarkable landscape to explore with its glacier-fed lakes, snow-capped mountains, and tranquil harbor. Visitors to Valdez will find plenty of outdoor activities to indulge in, but one of the best ways to experience the natural charms of the harbor is through kayaking or paddleboarding.
The Valdez Harbor is the perfect spot to enjoy a peaceful ride on the water and take in the picturesque views around it. Visitors can rent kayaks or paddleboards from one of the local outfits in town to get started on their adventure. With the help of the rental company, visitors can choose the equipment that best suits their requirements and skill level. Once geared up, the real fun begins!
Paddleboarding and kayaking are excellent activities for all levels of experience. From beginners to experienced paddlers, there's something for everyone in Valdez Harbor. Even those who have never tried their hand at kayaking or paddleboarding, need not worry as the rental companies offer introductory lessons for those who need them.
One of the best things about kayaking or paddleboarding is the chance to explore the harbor at your own pace. Take a leisurely paddle around the harbor and enjoy the stunning scenery or challenge yourself by venturing further out in search of wildlife. You may be lucky enough to spot some sea otters, seals, sea lions, or even humpback whales as they migrate along the coast.
For those seeking an adventure, it's well worth kayaking or paddleboarding out to nearby Shoup Bay on a guided tour. Here, visitors can paddle around impressive glaciers, icebergs, and cascading waterfalls. For those up for a physical challenge, they can hike to the Shoup Bay cabin where they can enjoy some breathtaking views of the glaciers.
In conclusion, Valdez Harbor is an excellent spot for those looking to enjoy the natural beauty of Alaska through kayaking or paddleboarding. The calm waters make it easy for beginners to navigate the area, while more experienced paddlers can venture further out to explore. Don't miss out on the chance to paddle around Shoup Bay, an excellent day trip for those seeking an adventure. With so much to explore, Valdez Harbor should be at the top of the list for anyone visiting Alaska.
12 Fun Activities for Raleigh Memorial Day Weekend
You may want to see also
Enjoy the wildlife at the Solomon Gulch Fish Hatchery
|Name||The Solomon Gulch Hatchery|
|Website||Go to website|
|Rating / Review count||4.7 / 278|
|Address||1561 Dayville Rd, Valdez, AK 99686|
Valdez, Alaska is a paradise for wildlife enthusiasts! One of the best places to encounter the local fauna is the Solomon Gulch Fish Hatchery. This hatchery, located just a few miles outside Valdez, is home to salmon spawning pools, a fish ladder, and a visitor center where you can discover all that this incredible location has to offer.
The hatchery is located in an area where the salmon return to spawn, and this draw's numerous bears, bald eagles, and other animals to the area. Visitors can witness the salmon making their way up the fish ladder, dodging predators like eagles, bears, and sea lions who also come to the area to feed.
Visitors can also watch as the hatchery staff spawn the fish and release them back into the wild. The staff conduct tours and provide information on the hatchery operations and the life cycle of the salmon.
If you’d like to try your hand at catching some of the salmon for yourself, the Solomon Gulch Fish Hatchery also offers fishing opportunities. This is a great opportunity for visitors to partake in one of Alaska's popular activities – fishing in incredible natural surroundings.
In summary, the Solomon Gulch Fish Hatchery, located just a few miles outside Valdez, is the perfect location for visitors to witness local wildlife in their natural habitat. Witnessing the spectacle of the salmon run and the various predators vying for a meal is something visitors don't want to miss. With fishing opportunities and guided tours, the hatchery is a must-visit location for anyone exploring the Valdez area.
14 Fun Things to Do in Marquette, Michigan
You may want to see also
Take a scenic flight over the Chugach Mountains
Valdez, AK is a small town located in the southern part of Alaska. Set against the picturesque backdrop of the Chugach Mountains, Valdez is a popular destination for outdoor enthusiasts and adventure seekers. If you're looking for an unforgettable experience, consider taking a scenic flight over the Chugach Mountains.
From the air, you'll see the rugged and pristine beauty of Alaska's natural landscape. As you soar over snow-capped peaks and glaciers, you'll marvel at the sheer size and scale of the mountains. You may even spot wildlife such as brown bears, mountain goats, and bald eagles.
One of the best ways to experience the Chugach Mountains is by taking a flightseeing tour. Several local companies offer scenic flights, ranging from short 30-minute trips to longer excursions that last several hours. Depending on your preference, you can choose a helicopter or fixed-wing aircraft to take you on your adventure.
