About Whittier Alaska
A Little Town Called Whittier
Whittier, AK is situated at the head of Passage Canal on the western edge of Prince William Sound, approximately 60 miles southeast of Anchorage, Alaska.
It is the closest saltwater fishing port to Anchorage by about 1.5 hrs of driving time. Access to Whittier is gained by traveling from Anchorage to Portage Valley and then through the Anton Anderson Memorial Tunnel to Whittier.
The tunnel is a one-way rail line and road that goes 2.5 miles through Maynard Mountain and on into Whittier. (see below for tunnel schedule) Once you arrive in Whittier, you will instantly be in Western Prince William Sound. Huge mountains and valleys surround passage canal where the city of Whittier, Alaska is located. Whittier has been known as a, quaint little drinking village with a fishing problem. All jokes aside though, it is one of the strangest yet neatest places in Alaska.
Whittier is not a very big town, however there are a few things to do while you are there.
Hiking in Whittier
One of the coolest hikes you can do in Whittier is the hike up to Portage Pass trail.
It is 800’ in elevation. The hike is not very aggressive but it does go up through a mountain valley and then at the summit you can look down over Portage Glacier. It makes for a pretty fun time and it is kid friendly.
There are black bears in the area however so take the necessary precautions as you see fit. Another hike that is available is the trail up to Horsetail falls. The trail head is located up by the Buckner building.
This is a fairly mild hike and it is also kid friendly. At the top of the trail there is a rest area that overlooks all of Whittier and Passage Canal.
There is also another trail located behind the Begich Towers that leads up to a big waterfall.
Berry Picking in the Summer
Horsetail Falls and Portage pass both offer berry picking opportunities however Horsetail falls tends to be much better.
Blueberry picking is made easy with custom berry pickers that can usually be found at local stores.
Bring lots of gallon sized Ziploc bags as you will need them. Late July and August are the best times for berry picking.
Don’t forget to use your Whittier Alaska BlueBerries to make the most delicious pancakes ever.
You can even find some of Alaska’s famous Salmon Berries if you look hard enough.
All of the hikes make for good photographing opportunities however the Portage Pass hike is probably the best.
Shotgun Cove or Salmon Run is also a great place to take pictures as there is numerous scenic views to be captured. In August there are thousands of pink salmon there and they can make for great pictures.
Sea lions occasionally come into the cove but mostly harbor seals and sea otters are spotted.
Whales are periodically seen in the bay as well mostly out beyond the harbor rock wall.
The best place to see sea lions is probably out in front of Fee’s Custom Seafood’s as this is where the baitfish congregate that they feed on.
Shore fishing opportunities are available in Whittier right in the harbor. A great place to take small kids is right by the fish cleaning tables as there is numerous small cod swimming around that can make for great fun for the little one’s.
We suggest you bring light action rods with small baited hooks for catching them. Salmon can be caught at times in the harbor when they are in however snagging is not allowed in the harbor. Baited hooks with herring or Kodiak custom spinners tend to get the job done. There is also great fun to be had catching pinks out at Salmon Run located down Shotgun Cove road.
Salmon and cod fishing can be found along the rock wall out in front of Fee’s Custom Seafood’s as well.
Fish Processing and Seafood Market
If you would like to have your fish processed while in Whittier those services are available at Fee’s Custom Seafood’s.
They can commercial grade vacuum seal your fish and even make arrangements to ship your fish if you choose.
They also have fresh fish for market including Prince William Sounds wildly popular Spot Prawns.
These prawns are possibly the best shrimp you can buy. We strongly recommend purchasing some of them as they are a real delicacy.
Camping in Whittier
There is a primary RV and Campsite located at the Whittier Parking RV and Trailer lot (907) 472-2670.
The cost to stay there in 2015 was $20.00 per night for one R/V space or one vehicle and one tent for $10.00 per night.
There are no hookups available however there is a place to dump in front of the city works building.
If the campground is full there is additional camping areas located at the head of the bay at the waters edge.
Lodging in Whittier
There is a hotel located at the head of the small boat harbor and it is called the Inn at Whittier (907) 472-3200.
The hotel has a restaurant and sports bar located inside of it.
There is also lodging available at June’s Whittier Condos (888) 472-6001.
The condos are more geared for people that would like to do a more do it yourself type of stay as opposed to dining out as they are equipped with full kitchens and more bedding areas typically.
We have stayed at both places and have found that they are both great and offer there own unique features.
