Willow Lake to Valdez
Trip Start Jan 12, 2006
303Trip End Ongoing
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Where I stayed
1) Everyone recommends Mike's Palace for dinner; they must be on some sort of finder's fee as it was crap! We had staff vacuum the carpet as we ate, forget to bring us silverware, hard to grab their attention for service and the food was below average, drowned in fatty oil....;
2) I recommend the first RV park on your left as you enter the fishing port, was the cheapest and included everything as well as laundry and vehicle washing facilities;
3)If you don't want to stay in town, drive towards the airport and just down the road is a free park where the Valdez glacier used to be where you can stay overnight.
Willow Lake in the morning is a spectacular sight; we had breakfast overlooking the lake before driving off the Valdez. What should have been a short drive took us almost all day as the sights were amazing. Every corner of the Richardson Highway presented mountain after mountain of stunning scenery, truly amazing and fulfilled all my Alaska dreams in this one drive. This drive was the highlight of the trip!
28 miles outside of Valdez we came across Worthington Glacier... WOW! See the pictures below..... Words cannot explain. It is not far off the highway so within 10 minutes you are walking beside it.
We continued on the amazing Keystone canyon with two beautiful waterfalls - Horsetail and Bridal veil and then the hand cut tunnel that was to be used for a railroad but never eventuated after a shootout between competing companies trying to win the contract.
Just before getting to Valdez we passed Thompson Pass, very windy and cloudy at its peak before the decent to Valdez.
Many people might know Valdez because of the Exxon tanker spill. Valdez is a small fishing port surrounded by breathtaking mountains. The centre of activity are the fishing wharves where you can see fish runners bringing tub loads of fish up from the boats to be bought, scaled and cleaned and filleted on the wharf, much to the delight of the biggest sea gulls I have ever seen in my life fighting over the off cuts. Must be all that protein!
Absolutely loved Valdez.