- Class III-III+
- River Length
- 5 miles
- 1/2 day
- May to September
The Lowe River through Keystone Canyon is a favorite of Valdez locals and visitors alike. Valdez is a popular destination by ferry and cruise ship during the summer months and a half day trip down the Lowe River through Keystone Canyon is a perfect way to slip into nature and get a taste of Alaska’s great rivers.
The Lowe River originates in the Chugach Mountains near Thompson Pass and flows swiftly toward Prince William Sound. On its way seaward, the Lowe River passes through Keystone Canyon, a narrow five-mile canyon that offers an easily accessible intermediate whitewater section within a short drive of Valdez.
The Lowe River surges through Keystone Canyon, a scenic river gorge with canyon walls that rise sharply from river level. The rapids of Keystone Canyon feature long wave trains, some holes and lots of hydraulics as the river is squeezed. Waterfalls spill from high above the Lowe River, the most impressive of these being Bridal Veil Falls which plummets over 900 feet down a sheer rock face. Views to the Chugach Mountain peaks high above the canyon are impressive and add to the thrill of floating down the river.
The Richardson Highway parallels the Lowe River through Keystone Canyon, permitting easy access to both put-in and take-out via vehicle from Valdez. Most trips originate in Valdez with vehicle shuttle to and from the canyon.