Kenai Fjords National Park is a protected area in southern Alaska that is home to glaciers, fjords, and a variety of marine life. The park’s location on the coast of the Kenai Peninsula makes it an ideal destination for water activities:
There are many water activities to enjoy in Kenai Fjords National Park, including kayaking, canoeing, and boat tours. These activities allow visitors to experience the beauty of the park’s glaciers, fjords, and marine life up close and personal.
Kayaking and canoeing are great ways to explore the park’s calm bays and coves, giving visitors the opportunity to get close to the park’s wildlife such as sea otters, seals, and whales. The park has several kayak rental companies that provide guided tours as well as equipment rentals.
Boat tours are also popular in Kenai Fjords National Park. These tours take visitors out into the park’s waters, allowing them to witness the majesty of the glaciers and the abundant marine life. Some of the most popular boat tours include wildlife cruises, glacier cruises, and kayaking and hiking combination tours.
In addition to these activities, visitors can also try their hand at fishing, crabbing, and clamming in the park’s waters. There are also several campgrounds located within the park that offer easy access to the water for swimming and beachcombing.
Overall, Kenai Fjords National Park is an excellent destination for anyone who loves water activities and wants to experience the unique beauty of Alaska’s coastal landscape.
Here are some of the water activities available in Kenai Fjords National Park:
One of the most popular activities in the park is a glacier cruise. Visitors can take a boat tour that takes them up close to some of the park’s impressive glaciers, including the famous Exit Glacier. These cruises offer breathtaking views of the glaciers and the surrounding mountains, as well as the opportunity to see marine wildlife such as sea otters, seals, and whales.
Glacier cruises in Kenai Fjords National Park offer a unique opportunity to witness the natural beauty of the park and its glaciers. There are several tour companies that operate in the park, each offering different types of tours and experiences.
Some glacier cruises take visitors on a scenic tour of the park’s waters, providing ample opportunities for wildlife viewing and photography. These tours often have a knowledgeable guide on board who can offer information about the park’s history, ecology, and geology.
Other glacier cruises allow visitors to get even closer to the glaciers, with some boats even venturing into the fjords to get up close to the massive ice formations. These tours can be a bit more adventurous, with some companies offering kayaking or hiking opportunities on or near the glaciers.
One of the most impressive glaciers in the park is the Harding Icefield, which covers over 700 square miles and feeds several glaciers that flow down to the coast. Some tours take visitors to see the Harding Icefield from above, offering stunning views of the massive ice sheet and the surrounding mountains.
Kenai Fjords National Park has numerous lakes, bays, and inlets that are ideal for kayaking. Visitors can rent kayaks or take a guided kayak tour to explore the park’s waterways. Kayaking offers a unique perspective on the park’s glaciers, wildlife, and landscapes.
Kayaking is a great way to explore Kenai Fjords National Park’s numerous lakes, bays, and inlets. With over 1,000 miles of coastline, the park offers endless opportunities for kayaking enthusiasts to experience the beauty of Alaska’s coastal environment.
Visitors can rent kayaks from several companies located near the park’s entrance. These companies offer various types of kayaks, including single and double kayaks, as well as all the necessary gear for a safe and enjoyable paddling experience.
For those who are new to kayaking or unfamiliar with the park’s waterways, guided kayak tours are also available. These tours offer a chance to learn about the park’s history, ecology, and wildlife from knowledgeable guides while enjoying a relaxing paddle through the stunning coastal landscapes.
Kayaking in Kenai Fjords National Park allows visitors to get up close to the park’s glaciers, which are a unique and awe-inspiring sight from the water. It’s also an excellent way to spot wildlife such as sea otters, harbor seals, and a variety of seabirds that call the park’s waters home.
Kayakers can also explore the park’s numerous islands and beaches, many of which are only accessible by water. These secluded areas offer a peaceful and immersive experience of the park’s natural beauty.
It’s important to note that kayaking in Kenai Fjords National Park can be challenging, especially for those who are not experienced paddlers. The park’s waterways can be affected by weather and tides, and it’s important to be aware of the potential hazards and take appropriate safety precautions. However, for those who are prepared and up for the challenge, kayaking in the park can be an unforgettable experience.
The waters of Kenai Fjords National Park are home to a variety of marine life, including humpback whales, orcas, sea otters, seals, and sea lions. Visitors can take a wildlife-watching tour or rent a kayak to observe these animals in their natural habitat.
Wildlife watching is a popular activity in Kenai Fjords National Park, as the park’s waters are home to an incredible array of marine life. Visitors can enjoy a variety of wildlife-watching experiences, from boat tours to kayaking and even hiking.
