Old Valdez


Old Valdez is like a wilder, starker, less trammeled version of Italy's Pompeii. This is where the town stood before the devastating 1964 earthquake pretty much wiped it out. Today there isn't much left of the original town, bar some street signs, a few overgrown foundations and a smattering of interpretive boards.

The Earthquake Memorial, listing the names of the dead, is reached by turning off the highway onto the unsigned gravel road just south of Mark’s Repair. On the day of the quake, Valdez’ post office was here; in mere moments the ground sank so far that nowadays high tides reach the spot.

Markers show where many of the buildings used to stand, although the lots themselves have largely been returned to nature. One-hour guided walking tours of Old Valdez are organized by the Valdez Museum on selective days throughout the summer. Check the museum website for dates.

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