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. Log in; Home; Windows. 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. In the 1980 s, the lagoon was des­ig­nat­ed as the Ped­er­sen Lagoon Wildlife Sanc­tu­ary, a 1, 700-acre sanc­tu­ary meant to pre­serve and pro­tect the area’s wildlife and land. Review of Full-Day Kenai Fjords National Park Cruise. At the edge of the Kenai Peninsula lies a land where the ice age lingers. from $107.65* Kenai Fjords National Park Cruise from Seward. “There is a program for everyone,” say the rangers. The captains of these boats are very informative about the surrounding area, sealife, and glaciers. “In the evening, much of the glacier is in shadow and you are shooting against the light.”, 5. There is no land access to Glacier Bay park. We are the original Kenai Fjords wildlife and glacier cruise operator, since 1974. 281 Reviews . 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. No products in the cart. The Exit Glacier area features the park’s only maintained hiking trails, a campground and the Exit Glacier Nature Center. The route climbs gradually for another half a mile to an overlook at the edge of the glacier. Other animals and wildlife to keep an eye out for while on the water include sea otters, Stellar sea lions, orcas, and fin, gray, humpback, minke and sei whales. 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. 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. Get wild: Speaking of harbor seals, they are just one of the various marine mammals you may see during a visit to Kenai Fjords National Park. According to theNPS website, “the most popular routes are from Tustemena Glacier to Exit Glacier and from Chernof Glacier (via the Fox River on Kachemak Bay) to Exit Glacier. 10. The southernmost named glacier among them is the Lilliput Glacier in Tulare County, east of the Central Valley of California. Glaciers, waves and mountains have shaped Kenai Fjords National Park over millennia, forging some of the most awe-inspiring and picturesque vistas in Alaska. 3. You can still ski or snowmobile on the road in the winter to get into Exit Glacier. If you can drive to the park from Anchorage, the 127-mile Seward Highway is paradise for photographers. This country contains some of the longest, deepest, and most beautiful fjords in the world. The park contains the Harding Icefield, one of the largest ice fields in the United States. Windows 10; Windows 8.1; Microsoft Office “Don’t come all the way to Alaska and then miss out on that opportunity,” say the park rangers. Kenai Fjords Tours (kenaifjords.com) offers a six- and eight-and-a-half hour cruises that depart from Seward and take tourists through tide-water glaciers in Kenai Fjords National Park. Take flight: Get a bird’s eye view of the park via a flight tour with a park-approved outfitter. MORE PARK INFO: Kenai Fjords National Park, (907) 224-7500; nps.gov/kefj/ 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. It is one of the most accessible valley glaciers in Alaska and is a visible indicator of glacial recession due to climate change. With the town of Seward as a home base, it’s easy to spend a couple days or more exploring Kenai Fjords National Park. And a view from the air can make for great wildlife spotting. Please try again. 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. 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. The field is the source of at least 38 glaciers, th… Exit Glacier in particular is one of the park’s major attractions, and is a very visual example of climate change – the glacier receded approximately 187 feet from 2013 to 2014 alone. The park is 669,984 acres and more than half of it is covered in ice. The park is famous for the fjords it contains, which are valleys that were created by glaciers that are now below sea level. 151 Reviews . Ped­er­sen Glac­i­er, locat­ed in Kenai Fjords Nation­al Park, reced­ed through­out the 20 th cen­tu­ry expos­ing Ped­er­sen Spit and Ped­er­sen Lagoon. It’s a very strenuous day hike, gaining about 1,000 feet of elevation per mile, so plan on spending about 6-8 hours out there. He designated the park via the Antiquities Act. “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. Ironically, Glacier National Park isn't the easiest place to see an active glacier. “Consider visiting iceberg-filled Bear Glacier Lagoon, Aialik Bay, or stay in Resurrection Bay.”. 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. How many glacier viewing cruises is enough? Join a ranger: Throughout the summer, park and fjord rangers offer programs from walking to hiking to talks about the park. 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. 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. 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. 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. There are almost 40 glaciers flowing from the Harding Icefield, one of the largest in the United States. 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. The trail starts at the valley floor and winds through forests and meadows until getting above the tree line. The lodge is surrounded by the national park and is only accessible via boat, which doubles as a marine wildlife and glacial cruise. You may even hear a harbor seal bellowing from an iceberg.”. Wildlife thrives in icy waters and lush forests around this vast expanse of ice. Bring water and food, and plan for a most-of-the-day hike if you're going all the way.”, 6. This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged. Mountaineers that have experience with traversing glaciers, crevasse rescue techniques, and are experienced skiers can ski or snowshoe across the icefield. 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. April is the best time for this and the best access points to get on the glacier are on the east side and Tustemena or Chernof glaciers on the west. Visitors can drive to Seward, the nearest town, from Anchorage along the Seward Highway, a National Scenic Byway, or take the train from Anchorage. Sharp nunataks (lone peaks) break the white horizon, glaciers spill from the ice field’s edge, and mountains fill the frame in every direction. 4. Most people visit Kenai Fjords National Park to explore the Exit Glacier. The temperature can drop considerably when you are sitting a quarter-mile from a tidewater glacier,” they explain. Visitors can walk around the bottom of Exit Glacier and learn about climate change in the nature center. The park was designated as a national park in 1980 as part of the Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act. 