One of the most sought-after wildlife sightings in the park is the humpback whale. These majestic creatures migrate to the park’s waters every summer to feed on krill and small fish. Visitors can take a whale-watching tour to get up close to these gentle giants, and with a little luck, may even witness them breaching or fluking.
Orcas, also known as killer whales, are another exciting wildlife sighting in the park. These apex predators can be seen hunting in the park’s waters, often in pods of up to 50 individuals. Visitors can take a wildlife-watching tour or rent a kayak to observe these intelligent animals in their natural habitat.
Sea otters are also a common sight in the park and can often be seen floating on their backs in the park’s calm bays and coves. These adorable creatures are known for their playful behavior and are a favorite among visitors.
Other marine mammals that can be seen in the park include harbor seals and Steller sea lions. These animals can be seen basking on rocks or swimming in the park’s waters and are often spotted during wildlife-watching tours.
The park’s waters offer some excellent fishing opportunities. Visitors can fish for a variety of species, including salmon, halibut, and rockfish. Fishing charters are available, or visitors can fish from shore.
Fishing is a popular activity in Kenai Fjords National Park, as the park’s waters are teeming with a variety of fish species. The park offers both saltwater and freshwater fishing opportunities, with visitors able to catch salmon, halibut, rockfish, and more.
Salmon fishing is one of the most popular activities in the park, with five species of salmon found in the park’s waters. Sockeye, coho, pink, chum, and king salmon can all be caught in the park, with peak fishing season typically running from June to September. Visitors can fish for salmon from shore or take a guided fishing charter for a more immersive experience.
Halibut fishing is another popular activity in Kenai Fjords National Park, with the park’s waters home to some of the largest halibut in the world. These flatfish can weigh over 200 pounds and provide a challenging and exciting fishing experience. Halibut fishing charters are available for visitors who want to explore the deeper waters of the park.
Rockfish, lingcod, and other bottom-dwelling species can also be caught in the park’s waters, providing a diverse and exciting fishing experience. Visitors can fish from shore or take a fishing charter to explore deeper waters and try their luck at catching these unique species.
It’s important to note that fishing in Kenai Fjords National Park is heavily regulated to protect the park’s ecosystem and ensure sustainable fishing practices. Visitors must obtain the appropriate fishing permits and follow all fishing regulations to ensure a safe and responsible fishing experience.
Stand-Up Paddleboarding (SUP)
Stand-up paddleboarding is a popular activity in Kenai Fjords National Park. The calm waters of the park’s bays and inlets are ideal for paddleboarding, and visitors can rent equipment or take a guided tour.
Stand-up paddleboarding (SUP) is a popular activity in Kenai Fjords National Park, offering visitors a unique and peaceful way to explore the park’s waters. The calm and sheltered bays and inlets within the park provide the perfect environment for paddleboarding, and visitors can enjoy stunning views of the park’s glaciers and wildlife from the water.
Paddleboarding involves standing on a large board and using a long paddle to move through the water. The activity is easy to learn and suitable for all ages and fitness levels, making it a great option for families or groups.
Visitors can rent paddleboarding equipment from local outfitters or take a guided tour with experienced guides who can provide instruction and local knowledge. Guided tours can range from a few hours to full-day adventures, depending on the visitor’s preferences.
Paddleboarding in Kenai Fjords National Park is also an excellent way to spot marine wildlife, including sea otters, seals, and seabirds. Many visitors also enjoy paddleboarding around the park’s glaciers, which provide a unique and awe-inspiring perspective of these natural wonders.
Snorkeling and Scuba Diving
Although the waters of Kenai Fjords National Park are cold, they are still home to a variety of marine life. Visitors can snorkel or scuba dive to see the colorful underwater world, including anemones, starfish, and various fish species.
While the waters of Kenai Fjords National Park may be cold, they are still teeming with an abundance of marine life, making snorkeling and scuba diving popular activities for visitors seeking a unique underwater adventure.
Snorkeling and scuba diving in the park offer visitors the chance to explore the colorful and diverse underwater world of the park’s bays and inlets, which are home to anemones, starfish, crabs, and a variety of fish species.
Scuba diving offers a more immersive experience for visitors, allowing them to explore deeper areas of the park’s waters and encounter larger marine species such as sea lions and octopuses. Diving in the park requires proper certification and equipment, and visitors should also be aware of the cold-water temperatures and strong currents.
Visitors who prefer to stay closer to the surface can also enjoy snorkeling in the park’s bays and inlets, which offer calm and sheltered waters for an easy and enjoyable experience. Visitors can rent snorkeling equipment from local outfitters or bring their own gear.
Kenai Fjords National Park Water Activities Conclusion
It’s important to note that some activities, such as glacier cruises and wildlife watching tours, require a permit or a licensed tour operator. Visitors should also be aware of the cold-water temperatures and dress appropriately for any water activities.