Perhaps the best-kept secret on Alaska's coast is the spell-binding glacial enclave of Northwestern Fjord. Eight major glaciers flow into this steeply-walled embayment, with Northwestern Glacier (right) at the fjord's head. Since the early 1900s, when Northwestern Glacier completely blocked entrance into the fjord, a narrow, shallow channel (Northwest Passage) has been gouged across the moraine bar by icebergs and strong tidal currents. Today, Northwest Passage provides entry into the Northwestern Fjord enclave. (See Map)
The inviting cream-colored beaches of Ribbonfall Cove (left) are comprised of gritty granite powder. Behind the beachfront an extensive lagoon and swampy lowlands fill the valley floor. The shoreline of Ribbonfall Cove is a wonderful place to roam on foot and observe the surrounding hanging valleys and waterfalls.