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I have taken many glacier and whale watching cruises in Alaska, so I can speak from experience that Kenai Fjords Tours is one of the best. And a view from the air can make for great wildlife spotting. Interestingly, … Nearly 40 glaciers flow from the Harding Icefield, Kenai Fjords' crowning feature. Your California Privacy Rights/Privacy Policy. Be prepared: If you do take a boat tour, park rangers suggest that you come ready for the weather: “Bring warm layers for the boat tour: something to break the wind, light- to medium-weight gloves and a hat. Many people walk up to, and in some cases onto the glacier using the Exit Glacier … Experienced kayakers often travel in and around Resurrection Bay. Wildlife thrives in icy waters and lush forests around this vast expanse of ice. Kenai Fjords National Park is an American national park established in 1980 by the Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act. 9. Seward is also home to the Alaska SeaLife Center , which is not just an aquarium, but also a marine mammal rehabilitation center on Resurrection Bay. There is freshwater fishing in the nearby Chugach National Forest. The captains of these boats are very informative about the surrounding area, sealife, and glaciers. Ironically, Glacier National Park isn't the easiest place to see an active glacier. A state fishing license is required. This is a list of glaciers existing in the United States, currently or in recent centuries.These glaciers are located in nine states, all in the Rocky Mountains or farther west. In a survey conducted by National Geographic Traveler Magazine the famous fjords of Norway were selected as the number one unspoiled travel spot from a list of 115 destinations around the world. More inexperienced kayakers should hire a guide to navigate the tides. It's a great place for kids, but also for adults to learn more about the animals in the area. Visitors can drive to Seward, the nearest town, from Anchorage along the Seward Highway, a National Scenic Byway, or take the train from Anchorage. The smaller group size gives you the best opportunities to interact with and ask questions of our experienced, knowledgeable crew. Please try again. Beyond the incredible glacier views, the hills you will be hiking are rather amazing to look at too and on a clear day, you’ll also be able to see plenty of other glaciers on neighboring mountains. 281 Reviews . Jul 23, 2012 - Explore Kenai Peninsula Tourism Market's board "Kenai Fjords", followed by 264 people on Pinterest. It is one of the best bang-for-the-buck trails in Southcentral Alaska with spectacular views along most of its length. Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve in Southeast Alaska and Kenai Fjords National Park in Southcentral Alaska are best seen from the water. The park covers an area of 669,984 acres (1,046.9 sq mi; 2,711.3 km ) on the Kenai Peninsula in south-central Alaska, near the town of Seward. With the town of Seward as a home base, it’s easy to spend a couple days or more exploring Kenai Fjords National Park. There are also some companies that take people on fly-in sport fishing trips along the coast. The Harding Icefield located in Kenai Fjords National Park is the largest icefield contained entirely within the United States, 300 square miles and if you included the glaciers which descends from the icefield it would be over 1,100 square miles. You should dig a small hole to do your ‘business’. The temperature can drop considerably when you are sitting a quarter-mile from a tidewater glacier,” they explain. Boat access to Kenai Fjords Glacier Lodge departs from the Seward Harbor; this transfer to the Glacier Lodge doubles as a marine wildlife and glacier cruise in Kenai Fjords National Park. Paddle the fjords: While park rangers advise that the park’s waters are not for beginners, you can get out on the water to kayak the fjords. Kenai Fjords National Park, which is situated 130 miles south of Anchorage near Seward, Alaska, is home to a quarter of the state’s glaciers.While the park’s icefields have receded due to climate change, many glaciers are still intact, drawing in hundreds of thousands of visitors annually. “You don't want to miss the sounds of the glacier by being forced inside by the cold – you want to be out on the boat’s deck where you can hear it pop, crackle and thunder. Get on a boat: Much of the park is only accessible by water, including the fjord ecosystem and tidewater glaciers. The trail starts at the valley floor and winds through forests and meadows until getting above the tree line. Take flight: Get a bird’s eye view of the park via a flight tour with a park-approved outfitter. Resrurrection Bay and the fjords yield salmon, halibut, rockfish, and lingcod. It’s from the air that you will really be able to take in the size and scope of the park, as well as the varying landscapes. Whale watching cruises are a popular activity on the waters along the coast of the park. The Exit Glacier area features the park’s only maintained hiking trails, a campground and the Exit Glacier Nature Center. This includes packing all litter! You may even hear a harbor seal bellowing from an iceberg.”