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Things to see and do in Cordova


Childs Glacier Million Dollar Bridge Sheridan Glacier Go Fishing
Take a Hike Wildlife Watch Fishing/Hunting Charters Museum
Forest Service Ski Hill Historic Walking Tour Boat Harbor
Fish Processing Pool Recreation Center Library

 

Visit the Childs Glacier and Million Dollar Bridge     Top of Page

Rent a car and drive the 48 miles from town (35 miles from the airport) on the Copper River Highway to the "end of the road" and visit the breathtaking Childs Glacier and Million Dollar Bridge.  The recreation area at the glacier has picnic tables, camp fire pits, a viewing tower, restrooms and plenty of room to walk around so you can watch the glacier calving into the Copper River.  It's an awesome site to stand so close to a glacier that you have to look up to see the entire face of it!  But be careful, sometimes chunks of glacier calve off that are so big they create huge waves that crash up onto the beach!  (Sometimes it even washes salmon up onto the beach!)

The Million Dollar Bridge is also an amazing site to see and is an important part of Cordova's history.  Built around 1910 for the railroad to haul copper ore from the Kennicott mines to the port of Cordova, it was severely damaged in the 1964 earthquake.  One end of one section of the bridge still rests in the Copper River.  Take a walk across the bridge and view the magnificent Childs Glacier one direction and Miles Glacier the other direction.

The drive along the Copper River Highway is a treat in itself.  You'll drive through the Copper River delta where you'll see endless wildlife such as Bald Eagles, Trumpeter Swans, Moose, Beavers, an occasional Bear and a variety of birds and other animals.  You'll see breathtaking mountains that tower over the delta with glaciers near their peaks and in their valleys.  You'll see beautiful creeks and have access to numerous hiking trails.  The highway is gravel, so drive slowly and you'll be amazed at all you will see.

Visit the Sheridan Glacier Top of Page
Just a 15 minute drive from the airport, the Sheridan Glacier is also a spectacular treat to see.  There is a beautiful picnic area at the end of the road next to a creek where salmon spawn, and it's about a 1/4 mile walk along a rocky trail to the best vantage point for viewing the glacier.  Some people walk out onto the glacier, but we don't recommend it because there are often crevases that are hidden from view that you could fall into.
Go Fishing     Top of Page
Cordova's angling opportunities abound and many roadside streams make access easy.  Salmon, Dolly Varden, Cutthroat and Rainbow Trout and Arctic Grayling all reside in the areas waters.  Hiking trails access backcountry areas where quiet streams and lakes harbor fishermens dreams.  Fishing charters can get you out to deeper water where immense halibut linger on the bottom.  Check with the Department of Fish and Game for specific regulations.
Take a Hike     Top of Page
Numerous trails will lead wanderers through the mountains around the area.  Short walks lead to hidden lakes and glaciers and breathtaking Alaskan valleys.  Some meander through muskeg bogs and the Forest Service has provided unique boardwalks on some trails to help feet stay drier.  Maps are available at the Forest Service and Museum.
Head for a Wildlife Watch  Top of Page
Many of the local roads lead to areas where wildlife abound.  Spawning Salmon are visible along Power Creek Road, shore birds along Hartney Bay Road, sea otters and pelagic birds along Orca Road and much more on the Copper River Highway.  Of special note is the Aleganik Slough Road located at mile 17 of the Copper River Highway.  This 3.2 mile gravel road provides access to the wetlands - a combination of meadows and small ponds.  Picnic sites, a boat launch and rest rooms are available.  Also, a 1000 foot boardwalk leads you up and over the boggy area allowing for wildlife viewing from blinds and an octagonal platform.
Fishing and Hunting ChartersTop of Page
Locally owned and operated charter companies can take you soaring above the delta and Prince William Sound in smaller planes.  Hunting and fishing charters can guide you to the secret little places you desire.    Go to our  Links to Visitor Services   page for more information.
Visit the Museum     Top of Page Visit the Forest Service  Top of Page
Second only in size to the Tongass, the Chugach National Forest occupies close to 6 million acres of spruce hemlock forest, delta, marsh and tidal shores near Cordova.  The Cordova Ranger District office is located in the historic former courthouse and post office.  Stop inside for a brief natural history lesson.  Special features include a minke whale skull, eagle, swan, geese, sea otter, beaver and river otter mounts and an amazing tale of the mighty bird migrations that pass through this region each spring and autumn.
Ride to the Top of a Mountain  Top of Page
The Sheridan Ski Club operates the Mt. Eyak Ski area and provides rides on the single chair lift during the summers to the best vantage point in town.  The view is outstanding and allows one to see into Prince William Sound and out onto the surrounding Copper River Delta.  The lift itself has a fine history as it was once used in Sun Valley Idaho and many famous Alaskan artists have created memorable works from this panoramic view.
Take a Historic Walking TourTop of Page
The Cordova Historical Society has copies available at the museum of a trip through the community making note of the various historic buildings and sites.  Although much of Cordova has been destroyed by devastating fires in the past, many interesting structures remain including some built as early as 1908.
Check out the Action in the Harbor Top of Page
In a community where 49% of the economy is based on the fishing industry you might guess you would find lots of excitement on the waterfront.  Take a stroll through the old and new sections of the boat harbor and you can see bowpickers, sternpickers, seiners and many other types and styles of boats.  Often boats are unloading their catch, nets are being mended and fishermen are discussing their last outing and the price of fish.  Please be respectful around the fishermens gear - it's vital equipment they need to make a living!
Watch the Catch Being Processed Top of Page
This usually requires a call ahead to the canneries or freezer plants but many offer visitors a chance to watch the process involved in delivering the bounty of the sea from the boat to your table.  In Cordova, fish are prepared for the fresh-frozen market, canned and also smoked and canned.  Salmon from the Copper River are highly regarded as one of the finest products in the world.  A large portion of the market is in the northwest states, California and Japan.
Jump in for a Swim     Top of Page
The Bob Korn Memorial Pool offers lap time, open swim time, excercise classes, family nights and lessons in the Olympic size facility.  This is one of the most beautiful pools you will ever swim in - the walls are painted with a breathtaking mural of Cordova from the vantage point of the top of the ski hill.  It is really something to see.  Rates and hours vary so check out their schedule.  (Also, the pool is usually closed the month of May for annual maintenance.)
Work up a Sweat   Top of Page
The Bidarki Recreation Center offers a variety of programs for children and adults.  Located in the old city hall and jail, the renovated center houses a state-of-the-art weight room, saunas, excersize facility, gymnasium, showers, TV room and concession area.  Special summer programs include a well known childrens day camp and t-ball league,  while the winter season brings on mens basketball leagus and co-ed volleyball.  Aerobic and step classes fill in the gaps.
Read a Good Book     Top of Page
The Cordova Public Library houses a collection of books, periodicals, paperbacks, CD's, tapes and videos for lending.  There is also a story hour and summer reading programs.
Most importantly, take the time to explore the community, smell the smells, feel the rain, admire the breathtaking views and visit with the warm and friendly residents.  Cordova truly is Alaska's best kept secret!