Welcome to Prince William Sound
The best base for travelers is Valdez, a tough town hemmed in by dramatic mountains that's hailed for its helicopter-skiing and blue-water paddling. Connected to the road network via the Richardson Hwy, Valdez has survived two 20th-century disasters – an oil spill and an earthquake. More isolated Cordova is a fishing community with a quaint downtown, excellent bird-watching and access to great day hikes in the Chugach Mountains. On the western edge of the Sound, Whittier, a bizarre city born out of wartime necessity, is hideous, gorgeous, evocative and eerie. It's easily reached by car from Anchorage.