Kenai Fjords, Alaska, achieving National Park status in 1980, is home to about a dozen glaciers and some great Alaskan wildlife. Located on the Alaskan coast near Anchorage, Kenai Fjords is best seen both by land and by boat.
Visitor Rating (write your own review below)
|Scenery||Glaciers and mountains rise from frigid ocean bays|
|Uniqueness||Glaciers and animals which can only be seen in Alaska|
|Wildlife||Bears, mountain goats, orcas, otters, moose, whales. . .|
|Diversity||Glaciers, bays, hikes, boat tours–plenty to do|
ILNP Park Review
In a Word “Lively”
“How many are your works, O LORD! In wisdom you made them all; the earth is full of your creatures.” -Psalms 104:24
Our Visit We visited Kenai Fjords twice, once in May and again in July. Both times we hiked up to Exit Glacier and both times we took a boat tour out into Resurrection and Aialik Bays. Both times we were free of any significant time restraints.
Our Weather May was surprisingly nice with temperatures in the 60s. The hike was sunny, but the boat trip was somewhat overcast. July’s hike was warm and sunny, but the boat trip was nothing but rain, rain, rain!
Overall Impression Exploring Kenai Fjords is a great way to experience Alaska’s rugged coastline where snow-capped peaks drop into the water with surprising beauty. Besides beauty, this Park is home to an amazing variety of wildlife both on land and in the sea. You can expect to see bears and mountain goats on land, and any number of otters, dolphins, orcas, whales, seals and puffins on the water. Like most of Alaska, this place invigorates the soul by bringing out the wilderness explorer in each of us.
Favorite Spot The face of Aialik Glacier
Minimum Time Required About 2 hours. If you just want to see the pale blue ice of a glacier close-up, you can drive into the Exit Glacier area from the main highway. Once there, it’s a decent, level hike to the glacier face. You can go in May, but just beware the trail will probably be covered in snow!
A Longer Visit If you’ve got a full day, you can hike to Exit Glacier and take one of several boat tours which will take you to other areas of the park like nearby Aialik Bay. This is a great way to see wildlife like mountain goats, otters, orcas, puffins, seals, gray and humpback whales, and maybe even a bear or two. You’ll also get to see a few glaciers where they meet the ocean and listen to them crack and groan as they spawn small icebergs. Just a warning–these tours are not cheap, but they are worth the money.
Suggestions Leave plenty of time for the drive. Seward is about 90 minutes from Anchorage by car, but the scenery along the Turnagain arm of the Cook Inlet is incredible with snow-capped peaks reflected in the water so leave plenty of time to explore a little. Also, check the weather forecast! The boat ride isn’t much fun if it’s raining the whole time. Also, take some warm clothes–even though it’s warm inland, the deck of a boat can be chilly indeed! If you’re going to hike, remember it’s bear country! Take along something that jingles or makes noise so you don’t surprise anybody. We’d also recommend walking around the nearby town of Seward. There are a lot of neat shops, and the fish tacos are excellent!
Stories Crunch, Crunch, Poof!
Nearby Towns Seward, Anchorage (Alaska)
Other Nearby Attractions Whittier, Prince William Sound
Official NPS Website Kenai Fjords NP
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