Valdez has often enchanted me.  Not only is  Valdez is protected by the world’s tallest coastal mountains but this fishing city has some of the most beautiful waterfalls, wildlife, rivers, glaciers, oceans, fish and a mystical vibe that permeates the city.  Valdez is located deep in the heart of the eastern side of Prince William Sound, 305 miles from Anchorage or 364 miles from Fairbanks. The city was named in 1970 after the Spanish navy minister Antonio Valdes and gets its roots as a gold rush town.  Valdez port did not begin flourishing until the Richardson Highway to Fairbanks was constructed. 

Valdez today is one of the most important ports in Alaska for commercial fishing as well as being a freight terminal. Valdez lobbied for the railroad to link the tidewaters to the Kennecott copper mine.  There was a shootout over this railroad and the rail line was constructed elsewhere.  There is however a half built rail way tunnel in the canyon which marks this history.  You can see it on the left side of the highway on the way into Valdez. 

The Trans-Alaskan Pipeline system ends in Valdez, bringing oil from the Prudhoe Bay oil fields from northern Alaska to the end where it gets shipped from Valdez harbor.  The pipline has boosted Alaska’s economy significantly

In the big earthquake of 1964, a portion of Valdez’s foundation slid into the sea due to soil liquefaction.  Soil liquefaction occurs when saturated or partially saturated soil loses its strength (like when the earthquake hit) and it is unable to support anything resting on it.  This sinking caused a tsunami 30 feet high that traveled away from Valdez and into the bay.  32 People on the main freight dock died as a result of this tsunami which caused the dock to sink.  A new site for Valdez was constructed on more stable ground 4 miles from the original town.  This is now the current site of Valdez and the old site was deconstructed and burned down.

Where to Stay

Since there are only around 4000 people in the town of valdez, there are not a lot of places to stay – So I will list most of them.  Of course, I always recommend you checking out Air B&B to see if there is a home you could stay in. I personally camp when I travel to Valdez but it also rains a lot there so it’s your prerogative.

Hotels & Lodges

Totem Hotel and Suites
144 East Egan Dr, Valdez, AK 99686
(907) 835-4443

This is the newest hotel in Valdez.  Very Modern and has rooms for all your activities.  There are hotel rooms, business class suites and cabins available to rent. The staff is very friendly and helpful and the rooms have comfortable beds.  Breakfast comes with the stay and the location is right in the middle of everything.  A little pricey but it also has a pool. This hotel also has a restaurant.

Mountain Sky Hotel & Suites

100 Meals Ave, Valdez, AK 99686
(907) 835-4445

Small and a little older but has a nice bed and hot water for a shower. Set in the middle of downtown and only 4.2 miles from the airport.  Just a block away from the harbor.

Keystone Hotel

400 Egan Ave, Valdez, AK 99686
(907) 835-3851

A Cheap option for a warm bed.  You get what you pay for and the hotel doesn’t promise anything better than what it is.  The staff are friendly and the food is hearty.  Within walking distance to the Valdez Museum. 

Inns, Cabins and B&B’s

Best Western Valdez Harbor Inn

100 N Harbor Dr, Valdez, AK 99686
(907) 835-3434

A little outdated but the beds are cozy and the rooms are warm.  If you are looking for a place to rest your head comfortably while you explore Valdez, this is the place for you!  Try and get lucky enough to get a room with a view.

Robe Lake Lodge

5325 Lake View Dr, Valdez, AK 99686
(907) 831-2339

Beautiful lakeside cabins & Lodge with a view.  Hot tub, fire pit and a fully stocked kitchen with running water (in a tank).  The Wi-Fi is a little spotty but this is definitely an Alaskan Cabin experience.  

House on the Rock B & B

613 S Moraine Dr, Valdez, AK 99686
(907) 831-9027

The owners are very friendly, the breakfast is delicious and the showers are hot. Clean rooms, and amazing location.  The owners are very knowledgeable about Valdez.  Massage chair available and the place is really clean with laundry services on site.

