Kenai Fjords National Park Alaska

Kenai Fjords National Park Alaska (6 Amazing Things To Do in Kenai Fjords!)

Are you thinking about visiting the Kenai Fjords National Park in Alaska? Wondering what to do in Kenai Fjords National Park? You are in the right spot! 

We recently went to Kenai Fjords in Alaska and loved it.  I am excited to share with you all the fun things to do in Kenai Fjords.

Kenai Fjords National Park is 1 of 8 national parks in Alaska. It is one of the most visited national parks in Alaska. Kenai Fjords is located near the ocean.  51% of Kenai Fjords is covered in ice.  

When we planned our trip we thought a boat tour was the only way to see Kenai Fjords National Park. But we learned there is more you can explore and even some Kenai Fjords hikes to enjoy. Kenai Fjords is absolutely beautiful! 

Let's explore all the things to do in Kenai Fjords National Park.

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Where is Kenai Fjords National Park Alaska

Map or Anchorage to Kenai Fjords National Park

Kenai Fjords National Park is located on the Kenai Peninsula. It is located near the Gulf of Alaska.  This includes Resurrection Bay, Harding Gateway, Aialik Bay, Harris Bay, and Two Arm Bay. 

How to Get to Kenai Fjords National Park

Kenai National Park is located in Seward Alaska.  It is about a two-and-a-half-hour drive from Anchorage to Seward.  Seward, AK is the closest town to Kenai Fjords National Park. It is one of the most beautiful drives in Alaska.  

You will probably need to rent a car or get a private shuttle to get from Anchorage to Kenai Fjords.  If you are planning on a Kenai boat tour you can take the Alaska Railroad from Anchorage to Seward.  Another great option is to rent an RV.  

The drive from Anchorage to Seward is one of the best scenic drives in Alaska. Kenai National Park is located in Seward.  So getting from Seward to Kenai National Park is easy! 

Visit Kenai Fjords National Park Alaska

Kenai Fjords National Park in Alaska

Kenai Fjords National Park is massive.  However, there are only a few ways to see it.  Booking a boat tour is the most common way.  This will allow you to view some of the glaciers as well as wildlife in the ocean and some of the land animals that call Kenai Fjords home.  

Another option to see the park is to visit Exit Glacier.  As you enter Seward there is a road that leads to Exit Glacier.( Mile Marker 3.7 on the Seward HWY)  It is about 8.6 miles.  This area of the park has some great Kenai hiking options.  

Things to do in Kenai Fjords National Park

You can also take a helicopter tour and land on a glacier, a scenic flight, or kayak at Kenai Fjords National Park.

When is the Best Time to Visit Kenai Fjords National Park?

Summer is the best time to visit! Actually, unless you are a mountaineer, it is not recommended to attempt some of the Kenai Fjords hikes near Exit Glacier in winter.  Exit Glacier overlook trail gets over 200 inches of snow during the winter! 

The road that leads to Exit Glacier is closed during the winter. Commercial boat tours only run Mid-March – through late September. 

Can I Drive to Kenai Fjords National Park Alaska?

Yes, you can drive to the Exit Glacier Visitor Center.  There is a parking lot at the start of the Exit Glacier overlook trail head. 

How Many Days Do You Need at Kenai Fjords National Park?

I would say 1-2 days.  We were able to do a half-day boat tour and hike the Exit Glacier overlook trail area in a day.  It helps that we had the midnight sun on our side.  We loved visiting in the summer. 

If you wanted to go on a full day boat tour and then have another day to hike Kenai Fjords, two days would be good.  


Things to Do in Kenai Fjords

Things to do in Kenai Fjords National Park

I am going to list a few of the best things to do in Kenai Fjords National Park.  I also want to mention some of the best Kenai Fjords tours.

Hopefully, listing these  Kenai Fjords activities will help you know how to view the fjords in Alaska.

1. Stop at the Kenai Fjords National Park Visitor Center

Kenai Fjords National Park Visitor Center

Admission and Park Hours

Kenai Fjords National Park does not have an entry fee. 

