Miners and supply packers founded the community of Valdez at the turn of the century. In 1899, a pack trail was opened from the town to the gold fields in the upper Yukon basin and became Alaska's first highway, the Richardson. It had several names as it was known first as the Eagle Trail, and later as Valdez-Fairbanks Wagon Road.
Hard-hit by the 1964 earthquake, Valdez was left perched precariously on a ledge shaped perfectly for a future landslide.
Rather than abandon their town, Valdez residents elected instead to simply move it—literally—four miles away. They chose a rock-firm area which had been suggested as an alternate location for the town in 1911.
Some moved their older homes but most have built modern, contemporary structures.
Things To Do
After you see the breathtaking mountain scenery and become acquainted with the friendly people of Valdez, you'll understand why this area has, for decades, been dubbed the "Switzerland of Alaska" and has been a favorite with visitors. In one survey of visitors home-bound from Alaska, this scenic seacoast town rated among the state's top attractions, right along with Mt. McKinley, and Glacier Bay.
Valdez (pronounced "val DEEZ") was the center for the massive oil-spill cleanup after the "Exxon Valdez" disaster in March of 1989. Overnight this tiny serene community was changed into a frenzied center of activity not unlike the turn-of-the-century gold rush camp which started the town.
You can reach Valdez by road, sea or air. Paved highways join Valdez and Fairbanks, 364 miles/586 km away, and Anchorage 305 miles/491 km distant. Alaska ferryliners connect Valdez directly with Whittier, Cordova. There are scheduled flights between Valdez and Anchorage which are only 120 air miles apart.
Bear Paw RV Park101 North Harbor Drive · Valdez · Alaska · 99686 · 907-835-2530
Looking for a Place to Stay in Valdez AK?
Downtown B & B Inn113 Galena Drive · Valdez · Alaska · 99686 · 907-835-2791
Downtown B&B Inn offers travelers to Valdez Alaska excellent accommodations year-round. We feature cozy and clean rooms, private bathrooms, and great continental breakfasts. Our location is perfect for visitors who are interested in fishing, sightseeing, and glacier tours in Prince William Sound.