Jobs in Valdez, Alaska and City Information
Valdez, a quaint Alaskan seaport bordering Prince William Sound, enjoys life at a slower pace. Its flat streets are made for strolling, and its seafood-rich waters encourage visitors to drop a line and relax for a few hours.
Spanish explorer Salvador Fidalgo named the city after his fellow countryman Antonio Valdés y Fernandez Bazán, a prominent naval officer. The town had a sketchy past as the site of an alternate and dangerous route to the Klondike goldfields. But it grew from this dubious beginning to become an important trading town, thanks to its ice-free port and the 1899 construction of Richardson Highway.
Today Valdez is a modest town without the major tourist attractions of many of its Alaskan neighbors. However there is a pair of museums which recount the history of Valdez and its state. You'll find The Whitney Museum inside Prince William Sound Community College. Its displays include prehistoric artifacts, native arts and crafts, and the mounted heads of some of Alaska's big game animals. The Valdez Museum focuses on the region's stories, with exhibitions detailing the gold rush, the earthquake of 1964, and the creation of the Trans-Alaska Pipeline.
Many tourists drop a line for pink salmon at the city dock near the ferry terminal, but the locals know there's better fishing at Allison Point, eight miles from the city center, especially when the salmon run in July. Pink salmon are small but delicious. If you're looking for a bigger catch though, try your luck in at Copper Valley's lake or Valdez Bay. The silver salmon there typically weigh between eight to ten pounds, but every season some lucky anglers land coho weighing around 20 pounds! Whichever variety you net, fresh salmon smoked over a campfire makes a very inexpensive gourmet dinner!
Fishermen looking for larger game join charter boats in search of halibut. Prince William Sound is filled with these large fish, the oldest and wisest of which can grow to more than 400 pounds. Valdez is one of the best spots for this sports fishing as its waters are quite sheltered and calm, just like the rest of the city!
Don't drop a line before grabbing a ticket for the popular fishing derbies. Thousands of dollars are given away each year in the annual fish, halibut, and silver salmon derbies, and you've got to be in them to win!
Glaciers are some of the most beautiful natural landforms in Alaska, but most often you'll need to take a charter cruise or joy flight to see them. However Worthington Glacier is located in Thompson Pass, just 29 miles from Valdez's city center. Its proximity to the mountain trails makes it one of the most accessible glaciers in the state. Just be careful when you're visiting, and resist the urge to climb it, as the occasional falling rock and crevasses can make getting too close perilous.
If Valdez's quiet nature is putting you to sleep, you could join the daredevils at Keystone Canyon during winter. Bridal Veil and Horsetail Falls become frozen ice curtains, ready to be scaled by the adventurous. Ice climbing is dangerous business, but it should get your blood pumping.
Valdez has more snow than anywhere else in the United States, so travelers are advised to rug up during winter. On average 326 inches of the white stuff falls on Valdez each year. Even on a sunny day Valdez can have a chill in the air, so tourists should pack warm, water-resistant jackets.
Valdez is accessible by air, land, and sea. The regional airline ERA Aviation sends three flights to Anchorage each day, a journey which takes roughly 40 minutes. It's the quickest option, but also the most expensive. Cruise ships and the regional Alaska Marine Highway ferry also regularly dock in Valdez. But with time to spare, it's fun to get into the relaxed Valdez mindset early with a journey by road. The trip from Anchorage via the Richardson Highway takes around six or seven hours, but the mountain and glacier views make the trip something special.