What to do in Valdez

This small town offers big adventure year round, and by land or sea Valdez boasts unparalleled access to Alaska’s most spectacular landscapes, wildlife and outdoor activities. Nestled between the impressive Chugach Mountains and the stunning Prince William Sound, Valdez accommodates any type of traveller from the waterman to the explorer to the casual sightseer.  This special place should retain a spot on everyone’s Alaskan itinterary, and we will continue to supply you with the many exciting reasons why.

Bike & Hike to Solomon Gulch

This week I took the bike path heading out of town and headed to Solomon Gulch, located just across the port of Valdez. About 22 miles round trip and full of perfect photo ops, this is an ideal way to spend a sunny afternoon outdoors.

Valdez Glacier Stream

Valdez Glacier Stream

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The only time Anadyr guide Ilene Price is serious is when she’s on a bicycle

Our first stop was at the fish hatchery where 230 million Pink Salmon eggs and 2 million Coho salmon eggs are incubated annually.  Its not difficult to imagine that from July through September this is a great spot to catch a view of otters, eagles, gulls and bears who come here to feast.

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Solomon Gulch

 

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Nesting Kittiwakes

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View of Valdez from across the bay at very low tide

After snapping a few photos and checking out the city of Valdez from afar, we headed up the road to hike the John Hunter Memorial Trail.  This is a piece-of-cake, lush 3.8 miles of gravel trail out and back.  Small bridges brought us over flowing streams that looked and sounded serene.  A few simple climbs brought us to beautiful views of the Chugach range.  Arriving at the reservoir was impressive, with various shades of blue and green melding into eachother where the sky, mountains, and water met.

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The ride back into town brought us directly to the dinner table!  A hot sake toast was the perfect end to an epic 6 hour excursion.

We rent great all terrain bikes (Giant & Trek!) at Anadyr.   Grab your packs and lunch and head across the bay for an afternoon of adventure and sightseeing while you’re here in Valdez.

Sara, Anadyr Adventures Office Staff

Columbia Glacier From Above!

Talk about being at the right place (in my bed, still sleeping) at the right time (embarrassingly late to mention). Not too many wake-up voicemails can top this one. . . “Ilene, I may be able to get you on a helicopter ride to see Columbia Glacier. . if you call me back right away!” SWEEEET!! I jumped out of bed, did a few cartwheels, celebrated my good fortune with some victory dancing and got myself to the airport pronto! My second-ever helicopter ride would be over the largest tidewater glacier in the Sound, and one of my all-time favorite places in the world to sea kayak!! What an incredible experience, to see this massive glacier from above, which is quite different than my customary perspective from sitting in a kayak. I’m sharing these photos with you so that when (not if, when!) you come paddle with us, you’ll have a better idea of where all of those icebergs are coming from.

Columbia Glacier

Columbia Glacier

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OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAYeah, I’d say that I was pretty excited! Thanks to all who made it happen. . . Now, get me back in my kayak!

Unseasonal warm weather opens Valdez Glacier for kayak tours

Valdez Glacier, May 21st, 2014 – Valdez, Alaska

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On a recent scouting trip to Valdez Glacier, we were pleasantly surprised to see that the Valdez Glacial Lake is completely clear of its winter ice and ready to host trips to this amazing location.  There are already some great features forming on the glacier and its icebergs.

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Another benefit of the weather and this early opening is the lush flora already blooming on the surrounding mountains.  With Valdez remaining smoke free and the winter ice gone from the lake the timing could not be more perfect for a trip to the glacier for Memorial Day weekend.

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With it’s unique setting and rich history the Valdez Glacier trip is not to be missed.

For more info on this trip CLICK HERE.

Warm weather, clear smoke free skies bring in Memorial day weekend in Valdez

Unlike most of coastal and interior Alaska, the wildfires burning around the Kenai and Fairbanks have not affected air quality in Valdez. Further, the ice in Valdez Glacier Lake broke up over the last weekend -three weeks earlier than last year and Anadyr Adventures is running it’s full slate of day tours for the Memorial Day weekend. Give us a call for a great weekend.

Beautiful Days at Columbia Glacier

 

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I’ve just been out to Columbia Glacier for the first day trips of the season. The sun was shining, there was lots of ice to explore, and a wonderful time was had by all!

