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Kayaking to Columbia Glacier

by travel10000 Online Now Jul 5, 2006 at 7:40 AM

We will be in Valdez in August and would like to do a 1 day kayaking trip in calm water between icebergs. Is Columbia Glacier trip the best one that fits this description? Is it ok for someone with no ocean kayaking experience (but some lakes experience)? I found two companies that do it. Do any of you know how they compare?

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    RE: Kayaking to Columbia Glacier

    by raraavis Online Now Jul 5, 2006 at 9:29 AM

    The icebergs were more or less for admiring at a distance when I kayaked in July. The water was very calm. It's definitely okay to enjoy with no ocean kayaking experience.

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  • RE: Kayaking to Columbia Glacier

    by jackin Online Now Jul 6, 2006 at 7:47 PM

    yeah. pretty much 2 companies, probably the ones you found.

    There's also Shoup which is smaller and 1/2 the distance. No real experience required but i wouldn't get in a kayak alone because you can't get a free ride. heh.

    If you're looking for something a little faster paced, keep keystone whitewater rafting in mind.

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  • RE: RE: Kayaking to Columbia Glacier

    by jackin Online Now Jul 6, 2006 at 9:42 PM

    yeah. pretty much 2 companies, probably the ones you found.

    There's also Shoup which is smaller and 1/2 the distance. No real experience required but i wouldn't get in a kayak alone because you can't get a free ride. heh.

    If you're looking for something a little faster paced, keep keystone whitewater rafting in mind.

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  • RE: RE: Kayaking to Columbia Glacier

    by travel10000 Online Now Jul 8, 2006 at 1:09 PM

    Thanks!
    We are going rafting on the Matanuska river (Lion's Head trip with Nova). Are you familiar with that? How does it compare with the Keystone canyon trips or the others offered from Valdez? This would be our 2nd time rafting. The first time was class 3-4 and was a lot of fun, so we are looking to do 3-4 again. By the way, do you have any restaurants suggestions for Valdez and between Fairbanks and Valdez?

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  • RE: RE: RE: Kayaking to Columbia Glacier

    by jackin Online Now Jul 8, 2006 at 10:21 PM

    No, i don't know anything of Nova. I've tried it only once with keystone, the people i know who live there also used keystone. sorry.

    as far as restaurants go, I like 3-4 places and everything else falls in the so-so category as near equals. There was a camper/stand that sold mexican food, I forget the name of it, but that might be a moot point because I think it became part of Ernesto's...which is my number 1.

    #1, Authentic Mexican food run by a hard working family. good food and very reasonable prices. ...no chilito meximelts, or other taco bell standards, btw, heh.

    #2, Mike's pizza palace. pizza.

    #3, Fu Kung. It's probably THE place to go in town, it's well established, food is very good...prices are a bit too high to make it a place you could go to every day which is why it's last. They have a fried/steamed halibut dish that's delicious.


    I should mention a new vietnamese place in one of the plazas. Bah, don't know my street names....although i know where i'm going, i wander ignorant of streets when i'm there. It's on the south side of one of the plazas on the south'ish side of town. I liked the food and it was very reasonably priced. I hope it's still there.


    Last year, Subway was still the only fast food franchise. I think there's a municipal restriction keeping the big franchises out.

    ...for an easy night out, the deli/hot section of the grocery story has some great food. Other mentions include Rose Cache (or whatever it might be called now), Halibut House, and the place overlooking the water by stan stephen's boats (1/2 bar, 1/2 restaurant deal). I'm thinking "Westmark" or something very close to that. It's time i opened my eyes to a few store names and road signs. :D

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  • RE: RE: RE: Kayaking to Columbia Glacier

    by travel10000 Online Now Jul 10, 2006 at 8:38 AM

    Wow, thanks! I didn't realize Valdez is so international. We will definitely try some of your top 3. Do you know whether the grocery store or some bakery in town has good bagels? Also, any hikes you would recommend for upto half a day? We will stop by the waterfalls at Keystone Canyon which I read are amazing, but how are the hiking trails in that area? Thanks!

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  • RE: RE: RE: Kayaking to Columbia Glacier

    by jackin Online Now Jul 11, 2006 at 1:06 AM

    I honestly don't remember ever eating any amazing bagels there which might be your answer but i could be wrong. I'm also a big fan of properly made bagels with the chewy tough exterior.

    The 2 falls are bridal veil and horsetail. they're just outside of what i consider Valdez . There's a pull-out there to make stopping easy. As for hiking, i can think of 6 off the top of my head but you're going to have to ask for directions when you get into town becasue of my dilema with street names and names in general...

    In the order they would appear when arriving...

