Kenai Fjords National Park

Travel to Kenai Fjords tops the list of many visitors to Alaska. Kenai Fjords National Park is located between Cook Inlet and Prince William Sound on the southeast section of the Kenai Peninsula, and the approximately 250,000 travelers that venture to Kenai Fjords Alaska annually have established travel to Kenai Fjords as one of the most popular Alaskan activities.

In 1980, the 1,760 square miles of Kenai Fjords National Park were designated as part of the Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act. Kenai Fjords National Park includes more than 40 glaciers and most of the fjords and islands along Kenai Peninsula's southeastern coast, but the foremost feature of Kenai Fjords Alaska is the majestic Harding Icefield. Alaskan wildlife abounds in this area: Humpback whales, sea lions, puffins, brown bears, moose, and mountain goats are just a few of the animals that call this area home. The Kenai Fjords offer some of the best Alaska fishing trips as well. Fishermen come from all over the world to cast their line for many species of fish, including salmon, halibut, rockfish and lingcod. An Alaska fishing license is required and can be easily obtained online through the Alaska Department of Fish and Game License and Permits website.

The most convenient time for travel to Kenai Fjords is during the summer months when Exit Glacier, one of only three remaining Alaskan glaciers accessible by car, can be reached by a nine-mile gravel road off Seward Highway. This point also serves as an excellent departure point for mountaineering across Harding Icefield, especially during the ideal temperatures of April. Ice climbing and hiking are recommended for experienced climbers, though the constantly changing nature of Kenai Fjords Alaska requires excellent survival skills. Despite the closed roads during the winter months between November and April, Kenai Fjords National Park is still accessible by snowmobile, snowshoes, cross-country skiing, or dogsled.

Viewing the Kenai Fjords from the sea gives you a unique perspective of the magnificence of the glaciers. Kayaking in Kenai Fjords National Park is widely considered the best glacier kayaking in the world, though kayaking experience is highly recommended to traverse these challenging waters. Several Seward-based boat companies also provide an abundance of Kenai Fjords tours on the water, offering a wide variety of boat tours specializing in everything from glaciers to whale watching. Half-day tours journey within the protected beauty of Resurrection Bay while full-day tours venture out to the ocean's tidewater glaciers and often include a meal onboard the ship.

Kenai Fjords tours are not limited to the sea. One of the most popular Alaska glacier tours is on foot, taking one of the many walks led by the park's rangers. During the summer, the Exit Glacier walk lasts approximately one to two hours and requires no reservation. Here you can get close to Exit Glacier's evolving nature, as the glacier moves forward nearly two feet each day. Harding Icefield walks are offered during July and August only and last seven to eight hours. The truly adventurous can take advantage of viewing the Kenai fjords from the air. Several local flight companies offer Kenai Fjords tours from the comfort of a Cessna airplane, departing from Anchorage and lasting several hours.

The closest major airport to the Kenai Peninsula is in Anchorage, though visitors to the Kenai Fjords often find Seward, 130 miles south of Anchorage, to be a more convenient base. Overnight visitors to the Kenai Fjords Alaska can choose between one of several Seward hotels and campgrounds, but many opt to stay in Kenai Fjords National Park itself. The Exit Glacier Campgrounds offer ten walk-in tent campsites and four backcountry cabins accessible only by boat or plane. Available only during winter, the rustic, propane-powered Willow Cabin is an option for a truly unique Alaska camping experience.

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