Valdez is a picturesque community located on Prince William Sound. The surrounding coastal mountains have been compared to views of the Swiss Alps. On March 27, 1964 an earthquake that measured 9.2 on the Richter Scale struck Alaska. The quake lasted over four minutes and was centered a mere 45 miles from Valdez, destroying homes and ripping streets apart. After the earthquake, the ground was considered too unstable for residents so the town was moved four miles east and rebuilt.
Since its gold rush days, Valdez has evolved into an important shipping center because it is the most northerly year-round, ice-free port in the western hemisphere. Construction of the Trans-Alaska Pipeline was completed in 1977 and Valdez was chosen as the terminus for the 800 mile pipeline out of Prudhoe Bay. During the construction phase of the pipeline, Valdez's population surged to 10,000. When it was completed and the oil started flowing, the population settled to its current level of about 4,000 year-round residents.
One of Alaska's most scenic drives is along the Richardson Highway between Valdez and Fairbanks. A popular side trip when driving to Valdez is a visit to Kennecott and McCarthy in Wrangell St. Elias National Park. When traveling to Valdez from Anchorage, consider taking your vehicle aboard the Alaska Marine Highway ferry from Whittier. The ferry travels across Prince William Sound, passing by glacier-capped mountains and the occasional sea otter. Whether you arrive by car, RV or ferry, we offer a great selection of day tours and excursions from glacier cruises to sea kayaking. Contact us with any questions at firstname.lastname@example.org.