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Admit it. . . you wish that you were in this kayak!

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Happy paddlers! Big icebergs!

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Ice that has been left to hang out on the old terminal moraine of Columbia Glacier.

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Along with navigating through lots of ice in Columbia Bay, we also have the opportunity to paddle along the shoreline in Heather Bay, where old-growth Sitka Spruce forests give way to rushing waterfalls like this one.

Posted by Ilene Price on 5/18/2014

First Shoup Glacier Trip of the 2014 Season!

The Inner Bay at Shoup Glacier

The Inner Bay at Shoup Glacier

Here we are at Shoup Glacier, kicking off a sunny start to our 2014 season! The Inner Bay at Shoup Glacier is quite protected, which offers dazzling reflections of this majestic glacier, surrounded by snow-capped mountains.

Bald Eagle

Bald Eagle

Along with impressive bird-viewing (Bald Eagles, Black-Legged Kittiwakes, Canada Geese, Black Oystercatchers, Arctic Terns, various types of Shorebirds, and Surf Scoters, to name a few), we were also followed by a few curious Harbor Seals. I also spotted my first Black Bear of the season!! Everybody had a chance to watch this large bear searching for food (it was way up on the mountainside) with the binoculars.

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We took advantage of the incredible weather and explored the area in front of the glacier, finding beautiful pieces of blue ice that had recently fallen off the face of the glacier.

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Shoup Glacier is also home to one of the most impressive Black-Legged Kittiwake (a small Gull) rookeries, which allows us to get up-close-and-personal with this extremely vocal and active bird. Here we are, floating past the Kittiwakes.

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Not a bad place to spend a day!

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On the boat ride back into Valdez, we had a chance to greet these Steller Sea Lions. We also saw a group of Dall’s Porpoises.

Steller Sea Lions

Steller Sea Lions

We hope to see you out on the water with us this season!

Prepping for 2014

It’s mid April and Valdez is digging out from under the winter snowfall. It’s been a beautiful spring and because of the rains in January there is much less snow left around town than in an average year. As you may have seen the town was cutoff from the rest of the state after those rains when a massive avalanche at snow slide gulch buried the highway , dammed up the Lowe River and created a large lake at the east end of Keystone Canyon. The same weather took most of the snow off the steep slopes around Port Valdez so that the lower slopes around town are pretty much clear. We’re getting boats out earlier than normal and running some small boat harbor and glacier tours. We aren’t taking reservations earlier than midway but if you are in south-central Alaska looking for adventure Valdez is a great place to be right now. We’ll do trips on a weather permitting basis prior to the 15th so give us a call.
Right now, there is good paddling available at Columbia Glacier, out around Galena Bay and in the port itself
It’s looking like Valdez Glacier lake will be open for paddling a bit earlier than normal -the last week in May is our target date for that.
Looking ahead, we are going to offer a 4 day 3 night camping trip at Columbia Glacier. The trip name will be “World within the Moraine” It will drop off at the Heather BayMoraine, paddle the newly exposed coast up into the amphitheater where the-e various branches of Columbia Glacier form a 270 degree panorama of calving glacier face and then down the Columbia side to a pickup around Granite Bay. A good part of the terrain you’ll be paddling past was under 200 feet of ice 5 years ago. The tripwillbe priced the same as the 4 day 3 night Glacier Island to Columbia Glacier camping trip at $1095 a person.
A word about paddling at the face of Columbia aimed particularly for those doing the Columbia Daytrip. The first 15 years we had a Columbia Glacier trip, the paddle took place at the moraine with the actual glacier face 8 miles away.It’s a great trip and became the most popular glacier paddling trip in Alaska. Like now, the trips appeal was paddling around icebergs and seeing newly exposed post glacial terrain. Starting around 2005 there started being times when we could get up to the face of the glacier. These times are usually in the late summer and early fall. We love going up there and there’s a lot of exploring to be done where the glacier is now. However, we never start out knowing we’ll get to the face on a particular day. Ice flow can block us. Tides can make things difficult. On some days katabactic winds coming off the glacier can make it a nasty, unpleasant place to be. On those days, we fall back and do the trip we’ve been doing since 1989 and paddle around the moraine. It’s still a great place to paddle and the experience of a lifetime.