Nestled along Alaska’s pristine coastline, Kenai Fjords National Park is a tapestry of icy fjords, rugged mountains, and abundant wildlife. We spent two days there on our recent visit and we got to marvel at the abundance of glaciers, hike to Exit Glacier and witness the majestic humpback whales feeding in the pristine waters. Kenai Fjords National Park is a testament to the raw power and delicate balance of our planet’s ecosystems, offering a glimpse into the resilience of nature in these remote and stunning parks of Alaska. Here is all the information on how to visit this park and watch the video above for our entire visit.
Also, note that Kenai Fjords is a popular park in the state, mainly because it is next to Seward, a cruise port for many Alaskan cruises. This proximity makes the park accessible to cruisers which can lead to the boat tours filling up quickly.
How to Access Kenai Fjords National Park
The two main ways to see the park are boat cruises or hiking.
Boat cruises are typically full day and get you deep into the park to see wildlife and glaciers. If you have a specific tour you want to do, I recommend getting it in advance, as it can sell out in the summer. We went with Major Marine Cruises and had a great time. You can see the full video below and learn more about the cruise here. It can be bumpy, so if you get sea sick, take medication before going on the boat.
The other way to access the park is via car, as you can drive to a trailhead with a few hikes. The Exit Glacier trailhead allows you to access Exit Glacier on a relatively easy trail or the Harding Icefield on a challenging trail. Both have fantastic glacier views and are well worth doing if you have the time. Here is a video of my hike to Exit Glacier.
Also, if you are staying in Anchorage, you can take the train down to the boat, do the tour, and return on the same day. My parents did it and loved seeing so many varied landscapes on this tour. Here is more information on that.
What you can see in Kenai Fjords National Park
Kenai Fjords is one of the best places in Alaska to view sea life. It was responsible for one of my most amazing wildlife experiences, viewing humpback whales doing bubble net feeding. The boat tours allow you the opportunity to see everything from whales and puffins to sea lions and even bald eagles. The boats are long and can be very bumpy with the sea, but the experience is pretty unique.
Depending on the boat tour you select, you will see 1-3 different glaciers on the trip. This was an easy highlight for us; each of the three we saw was spectacular. Also, if you do the hike to Exit Glacier, you can see that one and the Harding Icefield if you make it up to the top of that hike. It is an extraordinary park for glaciers.
Where to Stay in Kenai Fjords National Park
Your best bet is to stay in Seward for this national park. We spent the night in Seward to get to our early boat in the morning. We stayed at Alaska Creekside Cabins and really enjoyed the beautiful cabins (you do have to walk to the communal bathrooms though).
Alternatively, you can stay in Anchorage, but it is about 2.5 hours to drive from there, which is fine for a day trip to hike Exit Glacier but not as ideal if you get an early morning boat.
2 Day Itinerary for Kenai Fjords National Park
- Drive to Seward from Anchorage
- Hike to Exit Glacier or to Harding Icefiled
- Spend the night in Seward
- Book a full day boat cruise, we did the 7 hour tour
- Drive back to Anchorage
Here is the breakdown of what it cost us to visit the park. This does not include any travel to get to the park as it totally depends on where you are coming from, driving, etc.
- Hotel in Seward – $200
- Major Marine Tour – $269 per person
- Total – $738 for two people (minus gas, food, etc.)
Let me know what other questions you have in the comments, and watch my Kenai Fjords videos in the description.