One of the most amazing natural places in Southcentral Alaska, Kenai Fjords National Park is the perfect place to explore marine life, fish for salmon and halibut and watch glacier ice tumble into the waters below.
Glaciers, waves and mountains have shaped Kenai Fjords National Park over millennia, forging some of the most awe-inspiring and picturesque vistas in Alaska. 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.
Things to see in Kenai Fjords
Day cruise boats are the most popular way to explore glaciers and marine wildlife in the park. The cruises depart Seward to explore coves and inlets. More than 40 glaciers originate high in the mountains. Spring brings an opportunity to see California gray whales migrating Alaska. And thier just the first species to arrive. During the summer, migratory seabirds nest along the rocky cliffs and humpback, fin, minke and orca whales all get their fill of food in the nutrient-rich waters. It is common to see otters bobbing along in the current, sea lions sunning themselves on the rocks, puffins skimming along the water and Dall porpoises frolicking in the bow waves of boats.
The area is also a hotspot for fishing, and many charter vessels operate out of Seward’s small boat harbor. Fish for salmon and Dolly Varden in the park’s waters, or target salmon, halibut, rockfish and ling cod in the waters of Resurrection Bay and beyond.
There’s plenty of excitement on land as well. The Alaska SeaLife Center is the perfect introduction to the marine ecosystem, and gives visitors a view of life beneath the waves while keeping them high and dry. Just outside the city of Seward, Exit Glacier is accessible by road, and is the perfect place for a hike or naturalist walk to the toe of a glacier.
For experienced kayakers, the park is begging for exploration. Water taxi services can drop you off in the heart of the park for the day, or make use of wilderness campsites for a multi-day voyage.
Getting to Kenai Fjords from Anchorage
Most visitors reach the park via the city of Seward, 130 miles south of Anchorage, either by car or using the Alaska Railroad. Many one-way Alaska cruises begin or end in Seward as well, so check the schedule on your voyage and plan some extra time to explore the park and nearby cities.