Information About

Valdez

Quick Facts

Open in The Map Valdez on The Map

Location

61 ° 7' 51" N,
146 ° 20' 54" W

Region

Valdez-Cordova (CA)

Elevation

20 ft (6.1 m)

Uses

Valdez in Detail.

Getting There

There are direct flights to Valdez twice a day, weather permitting. Ravn Alaska is the only scheduled air service to Valdez.
Valdez is also part of the Alaska Marine Highway (ferry system), and can be accessed from Whittier.
However most people come to Valdez from driving down the Richardson Highway.

About

On E end of Port Valdez, 45 mi. NW of Cordova and 115 mi. E of Anchorage Chugach Mts.

Valdez is a small remote town with one road in and out, most times the road is clear, however it can become heavily fogged in on Thompson Pass. It is still somewhat of a hidden gem for outdoor activities. Valdez offers a bit of everything and a lot of certain things, all while offering amazing landscape and scenery.
Much of Valdez current tourism is heli-skiing, and fishing. There are small cruise operations that offer tours out to the tidal glaciers like Columbia Glacier and Meares Glacier.
As for accommodations, there are a few options in the off season (mid Sept-May) and much more in summer. There are several RV parks, hotels, motels, as well as a few places for camping. The town only has one grocery store, a Safeway, and one chain food store, a Subway. There are a few restraunts open year round and many open in summer.
Ice Climbing: Valdez has many places for ice climbing including; Keystone Canyon, Bridal Veil Falls, Greensteps, Simple Twist of Fate, POS, Hung Jury, Horsetail Falls, Mud Slide, Plastic Jesus, Valdez Glacier, Worthington Glacier, Foolagain, and many more locations.
Hiking Trails: Valdez has a lot of areas where one can bush whack to make their way to new places. But there are also many hiking trails. Popular ones include Shoup Bay Trail, Dock Point Trail, Goat and Wagon Road Trail, High School Hill Trail, John Hunter Memorial Trail (Solomon Gulch), Keystone Canyon Pack Trail, Mineral Creek Trail.
Rock Climbing
Valdez has over 100 climbing routes though, we don't have them all in our database yet. Popular ones include campground wall located near the campground by the airport and Blueberry Lake on Thompson Pass, as well as routes on the rock along Worthington Glacier.
Kayaking/Canoeing/Rafting
Port Valdez offers great kayaking from town to Shoup Bay, and the Shoup Glacier and some of the guiding outfits offer longer tours out in Prince William Sound. Another popular kayaking/canoeing destination is the icebergs and Valdez Glacier.
Rafting, packrafting, white water kayaking, include Valdez Glacier Stream and the obvious choice Lowe River, especially as it flows through Keystone Canyon.
Our friends at Alaska Photography are based out of Valdez.

History

Town established in 1898 as a debarkation point, with an excellent ice-harbor, for men seeking a route to the Klondik gold region. It was originally called "Copper City" but name was changed when the Valdez post office was established in 1899. Valdez soon became the supply center of its own gold mining region. The town is located on the distributary delta of Valdez Glacier, and was severly damaged during the 1964 Good Friday earthquake (plans are being made to move the town to more stable ground three miles northwest.) The population was 315 in 1900; 810 in 1910; 466 in 1920; 442 in 1930; 529 in 1939; and 554 in 1950.

Valdez was established in 1898 as a debarkation point, with an excellent ice-free harbor, for men seeking a route to the Klondike gold region. It was originally called "Copper City" but the name was changed once the Valdez post office was established in 1899. Likely named after Port Valdez named on June 16, 1790, by Don Salvador Fidalgo, after a Spanish naval officer, Antonio Valdes. Valdez soon became the supply center of its own gold mining region. The town was located on distributary delta of Valdez Glacier, and was severely damaged during the 1964 Good Friday earthquake.
The part of Valdez is now referred to as Old Valdez. There is not much left of Old Valdez other than a few foundations and dock pilings out in the beach.
Present day Valdez was built on land donated by descendants of George Cheever Hazelet and Jack Meals. Two men who arrived in Valdez on March 8, 1898, later to for the Port Valdez Investment Co, and homesteaded 654 acres in 1901. Of this original 654 acres, 140 were donated to become present day Valdez. Three of the two men's sons actively participated in the recovery effort, representing almost 100 descendants.
Exxon Valdez
Valdez is also known for the TAPS/Alyeska terminal which is the end of the line for the Alaska Pipeline which sends oil from the top of Alaska, near the arctic ocean, down to Valdez. In 1985 the ship the Exxon Valdez, spilt oil in Prince William Sound soon after leaving Valdez. No remnants of the spill remain.
Post Y2K
In the January 2014 the road was completely cutoff just before entering Keystone Canyon when a major avalanche traveled down Snowslide Gulch covering the Lowe River and Richardson Highway.

