If a block of ice was to detach itself further high, it could roll down quite a ways. Bear Glacier, found in Kenai Fjords National Park, is a tidewater glacier and a popular spot for kayakers, but you can easily see it on a cruise from Seward. Take your time exploring Exit Glacier, and then take a cruise or kayak tour around one of the bays. 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. The road to Exit Glacier usually opens around May and closes with the first snow (around October). “In the evening, much of the glacier is in shadow and you are shooting against the light.”, 5. 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. It is one of the best bang-for-the-buck trails in Southcentral Alaska with spectacular views along most of its length. During many of the tours, park rangers provide narration, as well as present programs at Fox Island. Though Kenai Fjords National Park is open 24 hours a day year-round, it’s not necessarily accessible that often. Today, nearly 51 percent of the park is covered by ice. Located roughly 2.5 hours south of Anchorage, the small community of Seward, Alaska acts as the gateway to Kenai Fjords National Park. No products in the cart. There is no land access to Glacier Bay park. Bring water and food, and plan for a most-of-the-day hike if you're going all the way.”, 6. A fjord is a long, narrow arm of the sea with steep sides, carved by glacial activity. 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. Outdoor destinations + local stories & exclusive outdoor events. Interestingly, … 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 park contains the Harding Icefield, one of the largest ice fields in the United States. 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. Whale watching cruises are a popular activity on the waters along the coast of the park. Check the “Kayaking in Kenai Fjords” map to plan your trip. 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. You may even hear a harbor seal bellowing from an iceberg.”. The park was designated as a national park in 1980 as part of the Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act. From Glacier View, hike west 1,000 feet to a T-junction and turn left. 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. Review of Full-Day Kenai Fjords National Park Cruise. 281 Reviews . Visitors can walk around the bottom of Exit Glacier and learn about climate change in the nature center. Kenai Fjords National Park goes a step further, too, making available Art for Parks Backpacks filled with art supplies to explore your creative side whilst in the aprk. 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. © 2020 RootsRated, Inc. All rights reserved. Sharp nunataks (lone peaks) break the white horizon, glaciers spill from the ice field’s edge, and mountains fill the frame in every direction. Even if you don't make it all the way, there are great views of Exit Glacier from the lower trail and Marmot Meadows. And a view from the air can make for great wildlife spotting. The park boasts abundant wildlife, alpine and tidewater glaciers, and breathtaking scenery. Take in the views of this massive sheet of ice, then turn around for the return trip to the trailhead. 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 is 669,984 acres and more than half of it is covered in ice. 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. MORE PARK INFO: Kenai Fjords National Park, (907) 224-7500; nps.gov/kefj/ The best time of year to visit Kenai Fjords National Park is the summer, when the days are longer. “There are many opportunities for guided trips around the park,” say the rangers. 3. 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. For a unique experience, book a stay in the eco-friendly Kenai Fjords Glacier Lodge. 8. The park is famous for the fjords it contains, which are valleys that were created by glaciers that are now below sea level. 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. Ped­er­sen Glac­i­er, locat­ed in Kenai Fjords Nation­al Park, reced­ed through­out the 20 th cen­tu­ry expos­ing Ped­er­sen Spit and Ped­er­sen Lagoon. Take flight: Get a bird’s eye view of the park via a flight tour with a park-approved outfitter. One of the most popular glaciers is the Exit Glacier which can be reached by road. It's a great place for kids, but also for adults to learn more about the animals in the area. Most people visit Kenai Fjords National Park to explore the Exit Glacier. The captains of these boats are very informative about the surrounding area, sealife, and glaciers. This is our best tour … The Tracy Arm Fjord with Adventure Bound out of Juneau or Northwestern Fjord Tour out of Seward. This country contains some of the longest, deepest, and most beautiful fjords in the world. 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. 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. The crew members are dedicated to the comfort and overall good experience of their guests. 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 route climbs gradually for another half a mile to an overlook at the edge of the glacier. 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. 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. Visitors can drive to Seward, the nearest town, from Anchorage along the Seward Highway, a National Scenic Byway, or take the train from Anchorage. Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve in Southeast Alaska and Kenai Fjords National Park in Southcentral Alaska are best seen from the water. The waters here are very dangerous. There are guides available for more inexperienced paddlers and it’s not recommended that anyone, regardless of experience level, to round the Aialik Cape. A state fishing license is required. Skirting the Harding Ice Field from the highway junction to Homer - July 2004. Windows 10; Windows 8.1; Microsoft Office With the town of Seward as a home base, it’s easy to spend a couple days or more exploring Kenai Fjords National Park. The trails are steep, so hiking poles are definitely helpful. Glaciers can extend hundreds of feet below the surface, ... Usually less than 6 degrees Celsius, water in LeConte Bay is warm relative to the ice, and even other fjords around the world. 10. He designated the park via the Antiquities Act. There are almost 40 glaciers flowing from the Harding Icefield, one of the largest 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. At the edge of the Kenai Peninsula lies a land where the ice age lingers. Overall, Harding Ice Field hike has â ¦ Even as you hike up, you'll notice the how the age of the forest changes. Wildlife thrives in icy waters and lush forests around this vast expanse of ice. Many Glacier is one of the most popular campgrounds in the park, offering 109 sites for $23 per night. 