September 8, 2023

Kenai Fjords National Park

Kenai Fjords National Park sits on the edge of the Kenai Peninsula and next to the North Pacific Ocean. This location near the cold waters of the ocean, along with the ongoing collision of two tectonic plates (the subduction of the Pacific plate under the Continental plate), created the conditions perfect for the formation of the Harding Icefield. At 300 square miles, it is one of the four major ice caps in the United States. It is the source of at least 38 glaciers which have carved mile-deep water fjords surrounded by caverns of rock and ice. Massive tidewater glaciers spill into the plankton-rich waters of the Pacific.

Water, trees and mountains of Kenai Fjords National Park

The rugged islands of the fjords are rookeries for millions of nesting migratory and resident birds. Commonly-spotted species include bald eagles, black oystercatchers, murres, peregrine falcons, both horned and tufted puffins, and more! The fjords are also home to orca, humpback, gray, and fin whales. Smaller marine mammals such as sea otters, harbor seals, Dall’s porpoises and sea lions also frolic in these glacial waters.

Elevated view of the mountains of Kenai Fjords National Park

The region has been home to Alaska Native peoples for thousands of years including the Sugpiaq (also known as Alutiiq), whose camps dotted the coastline and traditionally hunted and subsisted on the outer Kenai Peninsula coast. In more recent times, hunters, fishermen, miners and visitors to Alaska have made use of the resources of the fjords. Our travelers today are treated to an experience of the fjords through boat tours: our experienced skippers navigate the waters of these glacier-carved valleys, exploring the Park’s coastline, tidewater glaciers and seeking out marine wildlife. Salt spray mixes with mountain mist as you explore the ancient stunning seascape and listen for the thundering booms as giant slabs of glacier calve into the sea, heard as far as 20 miles away.

Sunset over Aialik Glacier
Low fog moves through the trees in Kenai Fjords National Park

Several of our Alaska Adventures feature a stay at Kenai Fjords Glacier Lodge, the only lodge situated within the borders of this spectacular Park. The rugged beauty of Alaska’s seacoast is balanced perfectly with the cozy comforts of private cabins, a gorgeous main Lodge and hearty meals with gourmet flair. Click here for more information about the Glacier Lodge.

Driftwood on the beach at the end of Kenai Fjords National Park

More information about this amazing national park can be found on the National Park Service’s website: