The Alaskan town of Valdez, primarily a commercial port known for industries, like oil, also has a great reputation for outstanding commercial and sport fishing. A recent tax to all tankers coming into port has caused many to seek dock in other places, affecting population and economy somewhat, but enabling locals to further expand on tourism. Valdez is in the northeast section of Prince William Sound, surrounded by the Chugach Mountains. This location, at the head of a deep fjord, makes many outdoor activities the norm for tourists to Valdez, including hiking, biking, glacier trekking, ice climbing and rappelling. Three local museums and other Native Alaskan displays around town celebrate local culture, artifacts, and history. Guided raft trips past waterfalls in Keystone Canyon, kayak tours, camping excursions, and hiking trails are some of the fun and exciting things to do around Valdez and through some impressive local geography.
A six-hour drive from Anchorage might sound like a haul, but the scenery makes such a trip worthwhile. The only road into Valdez is the Richardson Highway, crossing Thompson Pass, past the dramatic Worthington Glacier and into a deep, narrow valley. Valdez is a port of call for ferries and cruises along the Alaskan Marine Highway, leading visitors smoothly through the Sound, past sea otters, whales, and a host of other wildlife. Regularly scheduled flights to and from Anchorage make the journey much quicker and simpler, soaring over territory inhabited by black and brown bears, sharing the skies with bald eagles and other majestic fowl.
Approximately 20 million Salmon enter Valdez Bay between June 1 and September 1, and many charters are available to help you land your limit. Remote, unspoiled freshwater fishing in Prince William Sound and the Chugach Mountains brings rewards in large Halibut and Salmon, with visuals of whales, sea lions, seals, and porpoises. Inland options include wilderness campgrounds, cabins, and lodges near sparkling, clear lakes and ponds. Salmon Sharks, related to the Mako, fight like Marlin and are accessible with assistance from the right charters and guides. Fly-in fishing brings you away from town and into more remote locations, where you can take in the peaceful sights and sounds of nature, while hauling in trophies. Ice fishing in upcountry lakes and holes is a popular winter option. Shoreside fishing at locations around the port is an easy choice to pass a few hours without need for, or taking a break from, further travel.
Valdez is rapidly becoming a popular tourist destination, thanks to a new commitment by residents to embrace its location and surrounding natural beauty. Getting here can be rewarding enough, as all pathways into town lead past startling wilderness and geography. Once here, you may quickly find countless activities outdoors, as well as inspirational culture and friendly people indoors. A great many opportunities to battle sportfish await anglers with or without experience, thanks to the knowledge and availability of capable, affordable local charters. Spend some time in Valdez. Fishing is good for the soul.