2022 Alaska and the Inside Passage – Part 2 – Valdez and Hubbard Glacier

August 23, 2022 – More rain greeted us in Valdez, the northernmost ice-free port in Alaska. The town is located at the tip of a deep fjord in Prince William Sound with spectacular views of the Chugach Mountains. The southern terminus of the Trans-Alaska Pipeline carrying oil from Prudhoe Bay is in Valdez.

Our tour for the day was aptly named “Valdez on your own.” A shuttle bus picked us up at the cruise ship terminal to take us around the town. Our goal was to wander around the small boat harbor near where we had camped in our RV in August, 2013. We enjoyed wandering around looking at boats, browsing in some of the shops and eating a snack of garlic-rosemary fries at the Potato where we enjoyed talking to our server about the town. She told us the RV park is still there and told us where to find it.

Our shuttle ride back to the cruise ship dock took us near the RV park. As we drove through town our driver pointed out points of interest. Back at the cruise ship dock we wandered around the to see a monument dedicated to the men and women who built the Trans-Alaska Pipeline from 1969 to 1977. Another interesting sculpture has a giant octopus attacking a lighthouse.

Back on board ship we returned to our stateroom to find a bottle of champagne to celebrate our 52nd anniversary courtesy of the Viking Orion crew. We took the champagne with us to dinner to enjoy with our meal. We were surprised after dinner when our server brought us a cake to add to our celebration!

We had limited time to spend in Valdez because of the cruise ship schedule. There is a lot more see and do there. If you would like to read about our 2013 Valdez adventures please visit these posts: Waterfalls, Glaciers and Salmon in Valdez , Wildlife and Glacier Cruise from Valdez , and Bear Sighting on our last day in Valdez.

August 24, 2022 – The weather didn’t cooperate for our scenic cruising day. Rain and fog kept us from seeing much scenery so we mostly relaxed and enjoyed being on the ship. When the fog lifted for a few minutes I was able to capture a few pictures.

We were sailing through Yakatat Bay towards the Hubbard Glacier, the largest tidewater glacier in North America. The glacier is more that six miles wide where it meets the ocean and up to 400 feet tall.

As we approached the glacier we ventured out on the deck in the rain hoping for a better look. We were cold and wet but when we finally got close enough for a good view the weather cleared for a few minutes.

Hubbard Glacier

Next up – A new port and more wildlife sightings.

Throwback Thursday – August 1, 2013

I originally started the Wandering Dawgs blog as a way to keep friends and family updated as we traveled from Georgia to Alaska in 2013. Six years later, the blog is still going strong. We’re not traveling as much in our RV anymore so I thought it would be fun to relive some of our most memorable days from previous RV trips.

On this day six years ago, August 1, 2013, we were nearing the end of our stay in Alaska. That day, we drove from Glacier View, Alaska, to Valdez, our last major Alaska destination. I remember that drive was one of the most spectacular drives of our Alaska journey.

There were mountains and glaciers along the way.

On to drive to Valdez

Mantanuska Glacier
Mantanuska Glacier on the Glenn Highway

We could see Worthington Glacier from the highway about 30 miles from Valdez
We could see Worthington Glacier from the highway about 30 miles from Valdez

We had lunch with a view.

We had lunch at Willow Lake with a view of Mount Wrangell
We had lunch at Willow Lake with a view of Mount Wrangell

Welcome to Valdez
Welcome to Valdez

As we got close to Valdez we descended a long steep grade through Keystone Canyon and saw jaw dropping scenery as we drove by. We couldn’t stop while towing the fifth wheel so I took these waterfall phtotos the next day when we drove back up the highway for a closer look.

Bridal Veil Falls in Keystone Canyon
Bridal Veil Falls in Keystone Canyon

Horsetail Falls waterfall in Keystone Canyon
Horsetail Falls waterfall in Keystone Canyon

Our four days in Valdez were a great way to end our Alaska adventure before we began our return trip to Georgia.

To read more about that day, visit my original Wandering Dawgs post at Beautiful Drive to Valdez



Day 82: Bear Sighting on our last day in Valdez

Day 82: Monday, August 5, 2013

Our original plan was to spend 3 nights in Valdez and then start heading back home. We liked it here so much we ended up spending 5 nights.

We couldn’t pass up our last chance for fish and chips so we had lunch at Old Town Burgers. My halibut and chips were delicious and Henry enjoyed his fish tacos.

Blondie and the salmon
Blondie and the salmon

We met a great group of folks on the boat yesterday who told us there was a mama bear with four cubs on the way to the fish hatchery. Of course we couldn’t pass up an opportunity to see a bear so we took a drive back to the hatchery. We took Blondie down to the water and she wasn’t sure what to make of the fish.

As we drove back from the hatchery Henry spotted a black bear on our side of the road. We pulled over to the side of the road and watched the cub follow his mama back into the woods. With her cub safe and sound mama made several trips to retrieve dead fish from the creek bank to take back to the cubs. While this was all going on a Bald Eagle was preening on the top of one of the trees. After watching the bears for a long time we got ready to leave and saw a golden eagle fly overhead.

It was a great day to end our stay in Valdez. We will now begin our journey back home with one more night in Alaska before entering Canada to head south.

Day 78: Beautiful drive to Valdez

Day 78: Thursday, August 1, 2013. Glacier View to Valdez, Alaska. Bayside RV Park Site 80. 196 miles driven.

Before hooking up the fifth wheel we took a short drive to view the Matanuska Glacier from an overlook on the Glenn Highway.

Again we had no luck seeing wildlife but the beautiful mountains, lakes, and glaciers made up for the lack of wildlife.

The last few miles into Valdez take you down a steep grade through a spectacular canyon with many waterfalls. We didn’t want to stop while pulling the RV so we will drive up there later to look around some more. Our RV park is right beside the small boat harbor and close to the bay.