PWS Natural History

Surrounded by Chugach National Forest and protected from the stormy weather of the Gulf of Alaska by Montague and Hinchinbrook Islands, Prince William Sound covers an area of approximately 15,000 square miles with more than 2,500 miles of convoluted and rugged shoreline. Fifteen major islands, nineteen minor islands and 200 smaller islands are scattered throughout the area.

From the many icefields covering the vallies of the Chugach Mountains flow more than 150 glaciers with 17 reaching sea level. The climate is maritime with moderate temperatures and an average precipitation of 100 inches annually.

Prince William Sound has the greatest diversity of wildlife habitat along the entire northern Pacific Coast. Two hundred forty species of birds have been observed, ranging from the tiny rufus hummingbird to the mighty bald eagle, and during spring and fall migration tens of millions of migratory birds traverse the area. Humpback, killer, and minke whales, seals and Steller sea lions reside in this marine environment. Thirty different land mammals have been recorded in Prince William Sound. Most easily spotted are Sitka deer, black bears and mountain goats. Commercial and sports fishermen harvest five species of Pacific salmon as well as halibut, shrimp, crab, herring and bottom fish in the rich waters of the Sound.

This vast resource of natural beauty and wildlife is easily accessible to you through Anadyr Adventures.

Valdez History and Information

Valdez has played a major role in recent Alaska history. Here are just a few of the significant historic events it has seen:

1898 | Gold Rush Stampede
1964 | 5 minute, 9.2 measured earthquake (Good Friday Quake)
1970's | Construction of Trans-Alaska Oil Pipeline & Marine Terminal
1989 | Exxon Valdez Oil Spill and Cleanup
1989/90 | 47 feet of snow (1989/1990).

Valdez Location | Access | Events | Industry | Accommodations | Meetings & Conventions | Visitor Information | Weather | How to Dress

Situated at the head of a deep, stillwater fjord in the northeast section of Prince William Sound, Valdez is surrounded by the Chugach Mountains. They are the most heavily glaciated mountains in the Northwest. Valdez is the northernmost ice-free port in North America. The town covers 274 square miles. As of 2000, the population was 4,100.

BY LAND — Valdez is accessible by the Richardson Highway.
BY AIR — Valdez is serviced daily, year-round by a regional airline.
BY WATER — Major cruise lines, day cruise boats, and a regional ferry keep Valdez connected via Prince William Sound.

Valdez Fish Derbies, July 4th Celebrations, Last Frontier Theater Conference, Gold Rush Days, Softball & Basketball Tournaments, Ice Climbing Festival, Chugach Mountain Festival with the World Free Skiing Competition, Mayor's Cup Cross Country Snowmobile Race, Mountain Man Snowmobile Hill Climb Competition, Alaska Big Mountain Masters Extreme Snowboard Competition, Alaska Local Snowboard Competition, KVAK WInterfest & Frosty Fever, and much more!

Oil, tourism, commerical fishing, seafood processing, shipping, city & state government, and post-secondary education.

Many full-service hotels, bed & breakfasts, and RV campgrounds.

MEETINGS & CONVENTIONS: Valdez has a full-service Convention & Civic Center with 20,000 square feet of meet/convention, exhibit, and theater space. This facility is perfect for groups of up to 500 people.

VISITOR INFORMATION: The Valdez Visitor Information Center is located at the corner of Fairbanks Drive and Chenega Avenue and is open year round. For additional information on meetings and conventions, group tour needs, or visitor activities and services please call, 907-835-4636.


Weather Chart

Summer Average Temp: 53.5 | High: 60.8 | Low: 46.1
Winter Average Temp: 22.5 | High: 27.9 | Low: 17.1

Average Annual Precipitation: 64.04 inches
Average Annual Snowfall (in city): 325.6 inches
Average Snowfall in Thompson Pass: over 600 inches
Record Snowfall (in city): 556.7 inches (1989/90)
Record Snowfall in Thompson Pass: over 900 inches
Record High Temperature: 26 days above 70 degrees (1997)

Note: One inch of precipitation is equal to ten inches of snow.

Alaskan weather is very unpredictable. One should always dress in layers, and have a good waterproof, or water-resistant jacket. When out in Prince William Sound or near the water, dress warmly, even in nice weather. Come to fish, raft, bike, hike, kayak, ski, snowboard, flightsee, cruise, snowshoe, photograph, shop, snowmobile, sightsee, climb mountains and glaciers, or just have fun.

"A human being should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, conn a ship, design a building, write a sonnet, balance accounts, build a wall, set a bone, comfort the dying, take orders, give orders, cooperate, act alone, solve equations, analyze a new problem, pitch manure, program a computer, cook a tasty meal, fight efficiently, die gallantly. Specialization is for insects."    — Robert A. Heinlein

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