Top 12 Summer Activities in Cordova
Whether you’re a mountain or an ocean kind of person, Cordova’s got it all! With out your door access to manicured trail systems, in-tact ecosystems and abundant wildlife — it’s hard to be bored here! Plus the people are super friendly. Cordova is off the beaten path of Alaska tourism and definitely worth the journey. Here’s a short list of summer activity favorites of locals and visitors alike:
- Go for a hike in the RAINFOREST: Cordova is home to some of the most dynamic and well-tended trails in the state, and there’s options for young and old alike and all ability levels. Browse hikes.
- Walk on a GLACIER: Have your ever walked straight from Rainforest to Glacier? Sheridan Mountain and Glacier trails are the perfect opportunity! Learn more.
- Immerse yourself in WILDLIFE VIEWING: Sea otters, seals, trumpeter swans and wild spawning salmon are common sites in Cordova. If you’re lucky, you could also spot a moose, black or grizzly bear, goat or even a wolverine!
- Work up a SWEAT: Whether you like to hike, lift weights, swim or run; Cordova’s got some great options for indoor and outdoor exercise. Bidarki Recreation Center (cardio, weights, indoor gym and sauna) and Bob Korn (saltwater!!) swimming pool both offer day passes. Runners will find miles of beautiful road and trail running options, too. The Alaska Salmon Runs include marathon, half-marathon, 10k, 5k and 1 mile run options every July during Salmon Jam.
- Find the perfect MEMENTO: Cordova is a town full of small businesses. You won’t find any big box or chain stores here! Strolling downtown, you’ll pass several lovely boutique shops. The inspirational landscape and lifestyle here also breeds artists in abundance. You’ll be sure to find a perfect keepsake to remember Cordova at the Copper River Gallery, Cordova’s monthly Saturday Market and the Salmon Jam’s annual Artisan Market.
- Grab some food or a beverage in the SUN: After a big day out exploring, doesn’t a bite and refreshing beverage sound just perfect?! Baja Taco, Reluctant Fisherman, Homegrown, Fork & Spoon, Harborside Pizza and The Powder House Bar & Grill all offer great food and outdoor seating options for sunny days. Click here to browse all dining options. If you like good food, don’t miss Salmon Jam’s annual wild food cook-off, Taste of Cordova!
- Explore the shoreline & delta by BIKE: The Copper River Highway is a great place to explore on two wheels. It runs through right through the Copper River Delta — the largest contiguous wetland on North America’s Pacific coast — and is designated a State of Alaska scenic byway for its spectacular scenery, abundant wildlife, recreational opportunities and rich history and culture. Whiteshed Road, Power Creek Road and Orca Road are also great places to take a bike ride! Check out bike rentals in Cordova.
- Catch a SUNSET on the water: You can probably catch a breathtaking vista from almost anywhere in town, but some of our favorites sunsets spots are the top station of Mt. Eyak‘s Ski Hill Trail, Hartney Bay and Shelter (aka Hippie) Cove.
- Play a round of DISC GOLF: Cordova Disc Golf Club invites you to try out their brand new Meals Reservoir Course. Hike up the Reservoir Trail at 0.5 mile Whiteshed Road (a great little hike even if you’ve never tossed a frisbee) and veer left at the water tower and left again at the Meals Reservoir sign. Nine holes can be accessed pretty much year-round and the course holds claim as the most scenic in the state. We recommend wearing waterproof boots or sandals when it’s not frozen, as your feet will definitely get wet!
- Go a GATHERING: Berries, flowers, mushrooms, wild botanicals, million-year-old ice… You name it, it’s out there in abundance for those looking to subsist off the land. Just remember to consult an expert before applying or ingesting anything you’re not 100% sure about. 😉 Cordova’s annual Fungus Festival is a great time to expand your subsistence gathering knowlege and enjoy some fantastic local wild food and botanical dyed fibers.
- Travel back in TIME: The cultural history of this place is truly fascinating! Cordova Historical Society offers free pamphlets to guide yourself on a historic walking tour of Main Street and a Copper River Highway historical driving tour. Pick one up at the Cordova Chamber of Commerce Visitor Center at 404 First Street and the Cordova Historical Museum in the Cordova Center at 606 First Street.
- Dance, eat and support art and salmon education at COPPER RIVER SALMON JAM! Last but CERTAINLY not least, come partake in a weekend that celebrates all that makes Cordova so magical! Salmon Jam dates for 2019 are July 12-13 and tickets will be available online soon! Click here to get updated when online ticket sales are open.