Kenai Fjords National Park Tours
Sea Kayaking Adventures in Kenai Fjords National Park
Kenai Fjords National Park is a sea kayaker’s paradise. Established in 1980, the park is located just outside the town of Seward in South-central Alaska, 126 miles south of Anchorage. Harding Icefield located in the Kenai Mountains is the largest ice field solely contained within the United States and accumulates 400-800 inches of snow annually. Excluding comfortable summer conditions, Kenai Fjords National Park is a land dominated by subzero temperatures where glaciers, earthquakes and ocean storms are the architects. Imagine sea kayaking through beautiful fjords and bays decorated with floating translucent icebergs, secluded pristine caves and uncharted coves. At higher elevations jagged peaks—untouched and unexplored—dominate the landscape.
Adjacent to the town of Seward is Exit Glacier—the active, yet retreating remnant of a larger glacier once extending into Resurrection Bay. It is also the only section of the park accessible by car. Here you can witness glacial retreat firsthand as interpretive guides discuss how glaciers constantly reshape the landscape. Calving glaciers echo loud thunder-like sounds when sheets of ice fall and crash into the waters below. In the summer months, sunlight and warmer temperatures expose otherwise dormant vegetation. Pink dwarf fireweed is able to grow within 20 yards of a glacier while the papery blue harebell flower can survive 8 months directly covered in snow.
Summer wildlife viewers are in luck as it’s almost always daylight in the park; in fact, the last day in June has over 20 hours of daylight with picturesque illumination. While hiking, sea kayaking and exploring Kenai Fjords National Park, you may spot Horned puffins nesting in nearby cliffs or mountain goats in the rock face between Caines Head and Callisto Head in Resurrection Bay. The waters are also plentiful with marine life. Sea kayaking through Aialik Bay you may spot Harbor seals sunbathing on top of drifting icebergs, or colonies of Stellar sea lions napping on large rock slabs. Sea otters surface as they feed on spiny, purple urchins and mollusks, whales breach off in the distance while a pod of Dall’s porpoises race through the bow waves of boat.
On an O.A.R.S. Kenai Fjords National Park vacation you can experience this playground of mountains and ice up close and personal. Sea kayak amidst seals and whales, watch for sea birds soaring along the surface of the water and experience the beauty that is Wild Alaska.