Think it's difficult to get away when you live in Interior Alaska? It's not. Although the eight hour drive from Fairbanks to Valdez is an investment, like most Alaska highways, the views are incredibly rewarding. And, once you arrive in Valdez, the Alaska Marine Highway does the driving for you, through Prince William Sound to the charming seaside community of Cordova.
Fairbanks to Cordova — Alaska's Hidden Treasure (+)
Fairbanks to Cordova — Alaska's Hidden Treasure (-)
Drive the scenic Richardson Highway to Valdez and catch the ferry for a relaxing cruise through Prince William Sound. Cordova is a thriving fishing community with outstanding access to outdoor recreation. Sail out of the busy harbor on a charter boat for halibut fishing in nearby waters (no long boat ride required) or take your pick of rivers for salmon fishing. Located at the mouth of the world-famous Copper River, Cordova is known for its King and Red salmon. If fishing isn't your thing, Cordova offers lots of other outdoor fun. Nearby hills and forests have miles of world-class USFS hiking trails in the Chugach National Forest including a hiking trail to Sheridan Glacier or you could go rafting or kayaking with an organized tour operator. There are charming shops to take home a memento or galleries to view remarkable works of art.
Explore Cordova More & Head Home (+)
Explore Cordova More & Head Home (-)
If you're not still out in the wilderness, spend part of your day exploring the town and visiting the Cordova Historical Museum, the Native Village of Eyak's Ilanka Cultural Center and the well-respected Prince William Sound Science Center. Then drive or bike 36 miles of the Copper River Scenic Byway to see an abundance of wildflowers and wildlife. If you are a history buff plan a tour to Childs Glacier and the Million Dollar Bridge built at the turn of the last century to haul copper from Kennecott Mine. When it's time to head home, jump on the ferry to head back to Valdez. You can then explore the terminus of the Trans-Alaska Pipeline, or get back on the road. It's up to you. You can enjoy a leisurely drive home and be back in Fairbanks by dinnertime or stop at some of the great places along the Richardson Highway.