Alaska June 05, 2019
This Two-Tiered Waterfall In Alaska Is Definitely Worth The Hike
There are countless waterfalls in Alaska, but very few easily accessible ones. This two-tiered waterfall in Juneau, Alaska at the end of a stunning hike is well worth the time it takes to trek out there. Prepare to be stunned when you come face to face with one of the most beautiful waterfalls in Alaska.
Nugget Falls is a two-tiered waterfall located in Juneau, Alaska.
It is also commonly referred to as "Nugget Creek Falls," or "Mendenhall Glacier Falls." The waterfall is fed by Nugget Creek, runoff from Nugget Glacier. It also lands in Mendenhall Lake, which is a pool of freshwater fed by the gorgeous Mendenhall Glacier!
This waterfall is extra special, knowing that it starts and ends with glaciers.
With more than 100,000 glaciers in Alaska, this phenomena shouldn't be that rare. But it is rare to see it in such a spectacular setting! Mendenhall Glacier sits in perfect view of the falls.
The falls themselves are 377 feet tall.
The first drop, or first tier, is 99 feet tall. The second tier is a 278-foot drop! The water lands on a lush sandbar at the bottom, allowing visitors to get up close and personal with this awe-inspiring view.
The waterfall is a relatively easy hike that begins at the Mendenhall Visitor's Center.
The trail is just two miles long round trip. Even though the trail is popular and heavily trafficked, you will probably still see wildlife. Many times park rangers will stop visitors to allow for bears and their cubs to pass by the trail. Make sure you scan the area nearby because plenty of people will see animals on the mountainside, as well!
The trail is a mostly flat trail, with very little elevation gain.
It is also primarily paved, so those with mobility difficulties will still be able to make it out to see these stunning falls. The trail is beautiful and skirts the edge of Mendenhall Lake.
You can expect to see a lot of Alaska's wildflowers on the sides of the trail.
Lupine, fireweed, and other gorgeous Alaskan flowers will be on full display for you, primarily from June through August. Juneau's weather is more temperate than other parts of Alaska so you may have the opportunity to see more than you would elsewhere!
If you can, try to time your hike during the non-peak hours.
The hike can be flooded with people when the cruise ships arrive in port. Heading there early morning or evening will allow you to have a slightly more peaceful walk. And if you're traveling there in the summer, you won't have to worry about it being light out, as Juneau enjoys a gorgeous 18 hours of daylight.
The trail is even open in the winter, and just as worthy of a visit.
While many people recommend walking the trail in April through September, the falls as just as gorgeous in the frozen wintertime. Pack your snow boots or snowshoes and enjoy a hike out to the frozen falls.
If you're in Juneau, Nugget Falls Trail should definitely make your to-do list.
There's a bus line that runs close to the Visitor's Center, and it's a short drive from downtown Juneau. It's the perfect way to spend the afternoon!
Address: 6000 Glacier Spur Road, Juneau, AK 99801
You can find out more about the Nugget Falls Trail on the
AllTrails website here. Have you had the opportunity to get out to Juneau and hike this magnificent trail? What did you think of the two-tiered waterfall at the end? Let us know in the comments below!
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