Top 9 Things to do in Valdez, United States

September 3, 2017 Sheron Bogner

Valdez /vælˈdiːz/,/vəlˈdɛz/ (Alutiiq: Suacit) is a city in Valdez-Cordova Census Area in the U.S. state of Alaska. According to the 2010 US Census, the population of the city is 3,976. The city was named in 1790 after the Spanish Navy Minister Antonio Valdés y Fernández Bazán. A former Gold Rush town, it is located at the head of a fjord on the eastern side of Prince William Sound. The port did not flourish until after the road link to Fairbanks was constructed in 1899. It suffered huge damage during the 1964 Alaska earthquake, and is located near the site of the disastrous 1989 Exxon Valdez oil tanker spill. Today it is one of the most important ports in Alaska, a commercial fishing port as well as a freight terminal.
Restaurants in Valdez

1. Columbia Glacier

Valdez, AK +1 907-831-0643
Excellent
83%
Good
14%
Satisfactory
2%
Poor
0%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

5 based on 206 reviews

Columbia Glacier

The largest tidewater glacier in Alaska.

Reviewed By MT1 - Aurora, Colorado

We took a Stan Stephens Glacier Cruise to see this glacier (see separate review on Stan Stephens Glacier Cruise) and it was excellent. Although the day we went was pretty cool, very overcast with some light rain off and on it was well worth it. We had to go through a fair amount of ice in the water to get to within about 3/4 of a mile (according to Amanda, the Glacier Spirit boat captain). We did see eagles, sea otters and sea lions on the way to the glacier but no whales. Also, the commentary offered by the boat captain on the cruise was very informative.

2. Keystone Canyon

Valdez, AK
Excellent
82%
Good
18%
Satisfactory
0%
Poor
0%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

5 based on 143 reviews

Keystone Canyon

Area known for great river rafting.

Reviewed By billhP5052PU - Anchorage, Alaska

We have driven through Keystone Canyon for many years and are always pulling over to gawk at the beautiful waterfalls. Top it off, the history behind the canyon is just super cool! Plenty of photo opportunities here, good for stretching the legs and just marveling at this piece of creation!

3. Worthington Glacier

Valdez, AK +1 907-269-8400
Excellent
65%
Good
27%
Satisfactory
6%
Poor
1%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 396 reviews

Worthington Glacier

An accessible glacier with a hiking trail that offers spectacular views.

Reviewed By Creed16 - Texarkana, Texas

This place is just breathtaking. Go off the trail and get up close. It is a nice little hike. Nice waterfalls. Easy hiking if you stay on the trail as it's basically right off the parking lot.

4. The Solomon Gulch Hatchery

1455 Dayville Road, Valdez, AK 99686 +1 907-835-1329
Excellent
63%
Good
26%
Satisfactory
9%
Poor
1%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 198 reviews