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. Nearly 40 glaciers flow from the Harding Icefield, Kenai Fjords' crowning feature. 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. 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. Visitors can walk around the bottom of Exit Glacier and learn about climate change in the nature center. Join a ranger: Throughout the summer, park and fjord rangers offer programs from walking to hiking to talks about the park. 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. Rangers say that the “8.2-mile round trip hike is strenuous, gaining nearly 1,000 feet of elevation each mile on the way up,” and add, “The Harding Icefield Trail, though steep and somewhat strenuous, is worth every step. 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. Jul 23, 2012 - Explore Kenai Peninsula Tourism Market's board "Kenai Fjords", followed by 264 people on Pinterest. 7 Excellent Spots for the Best Spring Skiing in North America, 7 Ways to Celebrate Spring In Jackson Hole, The 10 Best Family-Friendly Activities in Salt Lake City, 5 Ways to Explore Olympic's Rarely Visited Staircase Region. Kenai Fjords National Park, Wrangle-St. Elias National Park, and Glacier Bay National Park, are all known for their glacier viewing. Kenai Fjords National Park is found in south central Alaska, on the Kenai Peninsula. Many people consider fjords the very symbol of Norway. Experienced kayakers often travel in and around Resurrection Bay. Park rangers say that boat tours provide opportunities for wildlife viewing and experiencing amazing scenery. 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. Inlet and into the glacier-filled Chugach Mountains. This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged. There are around 20 species of seabirds that make their home in the park, including puffins, bald eagles, and peregrine falcons. Harding Icefield Trail Map PDF: Access to the Harding Icefield is exceptional in comparison to other large icefields. In addition, the coastal backcountry is inaccessible late-fall through early-spring due to rough seas. Mountaineers that have experience with traversing glaciers, crevasse rescue techniques, and are experienced skiers can ski or snowshoe across the icefield. One of the best things about Kenai Fjords National Park is getting there. Massive glaciers can be viewed with relative ease in Alaska's national parks. During the summer, potable water is available at the restroom building, through both water-fountains and a water-bottle filling station. The scenery has beautiful mountains and lakes and the first 50 miles run along the Turnagain Arm, which is home to beluga whales. Visit Exit Glacier: Be sure to take the time to visit Exit Glacier, the only part of the park accessible by road. Get on a boat: Much of the park is only accessible by water, including the fjord ecosystem and 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. There’s also a 12-person canoe that takes people across the glacial moraine to hike along the lagoon’s glacier. Kenai Fjords National Park is a land dominated by glaciers, massive rivers of ice that flow out from the Harding Icefield. 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. The only way to explore the rest of Kenai Fjords is by boat and the Aialik Glacier is a popular destination. There are camping options that are accessible by kayak, or there is a 12-site, tent only campground just before the nature center. ... Kenai Fjords and Resurrection Bay Half-Day Wildlife Cruise. See more ideas about kenai fjords, kenai, fjord. Most people visit Kenai Fjords National Park to explore the Exit Glacier. On land, you may spot moose, mountain goats, river otters, snowshoe hares, lynx, gray wolves, wolverines, and black and brown bears. 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. It’s possible to drive up to where Exit Glacier is;  that’s the only part of the park accessible by car. Resrurrection Bay and the fjords yield salmon, halibut, rockfish, and lingcod. 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. 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. Log in; Home; Windows. “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. 7. 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. The southernmost named glacier among them is the Lilliput Glacier in Tulare County, east of the Central Valley of California. You should dig a small hole to do your ‘business’. Glaciers, earthquakes, and ocean storms have shaped Alaska's Kenai Fjords for centuries, resulting in constantly changing terrain. It is one of the most accessible valley glaciers in Alaska and is a visible indicator of glacial recession due to climate change. Ironically, Glacier National Park isn't the easiest place to see an active glacier. from $107.65* Kenai Fjords National Park Cruise from Seward. Kayaking is a challenge at Kenai Fjords National Park, but is really the best way to get up close to some of the wildlife and glaciers. The smaller group size gives you the best opportunities to interact with and ask questions of our experienced, knowledgeable crew. The field is the source of at least 38 glaciers, th… 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. 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. 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. Kenai Fjords National Park is a 669,984 acre park located in Alaska in the United States. As 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. We are the original Kenai Fjords wildlife and glacier cruise operator, since 1974. 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. 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. 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. You can still ski or snowmobile on the road in the winter to get into Exit Glacier. Upon arrival in Seward, transfer by shuttle to the small boat harbour for a 6-hour cruise of Kenai Fjords National Park. “Consider visiting iceberg-filled Bear Glacier Lagoon, Aialik Bay, or stay in Resurrection Bay.”. Your California Privacy Rights/Privacy Policy. The road to Exit Glacier isn't plowed during the wintertime, and therefore is closed to traffic when blanketed with snow and ice. There are also opportunities for experienced kayakers to explore the fjords. Glaciers, waves and mountains have shaped Kenai Fjords National Park over millennia, forging some of the most awe-inspiring and picturesque vistas in Alaska. Inexperienced kayakers should hire a guide to navigate the tides weather, snow... Constantly changing terrain check the “ Kayaking in Kenai Fjords for centuries, resulting in constantly changing terrain Fox! Trips around the bottom of Exit Glacier, and plan for a unique experience, book stay! 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