Whether you bring your own vehicle or rent one in Anchorage, this itinerary will take you along rugged mountain ranges, past magnificent glaciers, and through tranquil waters. Enjoy endless opportunities for exploration and recreation! Travel along three National Scenic Byways - the Alaska Marine Highway, the Glenn Highway, and the Seward Highway. Also explore two Alaska Scenic Byways - the south segment of the Richardson Highway and the Copper River Highway. If time allows, spend some time exploring Anchorage before beginning your journey.
Drive from Anchorage to Valdez (+)
Drive from Anchorage to Valdez (-)
Begin your adventure on a 300 mile drive from Anchorage to Valdez. Wind your way through fascinating landscapes, historical sites, and cozy roadhouses. In Glennallen, connect with the south segment of the Richardson Highway, Alaska's oldest highway. Copper Center is a great stop for a hearty meal or sourdough pancakes made from 100 year old sourdough starter. At the visitor center, plan an adventure to America's largest national park, Wrangell-St. Elias National Park and Preserve, home to the highest concentration of peaks over 16,000 feet in North America. Worthington Glacier is the most visited stop on the highway, and is listed as a National Natural Landmark. Travel through Thompson Pass, site of world class ice climbing and extreme skiing. Keystone Canyon, a gorge cut by the Lowe River is a great spot for hiking and river rafting.
Explore Valdez — Even Mother Nature Has Favorites (+)
Explore Valdez — Even Mother Nature Has Favorites (-)
Spend the day exploring Valdez. Go white river rafting through historic Keystone Canyon or enjoy sailing around Prince William Sound on a chartered boat or guided windrider excursion. Hike one of several historic trails or go ice climbing and rappelling on a glacier. Take a historical tour through old town and stop by the many museums to see exhibits on Native culture, gold rush history, Richardson Highway construction and the Trans-Alaska Pipeline. Go fishing in the freshwater lakes and streams or take a charter boat to fish the saltwater of Prince William Sound. Bike, boat and kayak rentals are available for exploring on your own.
Valdez to Cordova — Alaska's Hidden Treasure (+)
Valdez to Cordova — Alaska's Hidden Treasure (-)
Spend the morning exploring Valdez, and then board the Alaska Marine Highway for a three-hour voyage through Prince William Sound to Cordova. Enjoy the beauty of Prince William Sound and be sure to keep a lookout for wildlife. Then, spend some time exploring Cordova. Drive or bike 34 miles of the Copper River Highway to see an abundance of wildflowers and wildlife. The Copper River is one of Alaska's greatest rivers with a delta that spreads over 584 square miles and supports the famous Copper River wild salmon fishery. Go halibut fishing in nearby waters or take your pick of rivers for the chance to catch a salmon. Nearby hills and forests have miles of world-class USFS hiking trails including a hiking trail to Sheridan Glacier, or you could visit the Million Dollar Bridge and Childs Glacier with an organized tour operator. Also stop by the Cordova Historical Museum, the Native Village of Eyak's Ilanka Cultural Center, and the Prince William Sound Science Center.
Cordova to Whittier by Ferry and Drive to Anchorage (+)
Cordova to Whittier by Ferry and Drive to Anchorage (-)
Board the ferry for a three-hour cruise through Prince William Sound to Whittier. The sound is made up of many deep fjords with tidewater glaciers and islands around every turn. Whittier is surrounded by the Chugach National Forest, the second largest in the United States, and water related adventures abound. Fishing is a popular activity for all ages, take a kayak tour or go scuba diving. Search for wildlife, beachcomb, pick berries, or go for a hike. Before departing Whittier be sure to check out the schedule for the Anton Anderson Memorial Tunnel, the longest combined vehicle-railroad tunnel in North America. Located only 60 miles from Anchorage, you could be back in Anchorage before dinner, or spend the night in Whittier and do some more exploring of the area before heading off on your next adventure.