Although Valdez is rather small (around 4000 inhabitants) it’s ice-free port is one of the most important ports in Alaska. Freight moves through Valdez bound for the interior of Alaska.
Also the oil from the Trans-Alaska pipeline is loaded onto ships at the Valdez oil terminal.
In 1989 the famous Exxon Valdez oil spill occurred as the oil tanker Exxon Valdez was leaving the terminal at Valdez full of oil. Luckily no traces of this incident are visible any more.
Because Valdez is almost entirely surrounded by mountain peaks it is sometimes called the Switzerland of Alaska 🙂
After a morning coffee we walked the downtown of Valdez.
At Ernesto’s we enjoyed some delicious Mexican Salmon and Halibut lunch tacos and quesadillas.
We then took off for mineral creek canyon and passed some breathtaking sceneries and wildlife.
Passing by dozens of small waterfalls we chose the nicest one and decided to hike to it passing several snow fields.
And being one of the warmest days of our Alaska visit I decided to jump under it for a cool-down. The water turned out to be so cold, that it gave me brain freeze from the outside 🙂
At least it was refreshing for hours after, until I thawed up again…
The next day we took off on a glacier kayak tour. On the way there we passed by one of the highest waterfalls running right into the pacific.
Steller Sea Lions soaking up the sun peaking through the clouds every now and then.
Once we arrived at our Kayak landing place we got dressed up with the Kayak gear.
And spent the day kayaking around the bay of Columbia glacier.
Sitting in the kayak and silently gliding between these huge chunks of ice and wildlife was an amazing experience. Each of the icebergs had its unique shape and color and we couldn’t stop taking pictures of them.
That night we really felt our arms, but it had been a memorable day.