Scott Hocking

COVID update

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to change and evolve, our little town of Valdez and small owner-operated business are adjusting to a new normal like you. Still, we want you to know that you can expect the same high quality, small group trips this season that have established Anadyr Adventures as the premier kayaking company in Prince William Sound over the last 30 years. As we realize the importance of offering guests access to wild spaces and outdoor activity, we are excited to announce that Anadyr Adventures is open for business.

Our priorities have always been the safety and well-being of our guests, team and community. They remain our focus. Anadyr is fortunate to have a dedicated and experienced staff. We’ve been able to examine each detail of our operations, from guest communications and pre-trip prep to post-trip cleaning and disinfecting procedures and establish new practices where needed. While risk management has been essential to achieving our goals for three decades, the risk of infection and transmission of COVID is a new addition to our safety plan. By operating under the State of Alaska Health Mandates and CDC guidelines, we’re doing everything possible to minimize that risk. We ask you for your help in our effort, as you are an essential partner in our safety plan.

These are just some of the things we’re doing differently that we wanted to share with you:

  • We’re monitoring the health of both our team and guests.
    • If you’re not feeling well or may have been exposed to COVID, please pass on your kayaking day. Our team will show you the same respect.
  • Our storefront is currently closed to the public.
    • Our office staff is still available by phone or email and as always, happy to answer any questions.
    • We are staggering trip times to minimize interaction between parties. This may limit availability so please plan your kayaking day well in advance.
    • We are gearing up outside but have a covered area for wet days.
  • We know that given the uncertainty of times, guests may need more flexibility when booking so we’ve updated our cancellation policy for 2020 to accommodate this.
  • We’ve made changes to our packing list.
    • We ask that you bring a face covering and wear them for trip prep, water taxi ride and when launching/landing kayaks. If you don’t have one, we have them for sale at $9. They are locally designed and/or made.
    • We encourage you to invest in and/or bring rain gear. Rain gear is especially labor intensive to disinfect and the process hard on that gear.
  • Transportation poses challenges in social distancing so we’ve instituted the following:
    • Valdez Glacier Lake trips – We ask that after gearing up at our shop, you follow us in your private vehicle to the trip location. If this isn’t possible please let us know and we’ll provide private party transportation.
    • Water taxi trips – (Shoup Glacier, Columbia Iceberg & Face, Glacier Island) Through June 1st we are combining no more than 2 parties to allow for distancing to the extent possible.
  • Following CDC guidelines, we have enhanced our protocols for cleaning our workplace and kayak equipment. From the chair you sit in when you arrive, to the kayak that you spend the day exploring in, all surfaces and equipment are disinfected after each use.

While much has changed, once the kayaks are launched into our pristine corner of the Prince William Sound, you will find a welcomed return to normalcy. So, if you’re ready to get out and explore, please consider visiting Valdez and booking a trip with us. We look forward to getting on the water with you and truly appreciate your business!

Valdez Glacier Lake_Kayak_Icebergs
Valdez Glacier Lake

Ilene Price

TEAMWORK MAKES THE DREAMWORK: A 9-Day Kayaking Trip to Columbia Glacier

Tranquil evening in front of Columbia Glacier


Day 1 of 9, Unakwik Inlet, Prince William Sound

“Teamwork makes the dreamwork!” Corny? You betcha! However, it’s a fantastic motto to live by on any paddling trip (and life). I can’t imagine this trip without my paddling companions, Evan and Katie, who flew into Valdez for this kayaking adventure. But first, a little backstory, as this was not our first Alaskan adventure together:) The following photos are from our 2017 trip together.

Katie enjoying the single life, Sawmill Bay, 2017

Katie & Evan at the face of Shoup Glacier, 2017

Evan & Katie discovering their love for S’mores pancakes, Sawmill Bay, 2017

Evan & Katie exploring the salmon stream, Sawmill Bay, 2017

My luck started last year when I guided Katie and Evan on their first multi-day kayaking trip (a 3-day), in which we fought the wind from Valdez harbor to Shoup Bay (it was a pretty wild first experience, yet they did amazing). We camped right in front of Shoup Glacier, then paddled to the serene Sawmill Bay the following day. Read my blog about that trip here. They discovered how much they love sea kayaking. I hooked ’em! We kept in touch throughout the year and how thrilled was I when Katie wrote with the good news that they wanted to do another LONGER trip with me this season!

