Kenai Fjords National Park Travel Guide

  • Kenai Fjords National Park
    by FlyingDutchmen
  • Kenai Fjords National Park
    by FlyingDutchmen
  • Kenai Fjords National Park
    by FlyingDutchmen

Kenai Fjords National Park Things to Do

  • Go Fish!

    The Kenai River is known for being the source of the world's biggest king salmon - a 97 pound, 4 oz fish - I saw it myself at the Soldotna Visitor Center. It was huge!My sister and I visited during the first week of May and there are fishers already, but mostly we saw them getting halibut and the odd-looking rockfish.The first King Salmons show up...

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  • Cruise to see the Kenai Fjords Wildlife!

    May 2009 - We took the Major Marine Tours for a half-day excursion of the Kenai Fjords Wildlife – for only $69 (infants free and $34 for 2-11 years old) and a $19 eat all you can meal (salmon and prime rib extravaganza). The tour started at 1230PM and lasted 5 hours ---the boat going through Resurrection Bay where you will see several mountaingoats...

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  • Harding Ice Field hike

    This trail is a long strenuous hike.The park says you should budget 6-8 hours and I agree with that.I did it less than 6 hours but I pushed myself so hard to make it and ended up hurting my knees.I think I would enjoy more (and also probably get more phenomenal pictures if I have more time) if I did it in 6-8 hours.The camp site there (near Exit...

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  • Sea lions

    You can sea lions in a number of locations around the many coastlines and islands of Kenai Fjords National Park. They typically like to lay out on rocky outcrops, from which they can take an occasional swim.

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  • Holgate Glacier

    Holgate glacier is a large glacier that empties into the sea at the end of the Holgate arm of Ailalik Bay in Kenai Fjords National Park. While we were there, we saw a number of chunks calve off into the bay, and also saw a Dall sheep on the rocks above the glacier.

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  • Cruising the park

    One of the best ways of visiting is by taking a cruise since much is inaccesible by land. The 2 major concessionaires are Major Marine Tours and Kenai Fjords Tours. Their offices are located by the docks in the small boat harbor. Which is better? I don't know. We cruised with Major Marine but I've heard they are equally as good. Both companies have...

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  • sea kayaking in Aialik Bay

    Aialik Bay is the most visited area in Kenai Fjords. The day cruises all head through Resurrection Bay and allow visitors the chance to see marine life, but the full day and multi day tours generally head to Aialik Bay for sea kayaking. The kayaking tour heads past Holgate and Ayalik Glaciers and gives you a chance to cruise close to the shore of...

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  • Aialik Glacier

    The Harding Icefield lies behind the coastal mountains and covers an area the size of either Rhode Island or Delaware, can't remember which. The ice glaciates through the mountain passes, finally tumbling into the sea. Even though the flow of ice is, well, glacial--it is a thrilling experience.

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  • Shards of ice big as a building

    The compressed ice ever pushing its way out of the icefields through the glaciated mountain passes and into the sea. Chunks of ice the size of a house will fall into the water in a process known as calving. But always there is more ice to take its place.

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  • A wall of blue ice

    I don't know exactly how high this wall of ice is (couple hundred feet maybe). The perspective is very strange. Standing on the deck of the boat it feels as if you could almost reach out and touch the glacier. Then the captain tells you that in fact it is a half mile away. Your senses don't believe the information until a chunck of glacier falls...

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  • Aialik Closer In

    The tour boat will only come within a quarter mile of the glacier. It looks benign, but the glaciers can be very dangerous. The captain was upset with some kayakers that went too close. He explained that they could be easily capsized if a large portion of the glacier suddenly felll into the sea.

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  • Take a cruise

    The best way to experience the beauty of the fjord is to take a cruise from Seward into the fjord area.

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Kenai Fjords National Park Hotels

Kenai Fjords National Park Transportation

  • mikelisaanna's Profile Photo

    by mikelisaanna Written Aug 12, 2007

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    We toured the park on a boat, the Alaskan Explorer, that was operated by Kenai Fjords Tours, a company that has been operating boat tours of the area since 1974. It was very enjoyable experience. Our tour lasted for about 5 or 6 hours, and covered two of the fjords plus a lot of the outlying islands. A highlight was when we pulled up and dropped anchor near the Holgate Glacier. The boat held about 100 people, and there were enough seats and tables for everyone, as well as an upper observation deck, where you could go outside and take pictures. As part of the tour, we were served lunch on the boat, and also were able to purchase drinks and snacks throughout the day.

    The boat's guides were very informative, providing an entertaining narrative throughout the day. They were also good at pointing out wildlfe along the way, enabling us to see whales, porpoises, sea lions, and a Dall sheep.

    Anna and our tour boat at the dock in Seward
    Related to:
    • National/State Park
    • Cruise
    • Family Travel

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Kenai Fjords National Park Warnings and Dangers

  • Motion sickness pills for the boat ride

    There are some spectacular sights from the boat ride. But be sure to take anti-nausea medicine if you have motion sickness. The boat ride is stop and go for whale sightings, animals (seals, sealions, otters, eagles, foxes, etc), and glaciers. If you do get sick, sit in the back of the boat. The staff will give you vomit bags, ginger ale and saltine...

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  • Holy Mackerel Is It Cold

    First of all the northern Pacific isn't exactly a warm body of water. But get in close to a glacier and feel the wind screaming on by after it has crossed a hundred mile wide ice field--now that is cold. I didn't exactly anticipate how cold it could be close in to a glacier and I was not wearing appropriate clothing. It took a hot shower and an...

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  • Cold weather & storm

    Because the fjord is exposed to the sea breeze, the weather can be freezing cold so get ready your warm clothings. Sometimes storm can happen and it is advisable not to go out to the fjord in stormy weather.

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Kenai Fjords National Park What to Pack

  • mikelisaanna's Profile Photo

    by mikelisaanna Written Sep 7, 2007

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Clothing/Shoes/Weather Gear: Bring a waterproof windbreaker, raincoat or poncho. Kenai Fjords National Park gets a lot of rain. Also, bring an umbrella for getting to and from the boat.

    Toiletries and Medical Supplies: Bring sunscreen. If you are doing a boat tour on a sunny day, you will be outside for much of the day.

    Photo Equipment: Definitely bring a camera. The park is extremely picturesque. If possible, have a good zoom lens, because you will want to be able to photograph the sea lions, whales and other marine creatures that you will see from your boat. Also, bring binoculars.

    Miscellaneous: If you are going on a boat tour and bringing children, pack a day pack or bag with things for them to do in case they get bored. We had cards and crayons, which made life easier. The park is beautiful, but after a while even the best-behaved children will lose interest.

    Related to:
    • National/State Park
    • Family Travel

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Kenai Fjords National Park Favorites

  • take a Kenai Fjords cruise....

    The Seward small boat harbour is the starting point for cruises through Resurrection Bay in Kenai Fjords National Park. These cruises are a must see activity when visiting this part of Alaska. The scenery is incredible, even when the weather is not great.

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  • Second Things Second: Don't Neglect Land...

    There are several interesting sights that are only accessible by vehicle or a hike. The most prominent landmark is the Exit Glacier. This glacier terminates well above sea level, thus providing the visitor a chance to get real close to an active glacier. Those glaciers that pour into the sea are much too dangerous to view up close because of the...

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  • First Things First: Make Sure to Get On...

    No one would come all the way to Kenai Fjords and not get out on the inlets and fjords would they? It is possible to make reservations months in advance for a fjord cruise. The trips are of different lengths, so get an itinerary from Kenai Fjords Tours (800-478-3346) and plan ahead.

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