Valdez Gallery

Pictures of, from, or near Valdez.

Places Near Valdez
Bars:

Sawmill Spit,

Basins:

Uno Basin, Washbowl Basin,

Bays:

Anderson Bay, The Lagoon, Port Valdez,

Capes:

Jackson Point,

Cities:

Valdez,

Crags:

Valdez Glacier Campground Wall, Lookout Rock, Panorama Point,

Dams:

Solomon Gulch Dam A, Solomon Gulch Dam B, Solomon Lake Dam,

Flats:

Duck Flats,

Glaciers:

G-g-g-g-g Glacier, Johnson Glacier, Mineral Creek Glacier, Shoup Glacier, Valdez Glacier,

Routes:

Wowie Zowie,

Islands:

Ammunition Island, Mineral Creek Islands,

Lakes:

Allison Lake, Robe Lake, Silver Lake, Solomon Gulch Lake, Solomon Lake, Valdez Glacier Lake,

Locales:

Airport Chute, Area 51, Cabell Chute, Chuck Chute, Chuck Junior, Delta Chute, Grant Chute, Jago Chute, Lookout Bowl, Lucky 13, Runner's Delight, Sentinel, Sheepshead Chute, Tombstone Wall,

Mountains:

Mount Francis, Mount Kate, Mount Logan, Mount Hogan, Mummy Mountain, Mount Schrader, Mount Shasta, Mount Shouplina, Sugarloaf Mountain, Valdez Summit, West Peak,

Peaks:

Benzene, Bob's Knob, Comstock, Embick, High Back, Snow Dome, Titan Chair,

Rivers:

Duck River, Lowe River, Robe River,

Routes:

Lazy Days, No Floss Necessary, Route number 1, Route number 3, Trim the Bush, Wet Finish,

Routes:

Dragon's Teeth, Route number 2,

Streams:

Abercrombie Creek, Allison Creek, Brevier Creek, Camicia Creek, Corbin Creek, Crooked Creek, Dayville Creek, East Fork Mineral Creek, Glacier Creek, Gold Creek, Horsetail Creek, Mineral Creek, Salmon Creek, Sawmill Creek, Slater Creek, Valdez Glacier Stream, Wood Creek,

Routes:

Area 51 Access Trail, Dayville Power Line Trail, Dock Point Trail, Mount Francis Winter Trail, High School Hill, High School Hill to Summit Trail, High School Hill Water Tower Trail, Hogsback Trail, Homestead Trail, John Hunter Memorial Trail, Levee to Valdez Glacier Trail, Lost Toque Trail, Mineral Creek East Trail, Mineral Creek Stamp Mill Trail, Mineral Creek West Trail, Northern Robe Lake Trail, River Drive Trail, Robe River Hogsback Access Trail, Shoup Bay Trail, Solomon Gulch Valdez Overlook Spur, Southern Robe Lake Trail, Valdez Bike Path, Valdez Overlook Trail,

Valleys:

Abercrombie Gulch, Solomon Gulch, Sulphide Gulch,

Cities:

Old Valdez,

Related Articles
Something for Everyone on the Valdez Pack Trail of 1899
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Something for Everyone on the Valdez Pack Trail of 1899

The Valdez Trail of 1899 is a gem, but I only rarely see other people on it. It takes you through a series of different ecosystems from mossy forest to alpine tundra. The trail is generally kept in very good shape, with just one real muddy spot towards the southern end. It also has historic significance. It follows the pack trail the Army Corps of Engineers built between 1899 and 1901 between the ocean and the interior. There are four trailheads along the Richardson Highway: at 12 mile, 14 mile, 20 mile, and 26 mile, giving hikers a range of options. Technically, the southern end is the “Pack Trail of 1899” and the northern end is the “Wagon Road of 1898,” but it all feels like one trail to me.