Crooked Creek Falls, Alaska

Crooked Creek Falls Alaska (27)

The lower portion of Crooked Creek Falls in August 2014

Crooked Creek Falls in Valdez is one of those waterfalls that isn’t advertised very well. A search doesn’t bring up any quick mention of this waterfall in Valdez, and yet it’s really tall. I should mention, this could be a different creek for all I know, but it’ definitely in Valdez.

I noticed a small cascade as I was driving by the Crooked Creek Information Center for the Chugach National Forest as I was approaching Valdez. It appeared to be 15′ tall or so, though I could tell that some of the waterfall was hidden behind the trees. Then as I was exploring Valdez when I had some time, I noticed that there was a much taller waterfall off in the distance. It was very foggy the day that I visited, so this waterfall could only be viewed when the cloud layers had cleared, but there was definitely a large waterfall, and its location would coincide with Crooked Creek. Looking at a topographic map, it seems that this whole waterfall drops about 1200′, which is quite impressive. So if you’re headed to Valdez, look for the tall waterfall that you might not expect.

Directions:

  1. There aren’t many ways to enter into Valdez. You could fly or drive or take a boat, but even then, it’s limited. If driving, you pretty much enter the city via AK-4.
  2. Along AK-4, there’s an information center for Crooked Creek in the Chugach National Forest. It’s on your right if driving into Valdez. The smaller view of the waterfall is roadside near the information center.
  3. I viewed the bigger drop from Valdez itself, looking northeast.

Accessibility: 10/10 (easy)
Height: ~1200′
Length of Hike: roadside

Crooked Creek Falls Alaska (17)

The larger view of Crooked Creek Falls (or some creek dropping precipitously)

Where in the World is Crooked Creek Falls?

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Crooked Creek Falls, New Brunswick

In 2016, I flew into Halifax, and decided to hit a few different Canadian provinces and check off a few waterfalls in each province. Third Vault Falls in New Brunswick was the most memorable waterfall I visited in the province (out of three). As I was driving through Riverside-Albert, I knew there was another waterfall near the town, and decided to visit it. I had already hiked to Third Vault Falls that day, which is a moderately strenuous hike, so I was a bit worn out.

I had also read that Crooked Creek Falls was a moderately strenuous hike, but I decided to check the waterfall off the list anyway. It is definitely a shorter hike than Third Vault Falls, but in that short distance, it is a steep downhill hike. On the return, it is a steep uphill hike. My legs were definitely worn out after those two hikes.

Crooked Creek Falls might not be worth it is as much as Third Vault Falls. It is a beautiful little waterfall, but it isn’t as photogenic as others. It’s a waterfall that I would recommend to true waterfall lovers, though I did notice some people posting about swimming in the creek, so that may be something for you to enjoy.

Directions:

  1. Route 114 leads from Moncton to Fundy National Park. When you come to the town of Riverside-Albert (headed south, let’s say), you’ll turn right onto Forestdale Road.
  2. After 1.1 miles, you’ll find a parking area. I believe it was on the right side of the road.
  3. On the left side of the road, the trail leads downhill to the creek and waterfall.

Accessibility: 3/10 (moderate/strenuous)
Height: 13′
Length of Hike: 0.3 miles round-trip

Crooked Creek Falls New Brunswick (2)

Crooked Creek Falls in May 2016

Where in the World is Crooked Creek Falls?

Keystone Canyon Falls, Alaska

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Keystone Canyon Falls in August 2014

Keystone Canyon is one of those places that is hard to describe. On the way in to Valdez, I had been driving for about an hour and a half. (It’s about 5 hours from Anchorage via road.) Even if I had been driving for longer, I think I would still have had my breath taken away as I entered Keystone Canyon. It was drizzling a bit, giving the canyon a special atmosphere. The road winds through the canyon, at times crossing over the Lowe River. Cliffs climb above you on both sides of the road.

And then the waterfalls start appearing. Bridal Veil and Horsetail Falls are the two named waterfalls. As I’m driving along, though, I see another waterfall. I don’t know if this one has a designated name, and I wasn’t sure what the name of the creek was, therefore it’s Keystone Canyon Falls to me.

The mountains above the gorge climb about 5500′ feet in the matter of about 4 miles. So while you’re probably seeing about 100′ of waterfall in this picture, there’s likely more waterfall hidden above.

I often mention whether you should go out of your way to see a waterfall…In this case, it’s taken to extremes. I was headed to Valdez to go on a day-long glacier/wildlife cruise. As I mentioned, the drive from Anchorage to Valdez is about five hours, and there are long stretches of beautiful nothingness. You could fly, but then you’ll miss these waterfalls. On the way, you’ll get some great views of Wrangell-St. Elias National Park, and a “short” detour from the road to Valdez will lead to Liberty Falls. In addition to Bridal Veil Falls and Horsetail Falls, there’s also Crooked Creek Falls in Valdez. With all of the additional beautiful, it’s a good reason to drive, but you’ve got to set time aside just for this.

Directions:

  1. There isn’t any other way to enter Valdez via road than on Alaska Route 4. From Anchorage, you’d follow AK-1 for a really long time to the junction of AK-4.
  2. Turn right and head south on AK-4, and then after an hour or so, you’ll enter Keystone Canyon. It’s clearly signed. It’s hard to miss the different waterfalls.

Accessibility: 10/10
Length of Hike: roadside
Height: ~100′ (could be more or less, not the greatest judge of height)

Where in the World is Keystone Canyon Falls?