A national park in Alaska? You can bet it’ll be worth a visit

Kenai Fjords National Park isn't just your average park. Dotted with ice-age-era-glaciers, eclectic coastlines and untouched woodland, it's truly a natural paradise. But what else would you expect from the state nicknamed the Last Frontier? Take a step further with tours through Kenai Fjords National Park to get the best sights and sounds of the Alaskan wilderness. From hikes to dog sleds, kayaks to wildlife cruises, we've got a way to experience all that Kenai Fjords has to offer. 

Our tours in Kenai Fjords National Park

Highlights of tours in Kenai Fjords National Park

Exit Glacier in Harding Icefield, Kenai Fjords National Park

Explore Exit Glacier

One of Kenai Fjords’ most impressive sites is the ever-frozen glacial water tumbling down the mountain, known as Exit Glacier. Only a short drive from Seward, this epic icy blue cascade is one of the only accessible glaciers in the world. We’ll even take you up close and personal – so close you can hear the noises it makes. Harding Icefield is over 1,800 square kilometres of thick ice formations that once covered a good majority of Alaska and the Exit Glacier is only a fraction of what there is to explore now that it’s no longer just ice. You can find creatures great and small, rugged hiking trails and a photographer’s paradise of epic scenery. As far as icefields go, we'd recommend this one.

Travellers smiling on a boat through the Kenai Fjords coastline

Ferry around the Fjords

Kenai Fjords National Park meets the Gulf of Alaska in a constantly shifting and dynamic terrain of glaciers and fjords that results in the epic coastlines of the Kenai Peninsula. Natural formations such as sea caves and arches are dotted throughout the area while native birds soar ahead and marine thrives below. And there’s no better way to see this Alaskan postcard sight than by jumping aboard a wildlife marine tour. Be on the lookout for favourites like sea otters, puffins, sea lions, orcas and, if you’re lucky, humpback whales. But if boats aren’t your thing, you can still marvel at the coastal view and look for wildlife from the beaches adjacent to the national park.

Hikers on the Harding Icefield Trail

Hike the Harding Icefield

Lace-up your boots, pack your bags and charge up your camera because there’s a trail to trek. No matter your desired hiking style, whether it’s for 19 minutes or nine hours, get your fill while in the majestic Kenai Fjords. On the famous Harding Icefield hike, wrangle rocky formations, steep inclines and uneven terrain (sometimes in a variety of mother nature’s weather) to be greeted by snowy mountain tops, glacial remnants from the ice age and above-the-treeline vantage points of the great Alaskan outdoors. And it gets even better because our included hikes are all run by experienced guides, so you can really just take a back step and enjoy the view.

Kayakers ready to paddle in Seward, Alaska

Sojourn through Seward

Nestled between the Gulf of Alaska and only a stone’s throw from Kenai Fjords National Park is the cosy town of Seward. An old fishing community, Seward is a great take-off point for exploring Kenai Fjords, but its own unique charm can occupy an itinerary all to itself. Browse the lively art scene, hunt for local crafts or learn about conservation and research at the Alaska SeaLife Centre. You can also experience the natural landscape from a new perspective while kayaking among glaciers in Resurrection Bay, exploring tidepools at Lowell Point and even gliding along a glacier on a dog-sledding tour after a helicopter ride to get to the take-off point.

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Kenai Fjords National Park tour reviews


Trips from 1 January 2023 onwards

From 1 January 2023, Intrepid will no longer require travellers to provide proof of vaccination against COVID-19 (excluding all Polar trips and select adventure cruises).

However, we continue to strongly recommend that all Intrepid travellers and leaders get vaccinated to protect themselves and others.

Specific proof of testing or vaccination may still be required by your destination or airline. Please ensure you check travel and entry requirements carefully.

Learn more about Intrepid’s COVID-19 policy

Get to Kenai Fjords National Park by car or shuttle bus from the nearby town of Seward. Seward is located approximately 202km (130 miles) south of Anchorage, with a highway connecting the two year-round. It can take approximately 2.5 hours to drive and 4.5 hours to train between Seward and Anchorage.

In the cooler months, the train may not be in operation. The road to Exit Glacier will close to vehicles when it's been snowed over as is not ploughed in winter. There may also be reduced services in the shoulder months, May and September.

Learn about how to get from Anchorage to the Kenai Peninsula

Kenai Fjords National Park is found in Southcentral Alaska and sits on the Kenai Peninsula on the Gulf of Alaska.

Alaska is the northernmost state in the United States of America and borders Canada.

The only car-accessible part of Kenai Fjords National Park is Exit Glacier. There are shuttles and car services available from Seward to take you to the 19 kilometres (12 miles) from the Seward harbour to the carpark at Exit Glacier.

The park is full of exciting trails for hikers of all abilities. A wheelchair-accessible path loops around Exit Glacier and can be completed in either direction.

Those wishing to cycle the park can do so on the park roads, just not the trails. 

In the winter months, typically November to around May, the road to Exit Glacier will be snowed over. During this time, the area is accessible for snowshoeing and winter vehicles such as fat bikes and snowboards, as well as cross-country skis and dog sleds. Only some areas are accessible for these winter vehicles. Each year, the park will remain closed for winter activities until the park authorities deem it safe. 

Kenai Fjords National Park is made up of over 40 glaciers and covers approximately 607,805 acres. Harding Icefield alone is over 2408 square kilometres (930 square miles).

The best time to visit Kenai Fjords National Park is generally June to August when the roads into the park are accessible and the weather is better. The most popular site, Exit Glacier, is open all year, however, the road into the area will be inaccessible for cars due to snow, typically from October to May.

Learn more about the best time to visit Kenai Fjords National Park

There are a great many living creatures who call Kenai Fjords National Park home. From the big brown and black bears prowling the land to the otters swimming around the waterways, there's a lot to be on the lookout for. Here are the animals found in Kenai Fjords National Park:

  • Moose
  • Coyotes
  • Lynx
  • Grey wolves
  • Porcupines
  • Beavers
  • Mountain goats
  • Mink
  • Red squirrels
  • Hoary marmot
  • Snowshoe hare
  • Marten
  • Meadow jumping mouse
  • Wolverine
  • Short-tailed weasels
  • Northern bog lemming
  • Shrew
  • Vole

But that's not even all. Keep your eyes on the sky for a huge variety of bird species, such as bald eagles, peregrine falcons and puffins. 

And then make sure you've also got an eye on the water as Kenai Peninsula also hosts some impressive species such as orcas, whales (including humpbacks), Pacific white-sided dolphins, as well as species of sea lions and seals. 

Intrepid is committed to making travel widely accessible, regardless of ability or disability. That’s why we do our best to help as many people see the world as possible, regardless of any physical or mental limitations they might have. We’re always happy to talk to travellers with disabilities and see if we can help guide them towards the most suitable itinerary for their needs and where possible, make reasonable adjustments to our itineraries.

Yes, all Intrepid trips support the Intrepid Foundation. In fact, we make a donation on behalf of every traveller. Trips to this country directly support our global Intrepid Foundation partner, Eden Reforestation Projects. 

Eden Reforestation Projects

Eden Reforestation Projects are helping to mitigate climate change by restoring forests worldwide; they also hire locally and create job opportunities within vulnerable communities. Donations from our trips support restoration across planting sites in 10 countries around the globe.

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