For an even more thrilling experience, some tours offer the opportunity to land on a glacier. You can step out of the aircraft and explore the otherworldly terrain of the glacier, surrounded by towering ice formations and sparkling blue pools of water. It's an experience that you'll never forget.
As you take in the breathtaking scenery from the air, you'll quickly understand why Valdez is such a special place. With its towering mountains, winding rivers, and abundant wildlife, it's a nature-lover's paradise. Whether you're an experienced adventurer or just looking for a unique way to experience Alaska's natural beauty, a scenic flight over the Chugach Mountains is an unforgettable experience.
13 Fun Things to Do in Serenbe, Georgia
You may want to see also
Visit the historic town of Old Valdez
Nestled in the heart of Alaska, the historic town of Old Valdez welcomes visitors from around the world to experience the untamed wilderness and rich cultural heritage of this unique region.
Originally established as a trading post in the late 19th century, Valdez served as a vital hub of commerce for more than a century, helping connect the remote communities of Alaska's rugged interior with the rest of the world. Over time, Valdez grew into a thriving town, hosting a diverse array of shops, restaurants, and cultural attractions that drew visitors from far and wide.
Despite its long history, Valdez is perhaps best known for the events of March 24th, 1989, when the oil tanker Exxon Valdez ran aground on a nearby reef, spilling more than 11 million gallons of crude oil into the pristine waters of Prince William Sound. The disaster had a profound impact on the region's ecology and economy, and helped set in motion a powerful environmental movement that reshaped public perception of Alaska's wildlands.
Today, visitors to Valdez have the opportunity to explore this fascinating history in person, through a host of museums, historic sites, and other attractions that showcase the region's rich cultural heritage. Highlights of a visit to Old Valdez might include:
- The Valdez Museum and Historical Archive, which houses an extensive collection of photographs, artifacts, and other materials related to the town's history. Visitors can explore exhibits on everything from early native settlements to the modern-day oil industry, and learn about the impacts of natural disasters like the Good Friday Earthquake of 1964 and the Exxon Valdez spill.
- The Old Valdez Trail, which follows the historic route used by traders and settlers in the early days of the town. Along the way, hikers can enjoy stunning views of the Chugach Mountains and pick out traces of old settlements and other landmarks.
- The Alyeska Pipeline Terminal, which serves as a gateway to the vast network of oil pipelines that crisscross Alaska. Visitors can tour the facility and learn about the challenges and rewards of extracting oil from the region's harsh terrain.
Of course, no visit to Valdez would be complete without taking in the region's stunning natural beauty. With its towering peaks, icy glaciers, and crystal-clear rivers, Alaska is truly a land of wonder and adventure. Whether you're hiking on a nearby trail, taking a boat tour along the Prince William Sound, or simply enjoying the local cuisine at one of Valdez's many fine restaurants, you're sure to be dazzled by the sights, sounds, and experiences that await you in this one-of-a-kind destination. So why wait? Book your trip today, and discover the magic of Old Valdez for yourself!
12 Indoor Activities in Lake George When It Rains
You may want to see also
Attend a local event like the Valdez Winter Carnival
If you love winter sports and snow-filled landscapes, then you should consider attending the Valdez Winter Carnival in Valdez, Alaska. This annual event takes place during the month of February and celebrates all things winter.
The Valdez Winter Carnival is a week-long celebration with a variety of events, activities, and competitions for visitors of all ages. The festival features snow sculpture competitions, fireworks displays, dog sled races, and ice skating. Visitors can also participate in snowshoeing, cross-country skiing, and snowmobiling.
One of the most popular events of the Valdez Winter Carnival is the snow sculpture competition. Participants create magnificent sculptures from large blocks of snow and compete for cash prizes. Visitors can see these amazing creations all around town and vote for their favorite.
Another exciting event is the World Championship Snowmobile Hill Climb. Participants from all over the world come to compete in this thrilling race, where they have to climb a steep hill covered in snow and ice on their snowmobiles.
For those who prefer less competitive activities, the Polar Plunge is a fun and daring event. Participants jump into the icy waters of Valdez Harbor to raise money for a local charity. It’s a once-in-a-lifetime experience that you will never forget.
If you want to experience the beauty of the Alaskan winter landscape, then don’t miss the guided snowshoeing and cross-country skiing tours. You can explore the peaceful snow-covered forests and enjoy the breathtaking views of the mountains.
The Valdez Winter Carnival is also a great opportunity to meet the locals and experience the unique Alaskan culture. You can try delicious local food, enjoy live music, and learn about Alaskan traditions.
