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.
1) From Seward, head south on AK-9.
2) At the end of AK-9, turn right onto Lowell Point Road. It’s really the only road you can turn onto.
3) After just a short distance, you should come to the falls!
Where in the World is Lowell Creek Falls?: map
Lowell Creek Falls in late May 2011
McHugh Falls in May 2011
I have to admit McHugh Falls doesn’t have a huge amount of appeal. It’s a rather small waterfall, and I don’t like to discriminate against waterfalls, but you really can’t get very close to it. With small waterfalls, they’re best enjoyed nearby, not behind a fenced area.
It’s one redeeming quality is that it is very easy to visit. I believe there are a number of unadvertised waterfalls in Alaska, but how many are actually accessible? This is one of the few that is accessible. As you driving south along the Seward Highway from Anchorage, you’ll enter Chugach State Park (which is very expansive), and pass the parking area for McHugh Falls. There’s a $5 daily fee to enter the park, which I always support paying, though the first time I visited, I just got out of the car and took a few photos, and then left. There is a trail that leads somewhere, though I’m not sure where.
1) Head south on the Seward Highway from Anchorage.
2) You’ll enter Chugach State Park, and after a ways, you’ll find the entrance/parking area for the falls on your left. It may be easy to miss, so pay attention. I’d say it’s about a 1/4 of the way from Anchorage to Seward?
Where in the World is McHugh Falls?: map
Waterfall near Holgate Glacier (May 2011)
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
1) 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.
Where in the World are the Waterfalls near Holgate Glacier?: map
Five falls in Kenai Fjords National Park