In the heart of Prince William Sound and less than 25 miles east of the Columbia Glacier you will find the city of Valdez nestled beneath the Chugach Mountains. The crashing glaciers and towering mountains that rise from the sea provide a “catch your breath” kind of picturesque beauty.
Not surprisingly considering its location, Valdez has the freshest snow on earth and more than 300 inches is measured annually in the city. Nearby Thompson Pass has recorded more than 900 inches. As one might expect with this much powder, Valdez celebrates winter with alpine and cross country skiing on world class trails, as well as with snowboarding, snowmobiling, dog sledding, and ice climbing.
Valdez is also a premier fishing destination. Many of the biggest fish caught in Alaska are reeled in from Prince William Sound. The salmon runs are colossal - the pinks return in the millions and the silvers by the hundreds of thousands. Halibut charters from Valdez take you to the flatter waters of Prince William Sound.
Incredibly, mixed with the amazing natural backdrop is the final terminal for the Trans-Alaska Pipeline. Oil is pumped out of Prudhoe Bay on the Beaufort Sea on the north coast of Alaska and travels 800 miles south through the pipeline to the terminal in Valdez. The terminal, which lies across the bay, is made up of 15 miles of pipeline, 18 oil-storage tanks and four tanker berths which is nothing short of remarkable to see.