Berry Picking in Valdez

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Valdez is the perfect climate for growing berries. Around town the most common berries are thin leaf blueberries and salmonberries.

Up on Thompson Pass low bush blueberries are harvested in August in to September.

One thing to be mindful of when picking berries is, bear like to eat berries too. Don't go too far off trail or into the brush and keep a mindful eye for approaching bears.

Berry Picking in Valdez, Alaska
Thinleaf Blueberries

Thinleaf blueberries are grow on bushes that are generally around 3ft (1m) high and grow near conifer forest in partially shaded areas, usually an opening inside or on the edge of the forest. Thinleaf blueberries around Valdez become ripe in July and can remain edible through September. They start as green or white berries and are ripe when they become dark blue purple in color. The blueberries can grow slightly larger than an adult thumbnail in size. Thinleaf blueberries can have more seeds than domestic blueberries.


Salmonberries grow on a long woody stock covered in thorns like raspberries as they are also of the genus rubus. In Valdez the ripen as soon as late June and will produce berries throughout September. The bearries start as a green berry, turning to yellow, to orange, to red, to dark crimson. They are edible during the yellow through crimson coloring. The flavor grows sweeter as the berry matures. They berries appear as a group of salmon eggs in their orange phase giving them their namesake. Salmonberries grow well around Valdez as they preffer moist soils and mostly sunny locations.

Lowbush Blueberries

Lowbush blueberries are found inches off the ground in Thompson Pass and usually ripening August. Lowbush blueberries are likely the most prolific harvested berry around Valdez, driving through Thompson Pass in late summer it is common to see several groups low to the ground berry picking on the slopes. They are much smaller than thinleaf blueberries and taste less like domestic blueberries.

Watermelon Berries

Watermelon berries are edible but they are full of seeds and not too tasty. They typically grow in moist heavily shaded areas.