Day 79: Waterfalls, glaciers and salmon in Valdez

Day 79: Friday, August 2, 2013

I love Valdez. It is a quaint fishing village with about 4500 year round residents. It is not too commercial or touristy and everything here revolves around the water. The harbor is surrounded by mountains and is the northern most harbor in Alaska that doesn’t freeze in the winter. The Alaska pipeline ends in Valdez.

On our drive into Valdez we descended a long steep grade on the highway past several glaciers and waterfalls without stopping so we took a drive back up the highway to do a little exploring in Keystone Canyon and at Worthington Glacier.

This sign explains the Solomon Gulch Hatchery Fish Weir
This sign explains the Solomon Gulch Hatchery Fish Weir

On the way back into town we took a drive to the other side of the bay to stop by the fish weir next to the hatchery to see if the salmon were spawning. There were fisherman on the banks catching salmon. At the fish weir by the hatchery the water was filled with thousands of fish.

We arrived in Valdez during their Gold Rush Days celebration. The Klondike Gold Rush is an important part of Valdez history and the residents celebrate for several days with events  for adults and kids. Friday night was the Wine Walk and start of a street fair. The ladies were all decked out in the 1890’s outfits having way too much fun!

If you haven’t looked at them lately, check out the maps of our journey.

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