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. One of the most popular glaciers is the Exit Glacier which can be reached by road. There are a couple short (but steep) trails that go up to a viewpoint of the Exit Glacier, or visitors can hike the 8.2-mile round trip Harding Icefield Trail. It became a national park in 1980 to preserve the fjord and rainforest ecosystems, Harding Icefield, abundant wildlife and historical and archeological remains, and to provide visitor access. from $166.25* 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. Kenai Fjords National Park is an American national park established in 1980 by the Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act. Come prepared for any kind of weather, including snow on the trail. There is freshwater fishing in the nearby Chugach National Forest. 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. The crew members are dedicated to the comfort and overall good experience of their guests. A fjord is a long, narrow arm of the sea with steep sides, carved by glacial activity. I know they will all be great but may need to limit them. Park rangers say that boat tours provide opportunities for wildlife viewing and experiencing amazing scenery. Most people visit Kenai Fjords National Park to explore the Exit Glacier. 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. 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. Once at the top, visitors will have an impressive and breathtaking view of the entire icefield, which stretches as far as the eye can see. Take in the views of this massive sheet of ice, then turn around for the return trip to the trailhead. 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!). If you do make it all the way, you are rewarded with a spectacular view back into the ice age. There’s also a 12-person canoe that takes people across the glacial moraine to hike along the lagoon’s glacier. The road to Exit Glacier usually opens around May and closes with the first snow (around October). “There are many opportunities for guided trips around the park,” say the rangers. Kenai Fjords National Park is found in south central Alaska, on the Kenai Peninsula. One of the best things about Kenai Fjords National Park is getting there. Check the “Kayaking in Kenai Fjords” map to plan your trip. There are guides available for more inexperienced paddlers and it’s not recommended that anyone, regardless of experience level, to round the Aialik Cape. 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. Massive glaciers can be viewed with relative ease in Alaska's national parks. See more ideas about kenai fjords, kenai, fjord. 9. Kenai Fjords National Park, Wrangle-St. Elias National Park, and Glacier Bay National Park, are all known for their glacier viewing. Visit Exit Glacier: Be sure to take the time to visit Exit Glacier, the only part of the park accessible by road. 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. There are also some companies that take people on fly-in sport fishing trips along the coast. Older kids (ages 13 and up) will have fun delving into the new NPS Kenai Fjords Journal App for iOS and Android mobile devices, and they can earn their Explorer Badge. In 1978, United States President Jimmy Carter designated Kenai Fjords as a national monument. The park is named for the numerous fjordscarved by glaciers moving down the mountains from the ice field. Nearly 40 glaciers flow from the Harding Icefield, Kenai Fjords' crowning feature. Experienced kayakers often travel in and around Resurrection Bay. You should dig a small hole to do your ‘business’. Your California Privacy Rights/Privacy Policy. 2. Many Glacier is one of the most popular campgrounds in the park, offering 109 sites for $23 per night. There are also opportunities for experienced kayakers to explore the fjords. Summer temperatures range from 40-70 degrees Fahrenheit. This includes packing all litter! As During the summer, potable water is available at the restroom building, through both water-fountains and a water-bottle filling station. There are a couple short (but steep) trails that go up to a viewpoint of the Exit Glacier, or visitors can hike the 8.2-mile round trip Harding Icefield Trail. 7. Upon arrival in Seward, transfer by shuttle to the small boat harbour for a 6-hour cruise of Kenai Fjords National Park. Overall, Harding Ice Field hike has â ¦ Even as you hike up, you'll notice the how the age of the forest changes. Visitors can walk around the bottom of Exit Glacier and learn about climate change in the nature center. For a head start in your planning, we checked in with Kenai Fjords National Park Rangers to compile these 10 tips, in no particular order: 1. 8. Though Kenai Fjords National Park is open 24 hours a day year-round, it’s not necessarily accessible that often. The waters here are very dangerous. ... Kenai Fjords and Resurrection Bay Half-Day Wildlife Cruise. Skirting the Harding Ice Field from the highway junction to Homer - July 2004. 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. The trails are steep, so hiking poles are definitely helpful. Even if you don't make it all the way, there are great views of Exit Glacier from the lower trail and Marmot Meadows. The smaller group size gives you the best opportunities to interact with and ask questions of our experienced, knowledgeable crew. 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. 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. Resrurrection Bay and the fjords yield salmon, halibut, rockfish, and lingcod. 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. In addition, the coastal backcountry is inaccessible late-fall through early-spring due to rough seas. Take a hike: Experienced hikers may want to take on the Harding Icefield Trail, what park rangers call “arguably the best day hike in the National Park Service.” The Harding Icefield Trail begins at the Exit Glacier Nature Center and travels to the edge of the Harding Icefield, which makes up 50 percent of the park. Located roughly 2.5 hours south of Anchorage, the small community of Seward, Alaska acts as the gateway to Kenai Fjords National Park. 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