A stunning 200-foot waterfall cascades from mountain cliffs into the waters of Passage Canal just across from Whittier. The falls—a stop on most marine tours and a popular destination for kayakers—pours right through one of the largest bird rookeries in Prince William Sound. With up to 8,000 screeching, black-legged kittiwakes birds and roaring whitewater amid the fishy reek of guano, it’s a feast for the senses.
Watch eagles soar and thousands of black-legged kittiwakes whip and wheel in the air above their nests on the cliffs. The birds are able to pick out the distinctive cry of their own young amidst the thousands of bird calls.
Best Viewing Spot
Depending upon the weather, it’s generally safe and easy to approach by boat within a few yards. Located only 1.5 miles northeast of the harbor and about 2 miles from the beach at the head of the bay, the falls is one of the most visited natural attractions in Prince William Sound. Most tours heading in and out of Whittier Harbor visit the falls for a quick treat. If you’re taking a water taxi or some other excursion, ask the captain to swing by. It only takes a few extra minutes. Several kayak companies offer quick guided tours as well.
Whittier is about 60 miles from Anchorage on the other side of a three-mile tunnel from Portage Valley at the head of Turnagain Arm. Take the Seward Highway about 50 miles to Portage Glacier Highway, then continue east about six miles to the staging area for the Anton Anderson Memorial Tunnel. The Whittier Harbor is about 1.5 miles further after you emerge.