Juneau falls at a glance

Posted: Sunday, July 08, 2001

Residents interviewed for this article pointed to Ebner Falls and Nugget Falls as the most spectacular cascades in town, but a handful of others also ranked high.

Here's how to find them:

Nugget Falls: Located about half a mile from the Mendenhall Glacier Visitor Center. Visitors reach the falls by walking along the beach at Mendenhall Lake. However, the trek is more difficult by mid-June when the lake rises, forcing hikers onto a rockier stretch of shore. Nugget Falls also is visible across Mendenhall Lake from the West Glacier Trail. East Loop Glacier Trail leads to a lookout above the falls where hikers can hear it. The trail also leads to the AJ Falls.

AJ Falls: Located about three quarters of a mile from the Mendenhall Glacier Visitor Center. Take East Loop Glacier Trail and follow signs to a short side trail leading to the AJ Falls, a human-made waterfall that dates to Juneau's gold rush a century ago.

Ebner Falls: Located one mile from the Basin Road trailhead to Perseverance State Trail. Ebner Falls is named for William Ebner, founder of Ebner Gold Mining Co., which built mills on a hillside above the waterfall. Continue on the trail to see Granite Creek Falls.

Granite Creek Falls: Located about four miles from the Basin Road trailhead to Perseverance State Trail. Take the Perseverance trail two miles to Granite Creek Trail and follow it another two miles to the end.

Glory Hole Falls: Located about quarter of a mile from the trailhead of the Treadwell Historic Trail at the south end of St. Anns Avenue, a continuation of Douglas Highway. Take the trail and stay to the right. The right fork leads up a hill and ends at a high chain-link fence where the trail steeply drops to a partially flooded glory hole, a pit dug by Treadwell miners. The glory hole is fed by the falls, which cascades down a rock face across the hole. The waterfall was just a creek until miners excavated the glory hole, creating the cascade, said David Stone, Juneau mining expert.

Twin Falls: Located on North Douglas Highway nine miles from the Douglas Bridge. Although not officially named Twin Falls, it is commonly called that by residents because the waterfall features two distinct cascades. Twin Falls is one of a few waterfalls in Juneau accessible by road.

Thane Road waterfalls: Various falls located along Thane Road. Some residents favor the gentle Sheep Creek Falls behind the salmon hatchery off Thane Road and three miles from the rock dump. In the 1920s, miners drilled holes under Sheep Creek and diverted water through a tunnel to homes on Thane Road, Stone said.

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