Prince William Sound, a largely unspoiled wilderness of steep fjords and mountains, glaciers and rainforest, sits between the Kenai Peninsula to the west and the Chugach Mountains to the north and east. Teeming with marine mammals, the Sound has a relatively low-key tourist industry. The only significant settlements, spectacular Valdez, at the end of the trans-Alaska pipeline, and Cordova, a fishing community only accessible by sea or air, are the respective bases for visiting the Columbia and Childs glaciers.

The Chugach and Eyak people were displaced by Russian trappers in search of sea otter pelts, and then by American miners and fishers. The whole glorious show was very nearly spoiled forever on Good Friday 1989, when the Exxon Valdez spilled eleven million gallons of crude oil. Although 1400 miles of coast were befouled and some 250,000 birds died, and the long-term effects are still unclear, today no surface pollution is visible.

Book through Rough Guides’ trusted travel partners

USA features

The latest articles, galleries, quizzes and videos.

King of the road: on the Civil Rights Trail through America’s south

King of the road: on the Civil Rights Trail through America’s south

Next year marks 50 years since the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr and also the launch of a new Civil Rights Trail through the USA's south. On a road …

16 Nov 2017 • Ella Buchan local_activity Special feature
Video: a brief history of the American road trip

Video: a brief history of the American road trip

We dug into the visual archives of yore to bring you a brief history of the American road trip. From the first coast-to-coast car voyage in the USA to today…

10 Nov 2017 • Colt St. George videocam Video
7 seriously spooky places in America

7 seriously spooky places in America

From urban legends passed down for centuries to real-life harrowing tales, America’s closet is filled with skeletons. These cities will put a chill down your …

24 Oct 2017 • Jess Chun insert_drive_file Article
View more featureschevron_right

Weekly newsletter

Sign up now for travel inspiration, discounts and competitions

Sign up now and get 20% off any ebook