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Prince William Sound

Prince William Sound, the northern extent of the Gulf of Alaska, rivals the Inside Passage for the steepest fjords and the most spectacular coastlines and glaciers. The Sound is a marvelous wilderness area of islands, inlets, fjords, lush rainforests and towering mountains.

Flanked to the west by the Kenai Mountains and to the north and east by the Chugach Mountians, Prince William Sound covers 15,000 square-miles and has abundant wildlife, including whales, sea lions, harbor seals, otters, eagles, dall sheep, mountain goats and bears.

At center stage of Prince William Sound is the Columbia Glacier. The bluish wall of ice, named after New York's Columbia University, is one of the most spectacular tidewater glaciers on the Alaskan coast, as it covers 440 sq. miles. The glacier's face is three miles wide and in some places 262 feet high. When passing the glacier by boat, the stunning scene includes hundreds of seals sunning on the ice pack, a backdrop of mountains and usually the thunder of ice calving off its face.

There are countless other glaciers in the Sound and the best access is from Whittier, Valdez or Cordova. Board the state ferry or private day excursion boats in any of these communities for up close and personal views of these magnificent rivers of ice.

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