Valdez Hiking Trails
General Trail Info:
Valdez is a great place for a hike and there are alot of opportunities for a walk. A short stroll or a multi day backpacking adventure can start right from town. The scenery in the Fjord of Valdez is simply stunning with peaks in every direction. While there are no moose (except in Keystone canyon), there are bears, eagles, and even whales to be seen along these hiking trails. Seeing a whale from the hiking trail is rare, but it never stopped me from looking!
The City of Valdez parks and rec. department has some information about most of the trails in the area. Bears and You (from the Alaska State Parks) is important information about bear safety in Alaska and a must for every hiker. Also, hypothermia can become a problem during these hikes, as the weather in Valdez can change rapidly.
- Worthington Glacier
- VCVB link Flickr photos - The Flickr photos show quite a bit of ice Climbing there. You could ask Brian Teale at the Ice Festival forums if there is any guiding going on. Otherwise, the hike is pretty nice along the lateral moraine. I suggest hike till you get tired, flop down for lunch, and enjoy the well earned view. Also there is a large parking lot and walk ways and viewing platform at the base of the glacier near the road.
- Thompson Pass
- Flickr photos -Alpine hiking, Pipeline road There is so much to explore up there - And whatever you do - Don't be in a rush to get into Valdez. You are just going to want to come right back to the pass. My favorite thing to do is park the car at one of the turn outs - Blueberry lake is nice. Walk for awhile to get away from the road and find a nice sunny spot out of the wind (you can bet on the wind up there). Then sit very still and watch the marmots come out and check you out. The silence will attack you! It's incredible in all the seasons.
- Keystone Canyon Pack Trail
- VCVB link Flickr photos old VCVB link Ya know... I've never been on them. They say it's nice. It's a historic trail that has gotten alot of attention. I guess I just can't stand devil's club.
- Valdez Glacier
- Flickr photos Some of these photos are of other Glaciers around Valdez (Shoup and Worthington) but there are some of the Historic Valdez Glacier. Trekking around on a glacier is of course dangerous, but people still do it. The snout of the Valdez Glacier is relatively flat and makes for an easy walk and the area around the glacier is full of trails. A good spot for cross country skiing too.
- Solomon Gulch
- 1.3 miles VCVB link AKguidebook link Flickr photos
This trail starts at the Solomon Gulch Fish Hatchery. It climbs steeply to the first bench offering views of Valdez to the North. The North facing forest is lush and cool. The access road is a okay mountain bike ride - Okay because it is a gravel road (like mineral creek), but the views make up for it.
- Dock Point Trail
- VCVB link AK guidebook link Flickr photos a scenic 3/4-mile round-trip right in the center of town. There are wide trails with gravel improvements. Also, there are several overlooks to the South across the bay. The tall fir trees and friendly squirrels make this a great little walk.
- Mineral Creek
- VCVB link AKguidebook link Mountain Bike review link Dirtworld.com link Flickr photos A great spot in all seasons. The trail is an improved gravel road that leads 6 miles back to an old Stamp mill. Snowmachines and Cross Country skiers use the trail. There are quite a few ice climbs in the area, that are lovely waterfalls during the summer month. In the early summer, a snowslide covers the road and the waterfall carves out a cave looking in from the top. It's worth the trip.
- Shoup Bay
- City link Alaska State Parks link LLBean link Flickr photos These trails are relatively flat, wooded trails with views of the bay. There are a couple of streams with new bridges. My friend, Derek, was on the trail crew that built them a few years back and he is very VERY proud of those bridges. A the end of the trail are three public use cabins built and maintained by the state of Alaska. They are McAllister Creek Cabin, Kittiwake Cabin, and Moraine Cabin.
First half Valdez to Gold Creek VCVB link
Second half Gold Creek to Shoup Glacier VCVB link