Prince William Sound is ringed by the coastal mountains of the Chugach Range, and situated in the midst of the Chugach National Forest. Within its 2,700 miles of coastline lies Valdez at the north shore edge. When hearing reference to Prince William Sound, the Exxon Valdez oil spill disaster most likely comes to mind. Today the port waters have recovered and wildlife flourishes.
The Sound is a premier fishing destination for Salmon and Halibut, and in fact the Women’s Silver Salmon Derby was underway during our visit. The winner was a tourist from Anderson, California, and she took home $1,000 for her 15.22-pound Silver Salmon!
One way to enjoy and be amazed by the Sound’s shimmering beauty is to take a guided tour. We can’t seem to get enough of glaciers, so we booked the Meares Glacier excursion. It wasn’t so much the destination we were seeking, but rather being able to smell the sea air and get another vantage point for viewing mountains, glaciers and wildlife.
Since we had been on a similar cruise at Kenai Fjords National Park, we can’t help but compare the calving activity of the glaciers. We were fortunate to see plenty of calving of the Aialik Glacier during our Kenai Fjords tour. However, the wildlife that make Prince William Sound their home are abundant and the scenery is without equal. It was quite a challenge going through hundreds of pictures to pick the right ones – they were all beautiful!
For those who are fans of the documentary/Real TV series “Deadliest Catch“, two of the fishing vessels featured there – the Kodiak and the Cornelia Marie – were docked at the Sound for the summer. It’s off-season for the Alaskan crab fishermen, and during this time they are contracted to buy fish from small operations and take them to commercial plants for processing.
In our opinion, a visit to Alaska just isn’t complete without a trip to Valdez to enjoy the gorgeous calm waters and wildlife of Prince William Sound!