Valdez, a city in southern Alaska, is a port on Valdez Arm (an inlet to Prince William Sound) and was settled in the 1890's as an outfitting point for gold prospectors; it was incorporated in 1901. It is important as the southern terminal of the Trans-Alaskan Pipline (opened in 1977) which carries petroleum from the Alaska North Slope. Valdez is also a tourist and fishing center. A community college is here; as well as, Chugach National Forest, Columbia Glacier, and Worthington Glacier are nearby. The area was reached by Spanish explorers in 1790 and named for the Spanish minister of marine, Antonio Vlades Basan.
The city was severely damaged by an earthquake in 1964. In March 1989, the tanker Exxon Valdez ran aground in Prince William sound, about 40km (about 25 miles) south of Valdez, spilling more than 10 million gallons of oil.