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Valdez, AK

Posted by on July 31, 2015

IMGP2652We spent a week in Valdez and thoroughly enjoyed it! Valdez is a pretty small town with only one grocery store, but it makes up for its lack of “town” with the sheer beauty of its surrounding landscape.

We knew we were in for something special as we drove through Keystone Canyon oooing and ahhhing over the many glaciers, waterfalls, and ice caves!

IMGP2660The little boys in front of Bridal Veil Falls. We had to chuckle about the name since we’d seen a Bridal Veil Falls in Canada too.

IMGP2665And then around the corner there was Horsetail Falls. Valdez should be known as the land of waterfalls! Everywhere you look you can see waterfalls cascading down the mountainside.

IMG_0829This was our breathtaking view for the week. Not bad, right?

Did you know the town of Valdez moved in 1964? The entire town moved four miles down the coast to a more protected part after a tsunamis generated by an earthquake destroyed the town.

IMGP2752You can drive down to the original town site.

IMGP2758They have some interpretive signs explaining what happened and showing old picture of what once was. You can see some of the old roads and even a few of the old building foundations.

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You can see what’s left of the dock in the picture above. The tide was coming in or we would have gotten closer.

Our favorite thing to do in Valdez was to drive down to the Solomon Gulch Fish Hatchery. We spent quite a lot of time at Solomon Gulch. It’s a great place to fish for salmon!

IMGP2790We found ourselves going during high tide to watch the wildlife.

IMGP2737The sea lions always put on a great show! They loved the high tide when they would come right up to the hatchery and feast.

IMGP2747In the picture above…see the dark mass toward the bottom right? Those are salmon. Hundreds if not thousands of salmon.

IMGP2726All of those fish drew more than just birds and sea lions…

IMGP2724We never actually saw a bear at the hatchery. I’m not sure what these rope barricades would do to protect us from an actual bear.

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In the picture above, you can see the actual fish hatchery.

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Some smart birds. The birds let the sea lions do all the work for them during high tides. The sea lions would come in and eat their fill while leaving fish parts. When the tide when back out the birds would swoop in and fight over all the fish leftovers.

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The Bald Eagles even got in on the feasting. When the Eagles would swoop in all of the other birds would scatter.

There was a Ranger Station just down the road from our RV park that had a waterfall behind it.

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I din’t get a great picture of it…but you could see where this waterfall started all the way up at the top of the mountain!

IMGP2697The little boys got to put on some bear skins and play at being bears. We got to see up close the differences between the grizzly and the black bear.

IMGP2669We drove to the edge of town to look at the Valdez Glacier. When we got to the dirt road that takes you back to it we found this sign. It made us pause for a few minutes.

IMGP2670Apparently, they warn you before they blow stuff up though…so we risked it.

IMGP2677You can kind of see the glacier there in the center of the above picture. We couldn’t get very close to it.

IMGP2686We didn’t stay long. They were actually there working right next to where you have to stand to see the glacier.

IMGP2646The last thing we did in Valdez was visit the Worthington Glacier! It’s definitely a must see if you’re ever in Valdez!

IMGP2978We walked the trail all the way to the glacier where we stood in awe before having to touch it.

IMGP2982We ventured into the cave just far enough to snap some pictures and watch the waterfall.

IMGP2986The blue was breathtaking!

IMGP2999The little boys had to have their pictures taken while they were sitting on the glacier.

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When we turned around to leave we saw how gorgeous the view was going the other way too! We’d been so intent on the glacier we hadn’t even noticed it.

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Valdez is going on our list of places we want to revisit someday. We loved everything about it.

IMGP2705And just so you know…bears use picnic tables too.

See y’all on the road!

#alaskabound

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