Enjoying Sockeye salmon with a tarragon, lemon & butter garlic sauce, Unakwik Inlet

Paddling to the face of two tidewater glaciers in Prince William Sound was the new goal, which is normally a 7-day trip. To my good fortune, it wasn’t that difficult to convince them to add another 2 days to make this a 9-day expedition. All that I had to do was agree enthusiastically with Katie when she proposed the idea of adding more days. Preparations began (putting together the gear and creating a menu plan) and before we knew it July 5th arrived. We departed in beautiful sunshine. After a few minutes of paddling, we all wished that we had packed tank tops. I think it got into the 70’s. Who woulda thought?

Home for the first 2 nights, Unakwik Inlet

DAYS 1 – 3

We got dropped off at the mouth of Miner’s Bay, on the east side of Unakwik Inlet, (mid-Prince William Sound, about 40 miles west of Valdez). We spent the first two nights at this gorgeous camp, which allowed us to spend our entire 2nd day at the face of Meares Glacier, where we basked in rays of sunshine.

Paddling to the face of Meares Glacier, Unakwik Inlet

Holy moly. All that sunshine caused the glacier to become quite active. We witnessed a huge calving! An apartment-sized chunk let loose just as we arrived onto a rock overlook for lunch. After freaking out just a little (it was so amazing), we headed for higher ground, while the rock overlook got splashed from the waves. It’s a good thing that I had anticipated such an event, therefore carried our boats high up the beach.

Lunch spot, Meares Glacier, Unakwik Inlet


Katie & Evan enjoying Meares Glacier, Unakwik Inlet

Along with being mesmerized by the glacier and mountains, we saw dozens of Harbor Seals in the water and on top of the ice. The face of the glacier is quite protected for seals to give birth to their pups. I was excited to discover blood on the ice from the birth of a Harbor Seal pup.


Then we got a wee bit of precipitation. . . DAYS 4 – 6

A little friend (Black-Tailed Sitka Deer)

No photos actually exist from these few days. NOT because we didn’t have a lot of fun. . . oh, we still maintained a high level of fun and hilarity (boisterous merriment, if you will), however no photos captured these good times. We hunkered down in the beautiful Cedar Bay, nestled on the muskeg surrounded by the tall snow-covered peaks of the Chugach Mountains. It truly was a beautiful spot. . . just a bit on the wet side. Thank goodness for rubber boots:) We hung out in the screen tent, which serves as the kitchen/dining/living room. We played Farkle (a dice game) for hours and hours. . . told stories. . . listened to music. . . ate large amounts of hot food. . . and Katie fell in love with hot water bottles, which I happily made for her to cuddle and sleep with.

On our 6th day the weather improved a bit and we were able to bid farewell to Cedar Bay, our haven in the storm. We made it surprisingly quickly to Fairmount Bay, and set up camp near Granite Point, where we continued to play Farkle while Katie’s love for the hot water bottle blossomed.

DAY 7. . . The magical bump from Captain Scott

With conditions a bit too rough for us kayakers to round Granite Point, we got picked up by Anadyr manager and boat captain, Scott. He brought us a resupply of food, dry tents, and smiles from town. A boat bump later we found ourselves in Columbia Bay, set up to spend our last few days near the face of the largest tidewater glacier in Prince William Sound (cue the dramatic orchestra). . Columbia Glacier.

Looking down on the face of Columbia Glacier

Paddling to the face of Columbia Glacier

The sunshine returned. We dried ourselves out and with inflated spirits spent an entire day on an adventure which allowed us one of the most incredible views that any of us had ever seen. No exaggeration here! It was unanimous. With the retreat of Columbia, a new beach provides access to climb above the glacier and to see a large part of the Chugach Icefield. (I feel obliged to encourage people to go with an experienced guide on outings such as this. Perhaps a particular Anadyr guide) Our climbing efforts paid off and we spent hours gazing and contemplating our spectacular view. Of course we took some jumpshots too!