Camping & RVs

Valdez KOA Journey
3181 Richardson Hwy, Valdez, AK 99686
(907) 835-2723

A wonderful campground with cabins and accommodations for all your RV, Camping and cabin camping needs.  Hot showers, great hosts, and well kept, cheaper than the hotel and surrounded by Valdez’s natural beauty. This campground is close to everything and even has a salmon spawning creek flowing through some of the site.  WIFI and cell service strong. 

Valdez Glacier Campground

Glacier Campground Rd, Valdez, AK 99686

A Military campground. First come First serve

Allison Point Campground

Valdez, AK 99686
(907) 835-2531

Another military campground but this one is by Allison point which is a great place to fish for salmon.  First come First serve.

Blueberry Lake State Recreation Site

23 Richardson Hwy, Valdez, AK 99686
(907) 269-8400

This is one of my favorite places to go.  It’s just glorious.  However it is pretty far away from the city of Valdez (24 miles) but its small and quiet and a good option to choose if you are more about the hiking and quiet camping than visiting the harbor.  This is a state run park that is ADA accessible with 25 camp sites, toilets and water.  This camp ground offers fishing, trails and berry picking.  And let me tell you the berries in Valdez can be FAT.

Eagles Rest RV Park

139 E Pioneer Dr, Valdez, AK 99686
(800) 553-7275

Alaska’s largest RV park RV Spaces, Cabins and Glamping tents.  Hot showers, convenience store nearby, laundromats, dump stations, Cable TV hookups and amazing views. Close to town

Valdez RV Park

230 Richardson Hwy


Rv and tent sites, bay front view of the nine glaciers, abundant wildlife, WIFI, showers, restrooms, laundry, Pancake breakfasts and smores. Alaskan sized fire pit, gift shop and close to harbor and gift shops

Bear Paw RV Park
101 N Harbor Dr, Valdez, AK 99686
(907) 835-2530

Rv park right on the harbor! Walking distance to great shopping and dining.  Hot showers. They have two parks, this one and another adult only park.

Chena RV Park

101 Chena St, Valdez, AK 99686
(907) 378-6165

A less crowded option, nice owners and beautiful.  Full service!

Where to Eat

Old Town Diner


139 E Pioneer Dr


Yummy Halibut and chips, salmon and chips, a great burger and AMAZING prices for the large portions you get. The breakfast is just as good with good service and quick food.

Poor Betty’s

Takeout Restaurant

141 Galena Dr · In Valdez Brewing


A taste of Louisiana in Valdez featuring Po Boy Sandwiches

Magpie’s On The Fly

350 Galena Dr.


Cute little outdoor theater café with great coffee and homemade treats.  The atomosphere is great and they have a great selection of beer and wine to accompany.  Fresh and delicious

Valdez Brewing

141 Galena Dr, Valdez, AK 99686
(907) 835-4123

Not so much food but beer! Great atmosphere, spacious seating and great beer! A great way to relax after a day in Valdez.

The Potato

255 N Harbor Dr


A simple a little place that offers beautiful food. Breakfast and lunch is a must, Large protions and outdoor seating on the patio. Pizza and Mac an Cheese is also served here. Try the homemade BBQ sauce too.  Consistently fast, fresh and wonderful service.

Nat Shack

239 N Harbor Dr


Yummy Tacos and other foods!  A great selection of beer and wine as well.  Another cute place to eat with outdoor seating. Try the Halibut tacos!

The Fat Mermaid

143 N Harbor Dr


Great food and beautiful scenery.  Bold beers and options for everyone.  A good sit down place to visit with friends and enjoy the harbor.

The Stampmill

328 Egan Ave


Great pizza and beer.  A good environment with a good chill atmosphere.  Worth a stop in!

