Kenai Fjords National Park

Kenai Fjords National Park

Place: Southcentral Alaska

Park Tally: 37/59

Alignment: Kenai Fjords National Park lies in southcentral Alaska, on the edge of the North Pacific Ocean and also nearby the charming town of Seward. The entrance to this antarctic paradise can be accessed through a fairly brief drive from Anchorage (130 miles), by train, watercraft or exclusive air craft. Most of Kenai Fjords is just available using hiking, watercraft or aircraft, with very few roadways existing in the park.

 kenai fjords glacier lodge
Kenai Fjords glacier lodge
 kenai fjords glacier lodge
Kenai Fjords glacier lodge

One of the most preferred as well as the obtainable location in the park is Departure Glacier, 13 miles northwest of Seward, where you can drive to or take an excursion bus. From mid-May to late September, everyday watercraft excursions from Seward supply fifty percent and also full-day tours to the fjords and afar islands. There are also numerous choices for private watercraft charters, kayaking, angling and also backpacking journeys.

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Anchorage Alaska lodges
kenai alaska lodging
Kenai Alaska lodging

The majority of renowned view: The gem of Kenai Fjords National Forest is the amazing Harding Icefield. From this massive 700-square-mile icefield, plenty of tidewater glaciers put down, carving icebergs and arms. Over 30 glaciers of various sizes and also type flow from the Harding Icefield, with some ending in lakes (e.g. Skilak Glacier), some ending on land (e.g. Exit Glacier), and some being tidewater (e.g. Aialik Glacier). The Icefield may be a residue of the Pleistocene ice masses that once covered half of Alaska. Visitors can witness the Harding Icefield itself by means of a steep walking from the Leave Glacier area of the park, by means of an airplane, or any of its glaciers can be watched by means of boat.

kenai lodging
Kenai lodging
kenai peninsula lodging
Kenai Peninsula lodging

Accessible task: A popular way to experience the park is by using a tour-boat cruise from Seward. We chose to take a full-day ‘National forest Cruise Ship’ with Significant Marine Tours, which included interpretation from a well-informed park ranger. The 7.5-hour cruise ship enabled ample of time observing 2 active tidewater glaciers, Holgate and Aialik Glaciers, plus we were fortunate enough to check out a wealth of wildlife. It was an actual treat seeing whale and humpback whales breach out of the tranquil waters, along with puffins fish by the watercraft.

 seward lodging
Seward lodging
kenai alaska lodging
Kenai Alaska lodging

For the daring: As stated over, the Harding Icefield is a gem of Kenai Fjords National Forest. Amazing views of the Icefield can be gained using trekking the 8.2-mile roundtrip Harding Icefield Path, either as a day-trip or to camp overnight. This exhausting path gains about 1000 feet every mile and needs to only be attempted by reasonably fit as well as prepared visitors.

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Hotels in Kenai Alaska
hotels in kenai alaska
Hotels in Kenai Alaska

The walk gives spectacular sights of Departure Glacier, cottonwood as well as alder forests, heather loaded meadows as well as obviously the ginormous Harding Icefield. The top of the path provides a horizon of ice, as well as snow that stretches as for the eye, can see. Outdoor camping is permitted along the Harding Icefield Path corridor, though you have to be at least 1/8 from the trail on bare rock or snow. Make certain to comply with the principles of Disappear. We had a wonderfully tranquil (and freezing!) evening camping by the Icefield, something we would certainly do again in a heartbeat.

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Seward lodging
anchorage alaska lodges
Anchorage Alaska lodges

Ideal photo ops: Digital photographers come from throughout the world to catch the bountiful wildlife of Kenai Fjords. Schedule a watercraft cruise ship (or charter a private excursion) as well as be sure to take a telephoto lens for the best chance to photograph aquatic life as well as seabirds. We likewise found the sea otters by the Seward Harbor to be extremely photogenic!

 seward lodging
Seward lodging
anchorage alaska lodges
Anchorage Alaska lodges

Quick realities

  • Kenai Fjords National Park was established in 1980 under the Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act.
  • The Alutiiq and Dena’ina people are native to the external Kenai Peninsula coastline and also have actually typically hunted and also subsisted on the land for greater than 1,000 years.
  • Kenai Fjords is the tiniest national park in Alaska but still larger than 42 of the 59 national forests in the whole National forest System (covering around 670,000 acres).
  • 51% of Kenai Fjords National Park is covered by Antarctic ice.
  • The Harding Ice Field is one of just 4 staying ice fields in the nation, as well as is likewise the biggest ice field contained entirely within the USA’s boundaries.
  • Wildlife in the park contains numerous seabirds (consisting of puffins), hairless eagles, peregrine falcons, harbor seals, sea lions, sea otters, whales, porpoises, moose, black bears, brown bears, wolverines, coyotes, mountain goats, as well as more.
  • The 1989 Prince William Audio oil spill by Exxon Valdez significantly contaminated the seaside area of the national parkland. The National Park Service functioned tirelessly to tidy up in the years that complied with.
  • In 2016, the park had 346,534 visitors.

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