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Free Traveling Guides » States » Alaska » Alaska National Parks

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Kenai Fjords National Park, Alaska

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Kenai Fjords National Park is located on the Kenai Peninsula in Southcentral Alaska. It is a magnificent 580,000 acre region of peaks, glaciers and craggy coastline. Its towering mountains are mantled by the huge Harding Icefield, feeding the three dozen retreating glaciers that have exposed the dramatic fjords after which the park is named.

Most visitors to the park drive thirteen miles out to Exit Glacier, one of the few in the state that you can also approach on land. From the ranger station at the end of the track, a short stroll leads to the still active glacier, though signs warn you back from the ice wall and its blue clefts. Eight such tidewater glaciers calve icebergs into the sea with thundering booms.

The park's wildlife is as varied as its landscape. The fjords hold a wealth of marine life - sea otters, porpoises, seals, stellar sea lions, humpback and minke whales, as well as the seabird rookeries on the cliffs of the Chiswell Islands. The best cruises in the park are offered aboard the boats of Kenai Fjords tours; you can go for the longer day-tours which go right up to the calving tidewater glaciers.

Near the park lies the town of Seward, the key freight terminal and gateway to the national park. Here, you can visit the Sealife Center, which focuses on marine research and visitor education. The center offers the chance to watch ongoing cold water research in action and marvel at the antics of marine animals.

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