Kenai Fjords Visitor Center

Kenai Fjords is open year-round, however, the visitor centers are only open from May 29- September 6th.  Stopping at the visitor centers is a great thing to do in Kenai Fjords. 


Seward Visitor Center

9:00 am  – 7:00 pm

Exit Glacier Visitor Center

9:30 am – 6:30 pm

2. Junior Ranger Program at Kenai Fjords National Park

Kenai Fjords National Park Junior Ranger Program

We love participating in the Junior Ranger Program at every national park we visit.  Kenai Fjords provided a different experience. 

You will meet with the park rangers at the Seward docks.  There is a visitor center located on the south end of the docks.  The park rangers are stationed there. They have books for the younger children and journals for those over 13.  You will want to grab these before you get on your tour boat. 

Kenai Fjords Things to Do on the Boat

While you are observing Kenai Fjords National Park, on your boat tour,  you will fill out your book.  Once the tour ends the park ranger will be waiting for you as you exit the boat.  You can submit your book and get a national park badge or pin.  

Participating in the Junior Ranger program is one of the best things to do in Kenai Fjords National Park because you will automatically get a souvenir to take home.  

3. Boat Tour of the Kenai Fjords National Park Alaska

Boat Tour To Kenai Fjords National Park

I highly recommend booking a boat tour. These tours are based out of Seward, AK. Let's explore some of the best Kenai Fjords boat tour options available. 

What Type of Boat Tours are There?

There are a few options available. You can cruise on a big boat or there are Kenai Fjords small boat tours

 A half-day cruise is perfect if you have younger children.  On your boat tour, you will explore Resurrection Bay. The tour is typically three and a half hours long.  

A full-day cruise is another option.  These are between 6-8 hours.  Some of these tours include a stop at Fox Island. 

Will I See Glaciers on the Kenai Fjords Boat Tour?

Bear Glacier off of Resurrection Bay in Alaska

Yes. On a half-day cruise, you will get to see Bear Glacier.  It is amazing!  The Kenai Fjords tour boat provides a great way to view the glacier.  

If you are on a full-day tour you will also get to view the Holgate Glacier and the Aialik Glacier. 

What Type of Animals will you See on a Kenai Fjorids Boat Tour?

Wildlife at Kenai Fjords National Park

  • Humpback Whales
  • Otters
  • Puffins
  • Porpoises
  • Mountain Goats
  • Sea Lions 

What Should I Wear on a Kenai Boat Tour?

Kenai Fjords Boat Tour AlaskaDress warm on the Kenai Fjords National Park boat tour.  You do have the option to sit indoors.

However, you will want to go outside and view all the animals.  It can be extremely windy and cold.  When you get closer to the Bear Glacier, it is very cold.  

4. Hiking at Kenai Fjords National Park Alaska

Hiking at Kenai Fjords National Park

There are two major hikes at Kenai Fjords: Trails to the Exit Glacier and Harding Icefield Trail.

Both trails are in bear country so be sure to bring your bear spray.  You will also need to be aware of moose in the area.  Hiking at Kenai Fjords National Park is fun! 

Hike with a Park Ranger

At the Exit Glacier trailhead there are ranger-led hikes daily at 10:00 am, 2:00 pm, and 4:00 pm in the summer.

5. Exit Glacier

Exit Glacier at Kenai Fjords National Park

Miles: 1 – 1.6 (depending on how far you want to go)

Difficulty: Easy – Moderate

How to Get Kenai Fjords National Park Exit Glacier?

You will begin at the parking lot at the Exit Glacier Lot.  The trail begins just beyond the Kenai Fjords National Park visitor center.

What is the Exit Glacier Overlook Trail Like?

Exit Glacier Trail

There is a network of trails that offer different viewpoints of the Glacier.  I recommend checking out each view along the way.  The first trail is called the Glacier View Loop.  It is about 1-mile round trip.

