Tok to Valdez

Posted on Jul 1, 2012 | 2 comments

Tok to Valdez

After politely answering all the customs officer’s questions, I entered Alaska again near the town of Tok. And, by “near,” I mean “almost 100 miles.” Other than the border crossing, there isn’t much at all going on in this part of the Alaska Highway. In fact, parts of it are actually a bit boring. At Tok, I turned off of the Alaska Highway with plans to head towards Anchorage. But, as usual, my plans changed.

While spending the night in Glennallen, I happened to notice the sign to Valdez. There is only one road into Valdez and it stops just on the other side of town; it would be a quick round trip. For the first hour or so–with nothing too interesting–I wondered if I had made a mistake. And then I turned the corner to head up Thompson Pass. With a bright blue sky and puffy white clouds, mountain peaks in every direction, waterfalls, glaciers, melting snow and ice, it was an arctic heaven reachable by automobile. Even other travelers I met (who had also driven several thousand miles to reach this place) were in awe of the scenery that day.

Just on the other side of Thompson Pass, and right on the Prince William Sound, Valdez is sometimes called the Switzerland of Alaska. I now know why. The mountains surrounding town rise from sea level to 7,000 feet, making them some of the tallest coastal mountains in the world. They offer a backdrop for the downtown harbor, full of fishing boats heading back and forth from the sea. I found a campsite with views of the mountains out every window and within walking distance of the busy harbor. It was a pretty good day!

Road to Valdez
Alaska/Yukon border
Alaska/Yukon border
International border
International border
Alaska Highway
Alaska Highway
Alaska Highway
Alaska Highway
Moose near the Alaska Highway
Moose near the Alaska Highway
Midnight in Alaska
Midnight in Alaska
Road to Valdez
Road to Valdez
Road to Valdez
Road to Valdez
Road to Valdez
Road to Valdez
Road to Valdez
Road to Valdez
Road to Valdez
Road to Valdez
Road to Valdez
Road to Valdez
Road to Valdez
Road to Valdez
Road to Valdez
Road to Valdez
Road to Valdez
Road to Valdez
Road to Valdez
Road to Valdez
Road to Valdez
Road to Valdez
Road to Valdez
Road to Valdez
View at Bayside RV
View at Bayside RV
Downtown Valdez
Downtown Valdez
Downtown Valdez
Downtown Valdez
Downtown Valdez
Downtown Valdez
Sea kayaks
Sea kayaks
Fishing nets
Fishing nets
Fishing boats
Fishing boats
Downtown Valdez
Downtown Valdez
View at Bayside RV
View at Bayside RV
View at Bayside RV
View at Bayside RV
Valdez oil terminal
Valdez oil terminal

2 Comments

  1. So beautiful! Kyle thank you for sharing your photos and life with us all!

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