This Kenai Fjords National Park Guide will share all the things you need to know for planning your trip to this beautiful place! This National Park is a must see when visiting the great state of Alaska. It’s known for its dramatic glaciers, stunning mountain views, and active wildlife. While most of the national park is a rugged wilderness and unaccessible, there are still plenty of things to do! Keep reading to learn more about when to visit, where to stay, and things to do in Kenai Fjords!
Guide to Kenai Fjords National Park…
When to Visit Kenai Fjords National Park
Technically, Kenai Fjords is open year round but the best time to visit is in the summer. I would recommend visiting in summer months from May to mid September. You will be able to make the most of being outside and exploring! Many of the activities and main attractions are closed during the winter due to heavy snow and rough sea water. But no matter when you visit, I always recommend packing layers and rain gear because the weather can change quickly!
Getting to Kenai Fjords
Kenai Fjords is quite accessible, it’s about a 2 and half hour drive from Anchorage down the Seward Highway. Trust me, the scenic drive to Seward is breathtaking. You will want to make many stops along the way to stop and take photos or enjoy the sites on the way down. If you don’t want to rent a car during your visit, you can talk the Alaskan Railroad from Anchorage to Seward. The train tracks go right along the Seward Highway most of the time giving you similar views!
Where to Stay
I would recommend staying in Seward, a quaint port city located on Resurrection Bay. It serves as a gateway to Kenai Fjords National Park since it’s only minutes away. Most of the boat tours leave out of the port in Seward too.
We stayed in an Airbnb nearby but there are a few hotel options as well. If you are looking for a super unique experience, I recommend looking into staying at Salted Roots or Resurrection Lodge on the Bay. There are views anywhere you look so you can’t go wrong with where you choose to stay in Seward!
Watch our Alaska National Parks Adventure Home Video for more inspiration!
Looking to explore another National Park in Alaska? Check out Lake Clark National Park and Preserve Travel Guide!
Things to Do in Kenai Fjords National Park
- Take a Kenai Fjords Boat Tours
- This is probably the most popular activity to do in the park due to it’s accessibility and the large area you’re able to cover in a short amount of time. There are a few different options to choose from but we took the booked the Kenai Fjords National Park boat tour! I HIGHLY recommend this tour if you want to get a taste for more of the Park. The weather was very poor on the day of our trip but we still saw so much! From sea lions, otters, mountain goats, bald eagles, to the largest pod of Orca whales. It was an unreal experience and one of my favorite things we did on our entire trip!! Check out our Alaska Home Video at minute 7:21 for footage from the tour!
- Go on a Kayaking Tour
- These waters are not for inexperienced kayakers so I highly recommend booking a guided tour if you plan to kayak in Kenai Fjords National Park. The tours range from beginners to more experienced kayaking/backpacking trips – do your research to find a tour that’s the best fit for you! Check out these Kayak Tour options!
- Hike to Harding Icefield
- Harding Icefield Trail is a 8.2 round trip, rated strenuous and difficult hike in the Exit Glacier area. It’s one of the most popular things to do for more adventurous visitors! No matter your hiking experience, plan ahead and BE PREPARED! The best time for the hike is mid-late July into August. Snow can last on the trail until early July and there may be risk for avalanches. For the current trail conditions, check here.
- See the Exit Glacier
- Exit Glacier in Alaska is probably one of the most accessible glaciers in all of Alaska, especially if you want an easy hike to it! The Exit Glacier area is actually the only are of the entire National Park accessible by a road [seasonally].
- If you are looking to visit the Exit Glacier area, check out my blog Visiting Exit Glacier filled with lots more details!
- Take a Scenic Helicopter Tour
- Another way to see Kenai Fjords National Park is from the air! It can be a bit pricy and a shorter tour option than a boat. But you are able to see more of the glaciers than you ever could from land or sea! Check out these Helicopter Tour options.
- Go Fishing
- While I am not big into fishing, this is a great area to fish if you are! You can fish along the shore of Seward or book a tour to go out into Resurrection Bay. Please be advised you need an Alaska State Fishing License! If you are looking for a guide to take you to all the best spots and supply the gear, check out this Fishing Tour option!