After driving Denali Hwy to Paxson, we planned to spend the night at Paxson cabins because we wanted to fly over Wrangells St Elias NP. However that afternoon was too windy. The next morning was still windy and no small planes were flying. There was a light drizzle so reluctantly we started our 185 mile drive to Valdez on Richardson Hwy. This is a paved road which goes from Fairbanks to Valdez. Along the way you see Worthington glacier, easily accessible from the roadside with a short paved hike and many many unnamed waterfalls in Thomson pass. The highway is scenic but we were underwhelmed after our drive on Denali hwy :-), most likely because the colors had not changed here since it is more to the south and is at lower elevation and also because there was a light drizzle. However, a beautiful rainbow lifted our spirits!
In Valdez (remember Exxon-Valdez??) you can see the oil pipeline, visit a salmon hatchery and go on short hikes where we saw a very large hawk.
Worthington Glacier that you can reach via a short paved walk
Waterfall along the Richardson highway – Thomson pass area
Hawk near the salmon hatchery in Valdez