. The park contains the Harding Icefield, one of the largest ice fields in the United States. Log in; Home; Windows. Once at the lodge, there are nature trails to explore and kayaking in the gentle lagoon. There are camping options that are accessible by kayak, or there is a 12-site, tent only campground just before the nature center. Most people visit Kenai Fjords National Park to explore the Exit Glacier. Today, nearly 51 percent of the park is covered by ice. There are about 27 species of land mammals and 10 species of marine mammals in the area, including moose, black bears, wolverines, coyotes, mountain goats, harbor seals, Stellar sea lions, porpoises, and sea otters. Kenai Fjords National Park is a land dominated by glaciers, massive rivers of ice that flow out from the Harding Icefield. The park is named for the numerous fjordscarved by glaciers moving down the mountains from the ice field. The best time of year to visit Kenai Fjords National Park is the summer, when the days are longer. Exit Glacier is a glacier derived from the Harding Icefield in the Kenai Mountains of Alaska and one of Kenai Fjords National Park's major attractions. Park rangers suggest visiting Exit Glacier early in the day for the best photographs. When you arrive at the park, stop in at the park’s two visitor centers to plan your time to make the most out of your visit. The park was designated as a national park in 1980 as part of the Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act. Visit Exit Glacier: Be sure to take the time to visit Exit Glacier, the only part of the park accessible by road. Researchers at Kenai Fjords National Park work together with university researchers and scientists from other government agencies to understand this environment, to monitor changes, and to determine the impacts of those changes on other ecosystems in Kenai Fjords National Park. This is Alaska, after all, so when planning your visit, consider that peak visiting months are June, July and August, while limited services are available in May and September. 3. Harding Icefield Trail Map PDF: Access to the Harding Icefield is exceptional in comparison to other large icefields. As One of the most popular glaciers is the Exit Glacier which can be reached by road. Summer temperatures range from 40-70 degrees Fahrenheit. Half-day tours stay within the more protected waters of Resurrection Bay, while full-day tours provide views of some of the park’s tidewater glaciers. Kenai Fjords National Park was established as a national monument in 1978. The road to Exit Glacier usually opens around May and closes with the first snow (around October). Come prepared for any kind of weather, including snow on the trail. The park boasts abundant wildlife, alpine and tidewater glaciers, and breathtaking scenery. “The best light on the glacier can be as early as 6 a.m. in June, a little later as the summer progresses,” they explain. We are the original Kenai Fjords wildlife and glacier cruise operator, since 1974. It might be just the fifth most-visited park in Alaska, but Kenai Fjords National Park is one of most beautiful spots in the whole state (and that’s saying something in a place like Alaska!). A fjord is a long, narrow arm of the sea with steep sides, carved by glacial activity. The best way to kayak in the park is to either get dropped of in Aialik Bay or the Northwestern Lagoon (there are campsites along the these areas to stay the night) or by paddling from Seward to Resurrection Bay, Caines Head, or Bear Glacier. The water is that gorgeous blue-green created by glacial melt, and you can see the harbor seals and a variety of seabirds that spend time on the Northwestern Glacier. The route climbs gradually for another half a mile to an overlook at the edge of the glacier. The road to Exit Glacier isn't plowed during the wintertime, and therefore is closed to traffic when blanketed with snow and ice. Most people visit Kenai Fjords National Park to explore the Exit Glacier. In 1978, United States President Jimmy Carter designated Kenai Fjords as a national monument. The park is 669,984 acres and more than half of it is covered in ice. Review of Full-Day Kenai Fjords National Park Cruise. The trails are steep, so hiking poles are definitely helpful. The Aialik Bay is the most popular kayaking spot in Kenai Fjords National Park, so try the Northwestern Fjord instead if you are looking for more solitude. There are almost 40 glaciers flowing from the Harding Icefield, one of the largest in the United States. Upon arrival in Seward, transfer by shuttle to the small boat harbour for a 6-hour cruise of Kenai Fjords National Park. There are guides available for more inexperienced paddlers and it’s not recommended that anyone, regardless of experience level, to round the Aialik Cape. 7. Inlet and into the glacier-filled Chugach Mountains. Even if you don't make it all the way, there are great views of Exit Glacier from the lower trail and Marmot Meadows. With so many natural wonders and easy access via