When renting an RV to visit Valdez, AK, and the surrounding area most people find a Class C motorhome. This is logical since travelers renting RVs usually fly into places like Anchorage, AK, rent an RV there, and then set out on their vacation toward Valdez, saving them the cost of renting a vehicle capable of towing a travel trailer. Class C motorhomes include kitchen and bathroom appliances, hidden bed spaces, and extra storage space. Starting at $175 per night for a 24-foot model, these travel vehicles receive high ratings from previous renters.
Though the national and state parks in Alaska are impressive sites that draw many visitors, the most visited sites are the cities of Alaska. Anchorage, with its large harbor and airport, comes in first place among the most-visited destinations. Indeed, the Anchorage to Valdez road trip is among the most traveled in Alaska, and it provides a great way to spend a few days.
Those considering traveling further to visit the Aleutian Islands and the numerous sites along the Aleutian Peninsula continue through Anchorage to Homer, AK, where they board seaplanes or boats to see these isolated areas. Vacationers find so many things to do using Homer as their center point that they sometimes discover that a month-long vacation is not long enough.
Taking the Richardson Highway north from Valdez for 340 miles brings visitors to Fairbanks, AK. The drive leads travelers through some of the prettiest country in the United States. Mountains, rivers, and plains mark the passage, and wildlife feels that it owns the road. Vacationers fly from Fairbanks to places like Nome, AK, to spend several days exploring the incredible sites found on the tundra.
Valdez is located at the northern point of a deep-water fjord on Prince William Sound; the depth of its waters is mirrored by the majestic mountains that surround it. Valdez is the terminal for the Trans-Alaska Pipeline, which began operations in 1977. Though the town is a bustle of business, vacation, and exploration activities, its permanent population remains below 4,000.
Valdez was born in 1898 when unscrupulous steamship companies promoted the site as a better and quicker route to the Klondike gold mines via the Valdez Glacier Trail. Even when the trails proved fatal, the town remained as potential gold miners opted to exploit the fantastic hunting and fishing they found in the area. However, Valdez did not flourish until the Richardson Highway between Valdez and Fairbanks allowed the ice-free port to accept and export Alaska’s interior goods. At that point, small businesses grew to include today’s restaurants with varying cuisines, including:
Alaska Halibut and Seafood House – This restaurant specializes in flame-broiled hamburgers and seafood meals. Their halibut and salmon wedges are from fresh catches and feature exquisite flavors.
Fu Kung Chinese Restaurant – Since 1994, this family-owned and family-friendly restaurant has specialized in Chinese, Thai, and sushi cuisine. Try their freshly prepared orange shrimp for a palate-pleasing experience.
The Stamp Mill – Pizza is always good, especially when it is made fresh with a crust made at the time of the order. Meat eaters are pleased with the range of meats on the “carnivore” pizza, and vegetarians love the “silver gem.”
Valdez is a once-in-a-lifetime experience for most travelers. Not only is there excellent fishing for every species of salmon and giant halibut, but the city is also a gateway to the amazing sights found in Alaska.
Copper Center – Typical of the difficulties associated with driving in Alaska is the route from Valdez to Copper Center along the Richardson Highway. Though Copper Center is only 26 miles from Valdez by air, the drive is 98 miles. Initially, the town began as a support center for gold prospectors crossing the Valdez Glacier to access the Yukon. Today, the city is a way station for travelers, truckers, and business people journeying between Valdez and Fairbanks. Its population of 328 people provides various amenities, including:
1 Gas Station
3 Nearby Campgrounds
6 Nearby State Parks
1 Nearby Dump Station
Tatitlek – Another way to get around in Alaska is via the ferry system, as seen by journeys to Tatitlek, AK. The ferry from Valdez accommodates RVs. Tatitlek is a Native American village on the shores of Prince William Sound, notably the nearest occupied location to the Valdez oil spill. Having only 88 residents, the town still welcomes visitors with its:
1 Nearby State Park
The nearest national preserve to Valdez is Wrangell St. Elias National Park, located about 100 miles north of the port. The park includes 13.2 million acres of ground that elevates from sea level to over 18,000 feet. Visitors find an authentic wilderness experience with evidence of past cultures and exploratory missions among the mountains, glaciers, and forests covering the park.
Denali National Park is 6 million acres of mountains, forests, and wildlife grazing land that includes the highest peak in North America. Its amazing views and incredible wildlife draw over 640,000 visitors to its remote location in central Alaska.
Kenai Fjords National Park preserves one of the most rugged environments found in Alaska. Located on the Kenai Peninsula, this park features over 40 glaciers, incredible wildlife, and, during the proper season, fantastic views of grizzlies harvesting salmon.
