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  • Day12

    Valdez, Alaska

    May 27, 2018 in the United States ⋅ 🌧 8 °C

    We decided to go to Valdez today instead of staying in Glenallen another day. Before I describe our trip I wanted to show a picture of what sunset looks like. The first picture was taken at 11:15pm. Sunset was 10:55pm and sunrise was 4:32am. We talked with a local who said it only gets 'somewhat dark' between midnight and 2:00am. In the winter it is only light out between 10:00am and 1:00pm!

    From Glenallen we headed south on the Richardson Highway, Alaska's oldest major Highway. This road runs from Valdez to Fairbanks in the interior. We picked it up about halfway. You can see the Trans-Alaska Oil Pipeline along the way but I'll talked about it more later. The Richardson Highway began as a gold rush trail. In 1910 the road was upgraded to allow cars. There is also a glacier that you can go to off of this road but unfortunately due to the visitor's parking lot still covered in snow, we could not stop to visit. Yes, snow! We were so surprised to see snow on this route. In fact, when going through Thompson Pass we had snow flurries and low visibility. The elevation is only 2720 feet. Once through the pass, the snow was gone. Valdez has a long-standing reputation for great snow - up to 900 - 1000 inches of snow! After Thompson Pass you drive through Keystone Canyon, about 10 miles north of Valdez. This Canyon has waterfalls which are created from melting snow run-off. We passed two popular waterfalls - Bridal Veil Falls (photo 9) and Horsetail Fall (photo10).
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