road, rail, and boat, it’s no surprise that the area draws visitors of all stripes. Kenai Fjords National Park, Wrangle-St. Elias National Park, and Glacier Bay National Park, are all known for their glacier viewing. Ice, ice, baby: You’ll find plenty of it at Kenai Fjords National Park on the edge of the Kenai Peninsula in Southcentral Alaska, near Seward, where 40 glaciers are the main attraction. © 2020 RootsRated, Inc. All rights reserved. Outdoor destinations + local stories & exclusive outdoor events. In addition, the coastal backcountry is inaccessible late-fall through early-spring due to rough seas. Wonder at the sight of whales frolicking at sea - all of these signature Alaskan sights are easily accessible on our wildlife and glacier cruises in Kenai Fjords National Park. The southernmost named glacier among them is the Lilliput Glacier in Tulare County, east of the Central Valley of California. The field is the source of at least 38 glaciers, th… Rainy days aren't bad: “Don't fret if you find yourself with a grey, rainy day to tour the fjords,” advise the park rangers. During many of the tours, park rangers provide narration, as well as present programs at Fox Island. Nearly 51 percent of the park is covered in ice, but there's still plenty to see and do within Kenai Fjords, which was designated a national park in 1980, just two years after it was established as a national monument by presidential proclamation. Skirting the Harding Ice Field from the highway junction to Homer - July 2004. “Consider visiting iceberg-filled Bear Glacier Lagoon, Aialik Bay, or stay in Resurrection Bay.”. “There are many opportunities for guided trips around the park,” say the rangers. A network of short trails leads to different views of Exit Glacier, including a one-mile accessible loop and the more rugged Edge of the Glacier trail. from $107.65* Kenai Fjords National Park Cruise from Seward. All of this land was once buried beneath the ice and still bears its influence, in both the physical forms, and the everyday glacial terminology used at the park. Many people consider fjords the very symbol of Norway. For a unique experience, book a stay in the eco-friendly Kenai Fjords Glacier Lodge. For those who might be nervous about taking on the adventure alone (bears are commonly spotted along the trail), there are ranger-led tours that leave the nature center at 9:00 a.m. on Saturdays in July and August. Mountaineers that have experience with traversing glaciers, crevasse rescue techniques, and are experienced skiers can ski or snowshoe across the icefield. Visitors can walk around the bottom of Exit Glacier and learn about climate change in the nature center. Located roughly 2.5 hours south of Anchorage, the small community of Seward, Alaska acts as the gateway to Kenai Fjords National Park. The fjords that have been carved by glaciers over thousands of years have created estuary ecosystems that are only found in five other locations in the world. “There is a program for everyone,” say the rangers. Kenai Fjords National Park is a 669,984 acre park located in Alaska in the United States. Aimed for kids ages 4 through 12, the guide is filled with activities that help kids learn more about the park’s glaciers and wildlife while having fun. Originally, it was in 1978 on the 1st of December when the Kenai Fjords National Monument was designated by the American President Jimmy Carter. Take your time exploring Exit Glacier, and then take a cruise or kayak tour around one of the bays. You can still ski or snowmobile on the road in the winter to get into Exit Glacier. Ice, ice, baby: You’ll find plenty of it at Kenai Fjords National Park on the edge of the Kenai Peninsula in Southcentral Alaska, near Seward, where 40 glaciers are the main attraction. Bring water and food, and plan for a most-of-the-day hike if you're going all the way.”, 6. 151 Reviews . Become a Junior Ranger: Visiting Kenai Fjords National Park is for adventurers, so it’s no surprise that the park’s Junior Ranger program involves an adventure guide. How many glacier viewing cruises is enough? Exit Glacier is the ideal ‘exit’ since it is the one access point where you don’t have to rely on meeting a boat or a plane.” The trip can take anywhere from six days to a couple weeks, and mountaineers should be prepared for a storm to come in at anytime and cause white-out conditions. No products in the cart. Ped­er­sen Glac­i­er, locat­ed in Kenai Fjords Nation­al Park, reced­ed through­out the 20 th cen­tu­ry expos­ing Ped­er­sen Spit and Ped­er­sen Lagoon. During the summer, potable water is available at the restroom building, through both water-fountains and a water-bottle filling station. Fields in the United States this massive sheet of ice that flow from! The lodge, there are around 20 species of seabirds that make their home in the park found! Lagoon, Aialik Bay, or there is freshwater fishing in the evening, Much of the Central valley California! Inaccessible late-fall through early-spring due to rough seas Bay park ocean storms have shaped Alaska Kenai! 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