You can continue another .6 miles to Exit Glacier Overlook.   The trail is relatively flat until you get closer to the glacier.  There will be an elevation gain allowing for the best view.

Our Experience

things to do at Kenai Fjords National Park

We loved hiking this trail.  It was beautiful! We took our little kids and they did great!  I highly recommend taking the time and hiking. We took the time to view Exit Glacier from each viewpoint along the way.  

Hiking in Kenai Fjords is one of the best things to do in Kenai Fjords! 

6. Harding Icefield Trail

Harding Ice Field at Kenai Fjords National Park
Image Courtesy of

Miles: 8.2 round trip

Difficulty: Extremely Difficult 

How to Get There

The Harding Icefield Tail begins about .6 miles from the Exit Glacier area.  

What is the Trail like?

It is steep — 3,000 feet of elevation gain — but with great views!  At the base of the trail, there is a place for you to sign in to indicate you have gone up, and to again sign when you return.

Kenai Fjords National Park Facts

At the top, you can get a view of the Harding Icefield.  The icefield is 7000 sq miles in area and 4000 ft deep.  It is the largest icefield in the United States.  The icefield contains over 40 Glaciers.

One really good thing about the Harding Icefield Trail is that you do not have to climb very high to see impressive views.  At the upper portion of the trail there will still be snow even in July.  

How Much Time Does the Trail Take?

If you are planning on the entire 8.2-mile route you will want to allow 6-8 hours.  

What Should I Bring on the Kenai Fjords Hike?

You will need to bring warm clothes, rain gear, good hiking shoes, sunscreen, and sunglasses.  2 liters of water per person is recommended, or a water filterThe streams may contain Giardia, which can cause abdominal pain.  

Where to Stay Near Kenai Fjords National Park

Places to stay near Kenai Fjords National Park

Camping and RV

Kenai Fjords National Park is a great place to camp because it is free!  There are 12 tent sites near the Exit Glacier area.  You will want to reserve your spots ahead of time. 

There are also many other camping options near Seward.  As well as RV parking if you decide to rent an RV in Alaska.

Hotels in Seward

Seward is a small town but there are a few accommodations available.

Are you Ready to Visit the Kenai Fjords National Park?

Kenai Fjords National Park

Are you ready to go to Kenai Fjords National Park in Alaska?  Hopefully, this list of fun things to do in Kenai Fjords National Park helps you plan your trip! 

There are some fun things to do in Seward, AK as well.  Anchorage to Kenai Fjords National Park is a perfect day trip!

Visiting Kenai Fjords National Park is worth it! 

More Adventures in Alaska

We planned an amazing Alaska itinerary.  We started with all the fun things to do in Fairbanks, including a Riverboat tour, and a trip to the North Pole to visit Santa. Then headed to Denali National Park.  

We stopped in Talkeetna and took a flightseeing tour that actually landed on Mt. Denali.  We also spent some time in Anchorage. We took a road trip from Anchorage to Seward.  We enjoyed all the things to do in Seward

It was incredible and we loved visiting.  We love Alaska and highly recommend planning a trip!   If you need help packing for Alaska, I have you covered there as well. 

Facebook Community

If you have any questions be sure to join my Facebook Travel Community   This great community can help answer any questions you may have about your upcoming trips. Plus, I try to add any great deals or promotions that companies send me!

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  1. OMG… this park looks gorgeous! What amazing views! I am soooo looking forward to seeing Alaska someday!

  2. WOW! Alaska is way up there on our bucket list! We almost pulled the trigger this summer and then decided on Costa Rica instead. We’ll definitely be planning a trip there for sure. Thank you for the suggestions and beautiful pictures!

  3. I visited Alaska when I was younger and single, and to this date it’s been one of my favorite trips. Can’t wait to go back with my family!

  4. Kenai Fjords National Park is stunning! I’ve got Alaska on my list and will definitely add this place to my itinerary.

  5. Alaska is definitely on my bucket list. This park is beautiful and it’s obvious you and your family had a wonderful time.

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