The Solomon Gulch Hatchery

VFDA built the Solomon Gulch Hatchery (SGH) in 1981, and released its first pink salmon fry in 1982. It has operated consistently since then. The water for the hatchery is provided by the Solomon Gulch Hydroelectric Plant, owned by the Copper Valley Electric Association through a cooperative agreement. VFDA employs a hatchery crew of twelve full and part-time employees, and is directed by Hatchery Manager Rob Unger. Other staff includes an assistant manager, fish culturists, maintenance support staff, and night watchmen. The hatchery staff lives in the Valdez community. SGH has a permitted green egg capacity to incubate 230 million pink salmon and 2 million coho salmon each year. These egg capacities are strictly controlled by the State of Alaska. With this capacity, VFDA achieves annual releases of approximately 218 million pink salmon fry, and 1.75 million coho salmon smolt. Egg take or spawning happens in late summer. Hatchery staff may spawn as many as 16,000 adult brood stock each day. These fish return to the hatchery spawning building by entering the facility using a fish ladder, which carry the fish from salt water to raceways on shore. Over the winter, the hatchery staff tends to the eggs as they hatch into alevin and settle into simulated gravel to subsist from their yolk sacs. In early spring, the fry emerge and are ready to go to sea. VFDA pumps the fry to net pens off shore where they are fed using commercial salmon feeds until they reach a target weight of at least 0.5 grams. From there, the smolts are released to complete their life cycle in the open sea. This process is known as ocean ranching. The adults, which average about 3.5 pounds each, return the following summer, and the process starts all over again. Average adult returns to the hatchery are approximately 13 million adult pink, and 160,000 coho salmon. After harvesting a small percentage of the return for cost recovery and brood stock, the remainder is harvested primarily by the commercial purse seine fishermen. While the hatchery walking tour is open all summer, the absolute best time to visit is during one of the salmon runs. Pink salmon return to the hatchery in July and coho (silver) salmon return in August. This also allows for the best opportunity to view Alaska wildlife as all manner of animals come to the hatchery to feed on returning salmon. You can see seals, sea lions, black and brown bears, eagles and other birds and much more. There is a large paved parking lot located just west of the hatchery site with plenty of parking for guests as there is no parking allowed on the site. The walking tour is wheelchair accessible and paved. While there is no fishing allowed directly in front of the hatchery, many anglers catch their limit of wild Alaska salmon on the east and west sides. It is a must-see attraction in Valdez.

Reviewed By HonestCountryCouple - Inverell, Australia

We visited 3 times hoping to see a bear but sadly didn't. The hatchery is very different at low tide than high. There are thousands of seagulls feeding on Salmon during low tide which are not there during high tide. The Sea lions are really visible during high tide, right near the shore. The information that the hatchery provides about its processes is very interesting. We would highly recommend the 15-20 min drive out to the hatchery. 27-29 July 2017

5. The Valdez Museum and Historical Archive

217 Egan Dr, P. O. Box 8, Valdez, AK 99686-0008 +1 907-835-2764
Excellent
56%
Good
37%
Satisfactory
7%
Poor
0%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 148 reviews

The Valdez Museum and Historical Archive

The Valdez Museum preserves and presents the heritage and culture of Valdez, the Copper River Basin, and Prince William Sound.

Reviewed By richard l - Penticton, Canada

Museum was well appointed, lots of historical content. Well displayed..a worthwhile visit. It is located near th ferry dock, easy access.

6. Maxine & Jesse Whitney Museum

303 Lowe Street, Valdez, AK 99686 +1 907-834-1690
Excellent
82%
Good
16%
Satisfactory
1%
Poor
0%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

5 based on 80 reviews

Maxine & Jesse Whitney Museum

Reviewed By tim1962 - Fredericksburg, Virginia

This is an interesting place to visit and only takes an hour. It's interesting because of all the artifacts collected around remote Alaska back in the years before mass tourism and when it was still possible to acquire them. The beautifully mounted collection of Alaskan animals is worth seeing.

7. Dock Point Park & Trail

Kobuk Drive, Valdez, AK 99686
Excellent
33%
Good
67%
Satisfactory
0%
Poor
0%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 6 reviews

Dock Point Park & Trail

Reviewed By Steve P - London, United Kingdom

This is a great trail mostly flat but some small hills. I did not see any moose or bears but there was plenty of evidence they can be found here so make some noise and don't walk the trail alone. Some good eagle sightings and good views of the harbour and surrounding lakes and wetlands.

8. Valdez Glacier Lake

Glacier Campground road, Valdez, AK 99686
Excellent
37%
Good
21%
Satisfactory
28%
Poor
7%
Terrible
7%
Overall Ratings

3.5 based on 14 reviews

Valdez Glacier Lake

Reviewed By Gina A - Dallas, Texas

Ice filled lake from the two glaciers that extend above the lake. Couldn't see the Valdez glacier from the lake but could see it from further away. Could see the other glacier when we hiked around the lake. Wish we had brought our kayak.

9. Valdez Convention & Visitors Bureau

309 Fairbanks Drive, Valdez, AK 99686 +1 907-835-2984

Where everything you ever dreamed of seeing and doing in Alaska are all in this one beautiful place!

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