Where to Eat in Whittier
There are many area’s to eat in Whittier but our favorites are Swiftwater Seafood Café (seafood), China Sea (chinese food), Wild Catch Café (burgers and breakfast), and The Anchor (steaks and breakfast).
If you choose to eat at the Swiftwater Seafood Cafe, we recommend you try the Cod Fish and Chips basket as it is on our opinion to be the best fish and chips in Alaska.
China Sea offers our favorite 103 on the menu which in Mongolian Beef however the Chicken soup is a favorite as well.
The burgers at the Wildcatch cafe are phenomenal if you choose to go there.
The Anchor Inn has a great ribeye steak and the captains platter is great also.
Coffee in Whittier
You can grab a coffee before your charter at The Lazy Otter or Wild Catch Café. The Lazy Otter also offer’s pre-arranged boxed lunches for your charter.
Anchor store is the only grocery store in Whittier and they have the basics there plus some other stuff that you might find yourself needing. For the most part they have what you will need to get by comfortably while in Whittier.
The Harbor Store
The harbor store is located right above the harbor in Whittier and they have snack food, boating parts and gear, hardware, and fishing tackle. They are also the only licensed liquor store in Whittier.
There are a few stores that have gift items in Whittier located right in the Whittier triangle.
Parking in Whittier
The primary parking area for our clients is located right in front of the Harbormasters building.
There is a kiosk there that accepts cash or credit card for payment. There is also parking at the Whittier parking lot located across the tracks.
Fourth of July Celebration
There is a huge fourth of July celebration that the city puts on July 4th 12:00am located in the Whittier triangle.
Anton Anderson Tunnel ScheduleEffective May 1 through September 30
Tunnel is open 7 days a week from 5:30 am until 11:15 pm
5:30 – 5:45 am Bear Valley to Whittier
6:00 – 6:15 am Whittier to Bear Valley
6:30 – 6:45 am * Bear Valley to Whittier
7:00 – 7:15 am Whittier to Bear Valley
7:30 – 7:45 am Bear Valley to Whittier
8:00 – 8:15 am * Whittier to Bear Valley
8:30 – 8:45 am Bear Valley to Whittier
9:00 – 9:15 am Whittier to Bear Valley
9:30 – 9:45 am Bear Valley to Whittier
10:00 – 10:15 am Whittier to Bear Valley
10:30 – 10:45 am Bear Valley to Whittier
11:00 – 11:15 am Whittier to Bear Valley
11:30 – 11:45 am Bear Valley to Whittier
12:00 – 12:15 pm Whittier to Bear Valley
12:30 – 12:45 pm Bear Valley to Whittier
1:00 – 1:15 pm Whittier to Bear Valley
1:30 – 1:45 pm Bear Valley to Whittier
2:00 – 2:15 pm Whittier to Bear Valley
2:30 – 2:45 pm * Bear Valley to Whittier
3:00 – 3:15 pm Whittier to Bear Valley
3:30 – 3:45 pm Bear Valley to Whittier
4:00 – 4:15 pm * Whittier to Bear Valley
4:30 – 4:45 pm Bear Valley to Whittier
5:00 – 5:15 pm Whittier to Bear Valley
5:30 – 5:45 pm Bear Valley to Whittier
6:00 – 6:15 pm Whittier to Bear Valley
6:30 – 6:45 pm Bear Valley to Whittier
7:00 – 7:15 pm Whittier to Bear Valley
7:30 – 7:45 pm Bear Valley to Whittier
8:00 – 8:15 pm Whittier to Bear Valley
8:30 – 8:45 pm Bear Valley to Whittier
9:00 – 9:15 pm Whittier to Bear Valley
9:30 – 9:45 pm Bear Valley to Whittier
10:00 – 10:15 pm Whittier to Bear Valley
10:30 – 10:45 pm Bear Valley to Whittier
11:00 – 11:15 pm Whittier to Bear Valley
* Oversize vehicles will be allowed in the tunnel only at these times Monday through Thursday.
Please check the web page at www.dot.state.ak.us/creg/whittiertunnel for more detail on size limits and other restrictions.
Every effort has been made to minimize the impact of trains on traffic, however from time to time scheduled and unscheduled trains use the tunnel and an occasional 15 to 30 minute delay can be expected.
Please allow extra time in planning your trip.
Motorcycle helmets must be worn in the tunnel, and convertible vehicles must have the top in place.
It is recommended that tunnel users be in the staging area at least 10 minutes prior to the scheduled opening to help us facilitate their passage.