In conclusion, attending the Valdez Winter Carnival is an unforgettable experience that you don't want to miss. This event offers something for everyone, from thrilling competitions to peaceful outdoor activities. So, pack your bags and head to Valdez, Alaska, for an amazing winter adventure.
13 Fun Activities to Experience at White Rock Lake
You may want to see also
Go heli-skiing or snowmobiling
Valdez, AK is a winter wonderland that offers some of the best outdoor activities. Visitors can choose between numerous skiing options like alpine skiing, cross-country skiing, and even heli-skiing. Another popular activity during the winter months is snowmobiling, which takes visitors to the backcountry roads that offer picturesque scenery, thrilling terrain, and unforgettable experiences.
One of the most thrilling ways to explore Valdez during wintertime is heli-skiing. Heli-skiing is a high-in-demand experience where skiers are flown by helicopter to the tops of remote snow-capped peaks that are otherwise inaccessible. Once there, they can have a thrilling downhill experience while enjoying stunning views of the vast Alaskan wilderness at the same time.
The powdery snow in Valdez is known for its fluffy texture, excellent quality, and massive quantity, making it a highly sought-after destination for heli-skiing enthusiasts. Valdez offers a unique terrain and slope that challenge even the most experienced skiers. The thrill of skiing down untouched snow-covered mountains and valleys is unparalleled and a must-try for skiing enthusiasts.
Another winter activity in Valdez is snowmobiling, which allows visitors to discover the backcountry roads leading to stunning scenescapes. Snowmobiling in Valdez provides the perfect opportunity to explore hidden valleys, unfathomable terrain, and wildlife. In addition, it is a more reliable way to navigate through the heavy snow that can be challenging during winter.
Valdez snowmobiling tours take place in the Chugach Mountains, known for their breathtaking beauty and unparalleled scenery. The Chugach Mountains boast endless snow-covered national parks, glaciers, rivers, and peaks, providing a perfect environment for snowmobilers to explore.
In conclusion, Valdez, AK is a perfect winter destination for skiing enthusiasts and snowmobiling reborn enthusiasts alike. With ideal weather conditions, stunning natural attractions, and top-notch guides, visiting Valdez can offer an unforgettable lifetime experience. The variety of terrains, backcountry boondocking, and breathtaking scenery render Valdez an ultimate destination for the adventure lovers. Visitors to Valdez can explore its pristine wilderness, picturesque mountains, and cross-country trails during their winter vacation truly.
12 Amazing Things to Do in Lomanthang!
You may want to see also
Soak in the hot springs at Tonsina Point
Valdez, AK is known for its rugged beauty and abundance of outdoor activities. One of the more unique options is to soak in the hot springs at Tonsina Point. Not only is this a relaxing and rejuvenating experience, it also provides stunning views of the surrounding scenery.
Getting to Tonsina Point requires a short boat ride or hike, which adds to the adventure. Once you arrive, you'll find two natural hot springs nestled in a rocky beach. The water, which is rich in minerals, is heated by thermal vents underground and can reach temperatures up to 122 degrees Fahrenheit.
While soaking in the hot springs, take in the breathtaking views of the nearby glaciers and cliffs. Keep an eye out for wildlife such as eagles, otters, and even whales in the distance. The experience of being in the hot springs with nature all around is truly unforgettable.
It's important to note that Tonsina Point is a natural area and should be treated with respect. Visitors should pack out all trash and keep noise levels down to preserve the tranquility of the setting. Additionally, the hot springs are located on public land and are free to use, but visitors should still obtain any necessary permits.
Overall, soaking in the hot springs at Tonsina Point is a must-do activity for anyone visiting Valdez. It's a unique way to relax, recharge, and connect with nature all at once.
10 Marvelous Activities to Try on Great Diamond Island with Diamond-like Perfection
You may want to see also
Frequently asked questions
Valdez is an outdoor lover's paradise. Visitors can enjoy a variety of activities like hiking, fishing, skiing, snowboarding, snowmobiling, and kayaking. There are also guided tours that take you to glaciers and wildlife viewing areas.
There are several great places to visit in Valdez. One popular attraction is the Valdez Museum, which features exhibits on local history and culture. Another popular destination is the Worthington Glacier, which offers stunning views of Alaska's natural beauty. Guided boat tours to see the sea creatures that encompass Valdez are also quite popular.
Yes, there are several festivals and events that take place in Valdez throughout the year. The Valdez Ice Climbing Festival is one of the most popular events, which takes place in February. The Silver Salmon Derby is a fishing tournament that takes place annually in August. The Valdez Fly-In and Airshow is another annual event that features aerobatic performances and airplane displays.