Traveler's Guide to Valdez, Alaska
The Richardson Highway, a Spectacular road trip
View The Richardson Highway, Alaska in a larger map
Rugged mountains tower on all sides as you drive south through lush green valleys and wild rivers. Wildlife abounds, and often a driver must keep a careful eye out for animals which sometimes will jump right out in front of oncoming traffic.
Between approximately mile 80 and mile 65 or so, one should observe the many ponds and marshes along the road for opportunities to view and photograph swans.
You will also have opportunities to view the Trans-Alaska Pipeline and one of it's Pump stations (Pump Station 12).
Worthington Glacier is one of the few in the world in which one can drive right up to the face for close up viewing.
The Tsina River Bridge at about 37 mile, spans a spectacular canyon, with the roaring river far below. Two miles further south is Tsina River Lodge with it's friendly service, good food and refreshments, all in a truly Alaskan rustic setting.
Mile 28 begins the SEVEN MILE HILL. At the top of Thompson Pass, you will have a spectacular view of the valley far below. As you descend down Thompson Pass, more breathtaking scenery unfolds. Caution should be exercised on the approach of one dangerous switchback about a third of the way down the pass.
Once you have reached the valley below Thompson Pass, you will enter Keystone Canyon; a spectacular narrow canyon with straight up and down rock on all sides, which parallels the Lowe River. In this canyon, you will encounter Bridal Vail Falls, and Horse Tail Falls; both a marvelous photo opportunity.
From here, you are about 15 miles from the city of Valdez, The Pearl of Southcentral Alaska.