    1-not far past the falls, you'll reach the 12 mile marker and you'll see a dirt road on the left. Follow that road and you'll see a section that doubles back towards keystone canyon not far from the road you drove in on, then you cross a short bridge over water and you're there....go. That road goes waaaay back and it's very hilly and has a few good climbs if you're on a bike. I would rank this 4th of the 6 for things to look at but it's nice and hilly but it's nearly fully treed on both sides so there isn't much to look at.

    2-maybe 9 miles farther towards town, you'll reach Dayville road...this is where Alyeska, a power station, and solomon gultch hatchery are located. Along this road, there are 2 good hikes. One hike goes up to solomon lake which is a dam for the hydro plant below, the other is up to a beautiful lookout point from which you get a bird's eye view of Valdez across Prince william sound. (follow the water pipeline left and up after you cross a short, mostly metal bridge) I would put the lookout point #1 and solomon lake #2 of the 6.

    4-In valdez, on the west side, you'll find mineral creek road which is a good walk but i would consider it more for a biking...which i have done. There's a small section where you can walk up to a short waterfall of sorts....this road is a good distance and you could spend all day on it. I'd rank this a 3.

    5-there's a walking trail back behind a residential area called Blueberry Hill or something like that. It's on the far south side of town.

    6-There's a short loop trail at the north end of the "small boat harbor." ..the very end of the harbour where you can actually go around it to the other side.

    I'd rank these two last only becasue they're so unmemorable i literally don't remember a thing about them. I went down these maybe 7-8 years ago.

    There's a paved walking path beside the main road from Dayville road all the way into town. It has a few things of interest along the way like the duck flats, salmon view point, shooting range, etc.

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  • RE: RE: Kayaking to Columbia Glacier

    by travel10000 Online Now Jul 11, 2006 at 6:55 AM

    Thanks again! I just found trail maps and descriptions at valdezalaska.org/maps/maps.h... and have been able to match your recommendations with the trail names.

    Are you familiar with Copper Center and Paxson areas (hiking, lodging, restaurants) or with Kenai Peninsula (I am trying to figure out whether to go all the way to Homer or not)?

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  • RE: RE: RE: Kayaking to Columbia Glacier

    by jackin Online Now Jul 11, 2006 at 10:17 AM

    I honestly don't remember ever eating any amazing bagels there which might be your answer but i could be wrong. I'm also a big fan of properly made bagels with the chewy tough exterior.

    The 2 falls are bridal veil and horsetail. they're just outside of what i consider Valdez . There's a pull-out there to make stopping easy. As for hiking, i can think of 6 off the top of my head but you're going to have to ask for directions when you get into town becasue of my dilema with street names and names in general...

    In the order they would appear when arriving...

    1-not far past the falls, you'll reach the 12 mile marker and you'll see a dirt road on the left. Follow that road and you'll see a section that doubles back towards keystone canyon not far from the road you drove in on, then you cross a short bridge over water and you're there....go. That road goes waaaay back and it's very hilly and has a few good climbs if you're on a bike. I would rank this 4th of the 6 for things to look at but it's nice and hilly but it's nearly fully treed on both sides so there isn't much to look at.

    2-maybe 9 miles farther towards town, you'll reach Dayville road...this is where Alyeska, a power station, and solomon gultch hatchery are located. Along this road, there are 2 good hikes. One hike goes up to solomon lake which is a dam for the hydro plant below, the other is up to a beautiful lookout point from which you get a bird's eye view of Valdez across Prince william sound. (follow the water pipeline left and up after you cross a short, mostly metal bridge) I would put the lookout point #1 and solomon lake #2 of the 6.

    4-In valdez, on the west side, you'll find mineral creek road which is a good walk but i would consider it more for a biking...which i have done. There's a small section where you can walk up to a short waterfall of sorts....this road is a good distance and you could spend all day on it. I'd rank this a 3.

    5-there's a walking trail back behind a residential area called Blueberry Hill or something like that. It's on the far south side of town.

    6-There's a short loop trail at the north end of the "small boat harbor." ..the very end of the harbour where you can actually go around it to the other side.

    I'd rank these two last only becasue they're so unmemorable i literally don't remember a thing about them. I went down these maybe 7-8 years ago.

    There's a paved walking path beside the main road from Dayville road all the way into town. It has a few things of interest along the way like the duck flats, salmon view point, shooting range, etc.

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  • RE: RE: Kayaking to Columbia Glacier

    by jackin Online Now Jul 14, 2006 at 3:59 AM

    Hmmm. I wonder why i'm getting those weird double posts.

    Anyways, no, i'm not familiar with hiking in those areas. sorry. I would say that if you're up in the are, do as much as you can while you can without feeling rushed or spread too thin.

    aaah, i just looked at yoru link to the trails. The hiking trail at 12 mile that I was talking is on the other side of the road. I didn't even know there was another on the other side. I guess i'll need to keep going to valdez. Boy, can't wait to go. I have one more work week then I'm off to the airport.

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