Kenai Fjords National Park

Kenai Fjords, where mountains, glaciers, and the ocean come together, is as close as you can get to the Ice Age. Dozens of glaciers flow from Kenai Fjords' main attraction: The Harding Icefield. Numerous species abound in the surrounding forests and icy waters, including black bears, brown bears, moose, sea otters, and killer whales.

About the park

Kenai Fjords National Park is, quite simply, one of the most amazing national parks in United States. Established as a national park in 1980, Kenai Fjords National Park consists of three main areas: Harding Icefield, Exit Glacier, and the coast.

Harding Icefield is the largest ice field in the United States, covering over 70 square miles. The icefield is the source of dozens of glaciers, including the Bear Glacier, Exit Glacier, and the Tustumena Glacier. Over 400 inches of snow fall on the icefield, each year.

The Exit Glacier is a glacier spawned by Harding Icefield. It's one of the most accessible glaciers in Alaska. (You can basically drive right up to it.) Ranger-led walks to the glacier are available regularly during the summer months. Viewable wildlife include brown and black bears, marmots, mountain goats, snow buntings, and great horned owls.

Kenai Fjords National Park coast has spectacular scenery. You'll be able to view beautiful tidewater glaciers, rugged coastlines, and a variety of marine wildlife. Possible sightings include sea lions, harbor seals, Steller sea lions, Orcas, and humpback whales. 

Exploring the park

When you visit Kenai Fjords National Park, you have a number of options for exploring the area.

One option is to take a boat tour out of Seward. In the summer, tours depart out of Seward daily. You can choose from a number of excellent companies providing tours. This is an excellent opportunity to do some whale watching, as well.

You can also choose to join a tour led by a park ranger. You can choose from short walks, longer day hikes, and interpretive talks. One tour to consider is the Exit Glacier walk. These last about an hour and a half. The hike follows the trail to the scenic Glacier Overlook.

For a more extensive exploration, think about hiking the Harding Icefield Trail. This 8.2 mile round-trip hike starts at the Exit Glacier area, twists and turns through dense forests, and culminates with an amazing view of the Harding Icefield.