I had the chance to visit Alaska again this June (inexpensive airline fares, only complicated by limited rental car availability). I took my partner and my sister’s family of five, for a total of 7 people! We started out in Anchorage and then headed south to Girdwood. I was trying to figure out something to do one day, and Juneau Creek Falls popped up as being not that far away.
We packed everyone up and headed to the Resurrection Pass Trail Head along AK-1. It was just under an hour drive from our AirBnB in Girdwood. We parked our van at the parking area, and started along our journey. There were four adult, two teenagers, and a 3 year old!
The hike isn’t terrible, it’s just much longer than advertised. Many websites report this hike as a 7-8 mile hike (round-trip), but it rings in at 9+ miles round-trip. There is some up and down portions, but it then levels off as you approach the falls. It isn’t extremely clear where the trail veers off toward the falls, but luckily, there are multiple paths that will get you to a viewpoint of the falls.
The falls are much larger than they appear. I’m guessing they are about 100′ tall, and maybe 20′ wide. Even standing rather far away, you can feel the spray from the falls. My nephew, who is extremely “brave”, did figure out a path down to the base, but I wouldn’t recommend it. It’s a very steep and rather large drop-off.
The return hike is somewhat easier because you tend to know how the hike is going to go, and it’s mostly downhill from there. The test was my 3 year old niece. I wondered how she would fare on what turned out to be a 9 mile hike, but she was a champ. That’s a relatively good indication that it isn’t extremely strenuous…maybe just moderate in difficulty due to the length of the hike.
AK-1 is a rather long road in Alaska, so you’re looking for the piece on the Kenai Peninsula south of Anchorage and Girdwood. You can set your GPS to Cooper Landing or to Resurrection Pass Trailhead South Parking. The parking is further to the west.
Once you reach the parking area, you can start your journey. The path is very well kept, and is relatively quiet, though there were mountain bikers that passed us.
I would recommending downloading maps on your phone so that the phone GPS can guide you to where the falls are. There is a campground north of the falls, and so if you’ve reached the campground, you’ve passed the falls.
The falls will be to the right of the main trail. As I said, there are a few side-trails that lead to the falls, and they are all relatively equal in difficulty/safety.
I was on the Kenai Fjords Cruise, and on the return journey, I looked to my left, and low and behold there was this pretty impressive waterfall off in the distance. Now, even after searching for information about waterfalls in Alaska on the internet, I really didn’t find any information about a waterfall in Alaska. That really isn’t surprising, as not many waterfalls of Alaska are listed online.
The lucky part about this waterfall is just how easy it is to get to, once you know where you’re headed. From the center of Seward, if you head south along the main road, you’ll come to a single road that leads further south. It doesn’t look like it leads anywhere impressive, but I think it does actually lead to some interesting spots. Just a short distance down this road, though, and you can find Lowell Creek Falls. In late May, it was pretty impressive. I thought that maybe it was a man-made waterfall due to its surroundings, but it appears that it is a true waterfall that has been altered slightly to ensure that road erosion hasn’t occurred.
From Seward, head south on AK-9.
At the end of AK-9, turn right onto Lowell Point Road. It’s really the only road you can turn onto.
After just a short distance, you should come to the falls!
Accessibility: 10/10 (Easy)
Length of Hike: Roadside
There are a number of waterfalls along the Seward Highway, especially near Chugach State Park. This waterfall here is located further south than the others, and is rather unexpected. I had written down the GPS coordinates, though I seem to have misplaced them.
The falls are found right near a large gravel parking area, and very easy to view once you find them. They are not particularly tall, maybe about 15-20′? I didn’t spend a whole lot of time visiting the falls since I was needed to arrive in Seward by a certain time. Still, it’s a simple stop on the side of the road.
Head south from Anchorage along the Seward Highway. It’s found further south, past Chugach State Park. I think the falls are past the split toward Whittier.
As your heading toward Seward, the falls will be on your right.
They are found on the far right of a “parking” area, as I’m not really sure why there’s such a large cleared area off of the side of the road.
Accessibility: 10/10 (Easy)
Length of Hike: Roadside
It always seems a little bit odd to me that there aren’t that many named waterfalls in Alaska. For such a huge place, it’s hard finding information about waterfalls. There are a lot more waterfalls than are listed, but it’s also understandable that in such a sparsely populated place, some aren’t known by many. Others pop up when glaciers and snow melts, and might only be around for short periods of time.
When I visited Kenai Fjords National Park, I took a tour on a cruise boat, and on the itinerary was Holgate Glacier. As you approach Holgate Glacier, there are a number of different waterfalls. Some of them are somewhat difficult to differentiate from the snow above, but while narrow, they’re also surprisingly tall. The two vertical photos are waterfalls that were nearer to Holgate Glacier. The horizontal picture was a set of five waterfalls that were further from the glacier, if I remember correctly.
Waterfall near Holgate Glacier
Well, head to Seward, Alaska, and take one of the cruises. In this case, hope that you’re headed to Holgate Glacier, as you might instead visit one of the other glaciers. It will probably be useful to have a lens that can zoom up pretty closely, as you might be somewhat far from the falls.
Accessibility: 10/10 (easy)
Height: hundreds of feet
Length of Hike: N/A (viewed from cruise)
Five falls in Kenai Fjords National Park
Where in the World are the Waterfalls near Holgate Glacier?