When driving into Valdez, you will pass through Keystone Canyon. It is a place of spectacular waterfalls, magnificent geology and fascinating history. Keystone Canyon is located at miles 14 through 17 on the Richardson Highway.
For all you thrill seekers, Keystone Canyon is the place for you. You can raft or kayak the Lowe River. You can also climb the magnificent, steep-sided, rock walls. During the winter the canyon is a popular place for ice climbing. For those of you who prefer to keep your feet on the ground, the Valdez Goat Trail is a great place to hike. It is located at mile 13.5 in Keystone Canyon and begins at the Bridal Veil Falls turnout. Click here to find local outfitters for rafting the Keystone Canyon and more.
Don't forget to take along your camera to capture the scenic waterfalls on film. The best-known falls are Horsetail Falls and Bridal Veil Falls.
How To Get There
Take the Richardson Highway.
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According to the US Geological Survey, Keystone Canyon was named by Captain W. R. Abercrombie in 1898 after the "Keystone State" of Pennsylvania.
From 1910 to 1916, copper and gold mining flourished in the Valdez area. There were attempts to build a railroad through the canyon and into the copper country. Rival railroad corporations fought a gun battle in the canyon to secure a right-of-way-north of Valdez. A tunnel, which was built at the time, can still be seen as you drive through the canyon.
"Keystone Canyon and Wagon Road from Old Trail" by P.S. Hunt