Located to the east of Anchorage, about 100 miles west of Valdez, Chugach State Park covers over 475,00 acres alongside the picturesque Chugach Mountains. The park features an incredible array of wildlife, including grizzly bears, moose, bald eagles, and hiking trails that take visitors to high overlooks with stunning vistas.
Denali State Park is known for its stunning views of the mountainous heart of Alaska. During the summer, visitors have the advantage of nearly 21 hours of daylight to explore this 325,000-acre park.
The Old Valdez Post Office is a memorial to the 33 residents of the town killed during the 1964 earthquake. The city was moved shortly afterward, leaving nothing but a stone slab where the post office once stood and a memorial with the names of the 33 who died in the cataclysm.
The centerpiece of the Valdez Museum Historical Archive is a model of Old Valdez, which was destroyed in the 1964 earthquake. After visiting the town's original site, visitors view this model to put what they have seen into perspective.
About 100 miles along the twisting highway between Valdez and Anchorage, Independence Mine State Historic Park lets visitors experience hard-rock gold mining as it happened around 1900. The mining office, mines, and equipment are preserved as members of the National Register of Historic Places list.
Ice Climbing Festival – The upcoming Ice Climbing Festival held near Valdez in February is a specialized event with competitions and ice climbing classes held on frozen waterfalls.
Mayor’s Cup Snowmobile Race – This upcoming competition in March is a 150-mile snowmobile race around a 25-mile loop. The course is run on the Hogsback and Valdez Glaciers, which even professionals find challenging.
Fat Bike Festival – The Fat Bike Festival draws mountain bikers from across the country to Valdez to compete along icy paths and rugged downhill slopes in April. There are contests for everyone, including a bike riding contest through Valdez for kids.
Dock Point Trail – This 0.8-mile trail begins at the shore and climbs 500 feet into the hills behind Valdez. Walking at a leisurely pace, the hike takes 35-40 minutes unless you spend extra time at the summit overlooking the town and the sea beyond.
Mineral Creek Trail – The Mineral Creek Trail features remnants of the Gold Rush days with ruins of an old stamp mill and parts of an old cart road upon which gold prospectors traveled. Waterfalls and a lively creek run alongside the 12-mile path.
Shoup Bay Trail – The in-and-out 6.5-mile Shoup Bay Trail begins as a wide path and narrows as it approaches Gold Creek. The pathway runs up and down hills and through forested sections before entering a clearing with campsites, restrooms, and picnic tables.
Big Bear RV Park near Palmer features 47 RV spaces, 24 of which provide full hookups with 30-amp and 50-amp service. The sites accommodate rigs as long as 60 feet. WiFi service is provided, along with restrooms, showers, and a laundry facility. Playgrounds and horseshoe pits are available for entertainment between excursions into the wilderness.
Grand View RV Park and Campground provides 25 sites to stay overnight in an RV up to 60 feet in length. Of the 60 sites, 10 provide full hookups, 15 offer water and electricity, and 35 are primitive. The park offers a WiFi service, laundry facility, restrooms, and showers.
Fox Run RV Campground lies alongside Matanuska Lake near Palmer. The campground provides 40 gravel pad campsites with magnificent views of the lake and the mountains beyond. The 12 pull-through sites accommodate rigs up to 60 feet in length, with full hookups provided at 22 locations. A boat ramp allows visitors to launch watercraft that are rentable at a local concessionaire.
To find other facilities in Alaska, survey this list of dump stations. RV travelers should always be aware of dump station locations when driving through Alaska. Distances between these facilities are great, with the nearest to Valdez being the two near Palmer: Matanuska River Park and Big Bear RV Park. Like most public dump stations in Alaska, these two facilities are only open during select hours, with the one at Matanuska available from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. for a $5 fee and the one at Big Bear open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. for a $15 fee.
Valdez's nearest RV storage facility is in Wasilla, AK, about 11 miles east of Palmer, where Central Mini Storage accommodates RVs up to 40 feet long. The rigs are parked outdoors. You can find plenty of other RV storage facilities in Alaska.
Motorhomes are divided into Class A, B, and C vehicles. On average expect to pay $185 per night for Class A, $149 per night for Class B and $179 per night for Class C. Towable RVs include 5th Wheel, Travel Trailers, Popups, and Toy Hauler. On average, in Valdez, AK, the 5th Wheel trailer starts at $70 per night. Pricing for the Travel Trailer begins at $60 per night, and the Popup Trailer starts at $65 per night.Do you need to be a certain age to rent an RV in Valdez?
Yes. The minimum age is 25 to be eligible to get an RV Rental in Valdez from RVshare.Does RVshare have emergency roadside assistance?
Yes. Every RV rental booked through RVshare receives 24/7 emergency roadside assistance.Does RVshare offer one way RV rentals in Valdez?
Yes. Prior to renting any RV, check with the owner since not all will offer this particular option.