Kenai Fjords National Park, Alaska

Photo by ArtTower

Where in the West Should I Go? • 52 Places to Visit in 2022

Kenai Fjords National Park boasts views of about 40 glaciers cascading from the Harding Icefield, one of the largest ice fields in the United States. It has an average snowfall of 60 feet per year and the ancient, jagged ice takes over more than half of Kenai Fjords.

The largest glacier is Bear Glacier, and part of what makes this glacier so attractive is the massive Bear Glacier Lagoon that lies at the foot of the ice. The lagoon is very popular with boaters, as a kayak in the lagoon forms a perfect front row seat to giant icebergs.

The park is abundant with wildlife. Brown and black bears are common, as well as smaller land and water-based mammals. There is a vast collection of threatened or endangered species in the massive park, particularly so in the marine environment. Orca whales are seen regularly, and birding enthusiasts will be entertained by nearly 200 species, including the impressive bald eagle.

Exit Glacier is the glacier first responsible for the movement of the ice that formed the fjords, and is an active glacier, meaning it’s still on the move. The glacier is actually retreating back into the Harding Icefield at a speed of two feet daily, but it remains the most accessible (and the only section of the park that is accessible by road).