August is the perfect time to visit nearby Nugget Falls, also known as Mendenhall Glacier Falls, a downstream fall off the Nugget Glacier. With a 377-foot drop and two stunning tiers, one that is only 99 feet and the other falling 278 feet, the water pours onto a Mendenhall Lake sandbar. The freshwater pool sits at the foot of Mendenhall Glacier before forming a lake that drains into the Mendenhall River and eventually into the Inside Passage.

Nugget Creek feeds the fall, itself fed by Nugget Glacier. The tributary glacier tucked east of Auke Bay creates a hanging valley before gushing over the falls into the crystal clear lake. Before Mendenhall Glacier began to recess, the falls would drop centrally onto the glacier according to legend. In the summer months, visitors can get the best views and enjoy warmer weather while taking in this beauty.

Fall for This Attraction

For the best views and the quietest surroundings, visit Nugget Falls at sunrise. Pack a picnic lunch, perhaps prepared by a local restaurant, and take the time to enjoy the magnitude of the falls. If weather permits, it’s not uncommon to swim in the glacial pools and really immerse yourself in the wonder of Alaska.

The sheer amount of water gushing down the falls is incredible, juxtaposed by the otherwise beachy scenery. Just a short drive from your guest room, it’s a must for any visit to Juneau.