Speechless above Columbia Glacier. Yes, Evan carried his REI camp chair up there:)


Katie and I show our excitement, Columbia Glacier (it only took about 6 tries to get this shot)


Photos can’t do justice to the view that we enjoyed, Columbia Glacier


Katie & Evan paddling through brash ice back to camp, Columbia Bay

What an incredible adventure! It’s not often that I get to guide such a long trip, and paddle to the face of two tidewater glaciers. In fact, you can read my blog from the only other 9-day trip that I’ve guided with Anadyr here. My blogging skills have certainly improved since 2014:)

As the title of this blog states, I am extremely grateful for the enthusiasm, sense of humor, positive energy, and support of Katie and Evan. We worked as a team to accomplish everything on this trip. Yes, I was the guide. However, we shared the sentiment that we were all in the adventure together, and that supporting each other was important for the success of the trip. Plus, it made it so much more fun. The giggles could be heard from afar, I’m sure:) From packing their own boat, to carrying the kayaks, helping to chop vegetables, and even setting up my tent(!!), Katie and Evan helped create a dream team to make this one of the greatest adventures that any of us has been on. I’m excited for the next one!

Our last night, 11PM sunset over Columbia Glacier and the Chugach Mountains


The Farkle Dream Team (Evan, Katie & me), Columbia Bay, 2018

I hope that you enjoyed reading about this 9-day kayaking adventure. More blogs to come from Valdez, Alaska. Stay tuned. Feel free to contact us, especially if you’d like to talk about paddling.

PS. We did see two Humpback Whales on this trip (no photos), lots of Harbor Seals, Bald Eagles, and Sea Otters, along with a multitude of birds and ducks. Plus, we had lunch with that adorable Black-Tailed Sitka Deer. That was pretty neat:)


Ilene Price


Hélène and Bruno enjoy a sunny moment at the face of Columbia Glacier

This Steller Sea Lion shows us who’se boss of these waters, Glacier Island

Whoa, holy rainbow! Heather Bay

*This trip itinerary can be found here and is called Glacier Island 5-Day*

I love traveling. It runs in my family. I love seeing how other people live their lives. I love hearing about other people’s passions and what they find to be beautiful and inspiring in the world. I love hearing what makes others crack up laughing (and delighting that we are all quite similar in this department). I love catching glimpses of people living in different weather conditions, speaking different languages, eating different foods, and dancing to different music.

On this trip I loved hearing about Hélène and Bruno’s perspectives on all of the different cultures and places that they have visited.

This Strawberry, Arugula, Walnut Salad dwarfs the face of Columbia Glacier

For Hélène and Bruno (from France!) our five-day kayak camping trip together was a mini journey within a much larger journey; a journey of a greater scope that has taken them around the world (and not for the first time). Check out their blog (it’s in French) with beautiful photography and trip descriptions (and one day a blog in their own words about our trip). While I am inspired to learn about their year-long around-the-globe trips, what is most inspiring from Hélène and Bruno is the amount of time that they choose to spend in each place, be it country or state.

Hélène and Bruno discover a waterfall, Heather Bay

Steller Sea Lion surprise! Glacier Island

Moments of bliss after a hike, Glacier Island

They rarely touch down for brief visits of a week or two. Much of their journey includes stays of a few months to explore, discover, and experience a place on a deeper level. One of these levels that I am grateful to have shared with them for 5 days is the beauty and wildness of a place. Alaska provides wonders for many visitors who are seeking a deeper (or different kind of) connection with their natural surroundings. Prince William Sound is where I feel this the most. It was a pure joy to see Hélène and Bruno be inspired by the majestic and impressive land- and seascapes, which grabbed hold of all of our attention. I often caught them gazing at the mountains across the sea with a look of awe on their faces. (Most people get this look.)

I’m looking pretty happy at the face of Columbia Glacier

Paddling by the Steller Sea Lion Haul-Out, Glacier Island

Woke up to sunshine! Glacier Island

Serenity in Growler Bay, Glacier Island

Looking North, Glacier Island

Mesmerized by ice, Columbia Bay

Ochre Sea Stars at low tide, Glacier Island

Blueberry Pancake Morning! Glacier Island

Beautiful evening for a campfire, Glacier Island

Paddle into sea caves on Glacier Island

I hope that you have been inspired by the travels of Hélène and Bruno, as well as the spectacular Alaskan scenery. Keep traveling, whatever it is that grabs your attention and piques your senses. Share it with the world.

Contact us for information on guided multi-day and single-day trips in Alaska.


Follow us on Instagram @anadyr_adventures. We look forward to hearing from you! Thanks for reading.

Post-trip bliss, Valdez