By Car: The Richardson Highway dramatically crosses Thompson Pass and descends into the narrow valley where Valdez lies. Try to do the trip in daylight, in clear weather, and stop at the Worthington Glacier. This is the only road to Valdez. The drive from Anchorage is 6 hours without stops.

By Ferry: The Alaska Marine Highway System (tel. 800/642-0066 or 907/835-4436; connects Valdez, Whittier, and Cordova by ferry. One time-tested way to see the Sound is to put your vehicle on the ferry in Whittier for the run to Valdez, then drive north on the Richardson Highway. The fast ferry Chenega cuts travel time from Anchorage to Valdez to less than driving: about 90 minutes by car from Anchorage to Whittier and less than 4 hours by ferry from Whittier to Valdez. Fare is $89 for an adult, half price ages 6 through 11, free 5 and under. A 15-foot car costs $105 to take along.

By Air: Era Alaska (tel. 800/866-8394; flies between Anchorage and Valdez.

Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.