Keystone Canyon

Open in The Map Keystone Canyon on The Map |
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1 review

Quick Facts

  • Location: 61 ° 3' 29" N, 145 ° 54' 50" W
  • Region: Valdez-Cordova (CA)
  • Nearest City: Valdez
  • Uses: Ice Climbing, Mixed Climbing, Rafting, White Water Kayaking
  • Elevation: 305 ft (92.96 m)
  • Events: Valdez Ice Climbing Festival


Getting There
Keystone Canyon is located 12 miles east of Valdez. The Richardson Highway follows the Lowe River through the heart of the canyon from beginning to end.

on Lowe River, extends 2 mi. N-S 1 mi. E of mouth of Bear Creek and 12 mi. SE of Valdez; Chugach Mts.
Keystone Canyon is an impressive narrow canyon with walls over 600ft tall. It is just wide enough for the Richardson Highway and Lowe River to sit side by side edge to edge. The Lowe is only about 30ft at its widest in the canyon.

To Do

Roadside Viewing: The canyon is home to popular roadside attractions Bridal Veil Falls and Horsetail Falls. In March and April mountain goats can be found along the west end of the canyon on the southern wall.

Hiking: The Valdez Wagon and Goat Trail runs through the canyon for an easy hike above the highway.

Rafting and Kayaking: Rafting and kayaking the Lowe River through Keystone Canyon is a fun short run which can very quite a bit in rating depending on flow rates.

Ice Climbing: Keystone Canyon is home to the Valdez Ice Climbing Festival and host routes including; Bridal Veil Falls, Greensteps, Horsetail Falls, Glass Onion, POS, Hanging Tree, Hung Jury, Mud Slide and more.


Pictures of, from, or near Keystone Canyon.


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    Not only are the walls of Keystone Canyon impressive but the waterfalls have wow factor. Also tons of great ice climbing in winter.

    Zachary Sheldon
    Zachary Sheldon
    February 28, 2018

Something for Everyone on the Valdez Pack Trail of 1899

Allison Sayer

The Valdez Trail of 1899 is a gem, but I only rarely see other people on it. It takes you through a series of different ecosystems from mossy forest to alpine tundra. The trail is generally kept in very good shape, with just one real muddy spot towards the southern end. It also has historic significance. It follows the pack trail the Army Corps of Engineers built between 1899 and 1901 between the ocean and the interior. There are four trailheads along the Richardson Highway: at 12 mile, 14 mile, 20 mile, and 26 mile, giving hikers a range of options. Technically, the southern end is the “Pack Trail of 1899” and the northern end is the “Wagon Road of 1898,” but it all feels like one trail to me.


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