Welcome to Valdez
Surrounded on three sides by impossibly steep snow-capped mountains, this blue-water port town, best known as the southern terminus of the Trans-Alaska Pipeline, offers the most dramatic mountain views you'll see in any of the Prince Williams Sound towns.Wilderness and adventure lovers will want to set aside a few days to explore the glaciers, wildlife and Norman Rockwell–style harbor cradled by some of the highest... Read More
Top experiences in Valdez
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Arctic Circle and Northern Lights Tour from Fairbanks
Your 14-hour adventure to the Arctic Circle starts with hotel pickup in Fairbanks by your experienced guide. Head north out of town in the afternoon, traveling along the Dalton Highway.Featured on the TV show Ice Road Truckers, the Dalton Highway (technically Alaska Route 11) runs north-south through Alaska, nearly all the way to the Arctic Ocean, and parallels the Trans-Alaska Pipeline. It’s one of the most isolated roads in the United States and provides some beautiful Alaskan scenery for you to enjoy during the ride. Learn from your guide about the Trans-Alaska Pipeline, one of the world’s largest pipeline systems, built in the 1970s to carry crude oil from Prudhoe Bay 800 miles (1,287 km) south to Valdez. Stop for a photo op along a portion of the pipeline in the community of Fox, and get an up-close look at its construction while hearing about its controversies and environmental effects. Continuing along the Dalton Highway, cross the Yukon River on the E. L. Patton Bridge, the only bridge in Alaska that crosses this legendary river. With a length of 2,295 feet (700 meters), the bridge carries not only vehicle traffic but the pipeline, as well. You'll have the chance to get out for a quick photo op here. Then a bit further down the road, stop for another photo op at Finger Mountain, where views of the alpine tundra await. Finally, arrive at the edge of the Arctic Circle and pose for celebratory photos around the sign displaying your latitude of 66°33’ north, the southernmost latitude at which the sun never rises during winter solstice and never sets during summer solstice. Your guide will set out sandwiches, coffee and homemade hot punch for you to sip while you take in your surroundings. Then hop back in your tour vehicle to start the return journey to Fairbanks.At this point, it'll be about two to three hours before midnight — start watching for the Northern Lights, which hopefully Mother Nature won’t keep to herself on the night of your tour. If they appear, your driver will pull over at a few different locations, including the Tolovana River and Wickersham Dome, so you have plenty of time to snap photos and stare up in wonder at this natural phenomenon. Your guide can explain what causes this mystifying and incredible atmospheric event. Throughout your tour, keep your eyes open for Alaskan wildlife like foxes, moose, or possibly even bears, wolves or lynx. Beverages, cookies and other snacks are provided. Your tour ends with hotel drop-off in the early morning hours.
Highlights of Alaska
A vast, rugged land of jaw-dropping beauty and abundant wildlife, Alaska remains America’s last truly unconquered frontier. Up to the challenge? This 15-day adventure will put you in touch with this massive state better than you’d imagined possible, mixing hotel stays with cabins typical of the Alaskan wilderness. Along the way, you’ll sample amazingly fresh seafood in Anchorage, hike Denali National Park, investigate glaciers, and be blown away by the awesome majesty of your surroundings. Prepare to have your horizons expanded tenfold.