Fu Kung Chinese Restaurant

207 Kobuk Dr


A little pricey but the food is good and the sushi is enjoyable!  The quality of the food is consistent, the service is good and the portions are appropriate. Good Chinese food to hit the spot after a long day of fishing.

Aunty Yum Yum’s Real Thai Food Truck

239 Harbor Dr., Valdez, AK, United States, Alaska

(907) 255-8424

Delicious Thai food truck right on the harbor.

What to do

Valdez is another one of those beautiful places right near the water, next to the mountains.  You can do land and sea activities here in the summer and winter.  Obviously those activities look different depending on which season you are in.

Use the bike path that leads out of town for a fun treat

Check out the Valdez Visitor’s Center
309 Fairbanks Drive

Located right in the middle of town, this is your first stop to see all the stuff Valdez related. You can also find some Valdez themed gifts here.  Free WiFi in the lounge.

Check out the Valdez Museum  
217 Egan Dr, Valdez, AK 99686

Check out keystone Canyon

As well as the surrounding waterfalls in this area (this trail is part of Thompson pass)

Check out Thompson Pass

Lots of hiking, biking and camping trails stem from this pass and you can get a stunning view of the Chugach Mountains.

Go visit the Solomon Gulch Hatchery

Fishing Charters

Valdez Outfitters – Halibut, Salmon, Rock Cod and more

AK – Xpeditions – for Copper River fishing/ dipnetting (Outside Valdez)

Fish Central – Boat rentals, Fish processing and fishing charters

Sightseeing Tours

Stan Stephens Glacier & Wildlife Cruise

Valdez Outfitters

HeliSki in winter

Valdez Heli-Ski Guides


VS Helicopters – Glacier tours, everything tour, eagle eye tour

Wilderness guides

Alaska Guide Co – private guided tours – glacier hikes, iceburg tours, rock and ice climbing, northern lights tours (in the winter), hiking and camping tours.

Pangaea Adventures – adventure lodge trips, multi-sport trips, rafting, glacier hikes, Sea Kayaking, Kayak Camping, water taxi  

ATV tours

Valdez off Road Adventures – ATV tours through Mineral Creek, Thompson pass, Valdez, and the Chugach Mts.

Go Kayaking

Pangaea Adventures – Sea kayaking, shoup bay, duck flats trips

Anadyr Adventures – Day trips, lake trips, camping trips, sea kayaking trips

Check out the surrounding glaciers:

Worthington Glacier

Valdez Glacier

Meares Glacier

Shoup Glacier

Columbia Glacier (must take a tour to reach)

Where to hike

Solomon Gulch Viewpoint – A difficult 4.3 mile out and back trail with great views.

Dock Point trail – great views on this easy 1 mile hike, close to town in between the duck flats and port Valdez. Lots of birds here.

Homestead Trail – lots of wildlife to view along this gravel path where you can view salmon spawning in late summer.  A small little 1.2 mile trail that flows through a cotton wood forest and ends right by the ocean with stunning views

Goat Trail – great views with Bridal Falls to stop and see up close.  This trail is a restored section of the military pack train trail.  A great overlook a mile in.

Mineral Creek Trail – there is a lot of history on this 12.2 mile trail from Alaska’s gold rush. There are ruins on this trail.  You can also rent a bike and bike this one as it’s an old gravel road.

Shoup Bay Trail – This is a difficult trail with two different types of hikes.  Section A is a tame 6.5 mile round trip while section B is 12.6 miles out and back and is difficult.

Thompson Pass – a nice 5 mile hike uphill 3100ft.  You will cross streams and come to a lake where you will be able to view glaciers and peaks.  This trail is also part of the “trail of 98” which are historic trails of differing lengths and difficulties that led prospectors from Valdez to Interior Alaska during the Gold rush in the 1898/1899 years.

Valdez is one of my favorite places to visit in Alaska.  I would seriously recommend taking a trip to visit this place! It has all the things that make Alaska beautiful.

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