Tutka Bay Falls, Kachemak Bay

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Tutka Bay Falls, Kachemak Bay

by | Jun 29, 2020

Tutka Bay Falls cascades from the steep mountains of the Kenai Peninsula on the north shore and near the head of Tutka Bay, about 18 miles (29 km) southeast of Homer and 15 miles (24 km) east of Seldovia, Alaska. Tutka Bay is a long fjord on the southeastern shore of Kachemak Bay surrounded by the Kachemak Bay State Wilderness Park.

Kachemak Bay is about 8 miles (13 km) wide and 40 miles (64 km) long, on the southwest coast of the Kenai Peninsula, between Seldovia and Homer. The Native name for Kachemak Bay was first published in 1847 as “Chugachik or Kochekmak Bay” on a Russian chart. According to William Healey Dall, of the U.S. Coast and Geodetic Survey, “Ka” means water, “chek” means cliff, and “mak” is an intensive suffix meaning high, great, or large.

William H. Dall was a cartographer, geologist, and general scientist who visited Kachemak Bay in 1880 for the U.S. Coast and Geodetic Survey, in 1895 for the U.S. Geological Survey, and again in 1899 on the Harriman Expedition. While mapping the shoreline of Kachemak Bay, Dall named numerous features including Halibut and Sadie Coves, Eldred Passage, and Tutka Bay. The name “Tutka” is from the Dena’ina Athabascan word “tut’ ka’a” meaning “big enclosed water”. Read more here and here. Explore more of Tutka Bay here:

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