Beautiful coastal scenery without crowds
Not the easiest place to get to
A little-known National Park that is worth visiting
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...more
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...more
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...more
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...more
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...more
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.more
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...more
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.more
33881 Sterling Hwy, Alaska, 99672, United States
Good for: Families
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.
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...more
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...more
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.
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...more
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.more