Seward, AK 99664, United States
GPS: 59.849479992677, -150.18648498595
Visit Kenai Fjords National Park, which is located on the Kenai Peninsula, south of Alaska. Founded in 1980 on the fringes of the city of Seward, despite its vast area (4,500 km²) it is the smallest national park in this American state. More than half of the surface of this protected area is covered with snow or ice all year round.
Meeting ground between the ocean, the fjords and the mountains, Kenai Fjords National Park has nearly 40 glaciers formed during the Last Glacial Period. The best known of them, Exit Glacier, rests in the Kenai Mountains through the Harding Icefield, the largest in the United States (2,800 km² including the many glaciers it feeds). The large coastal areas of Kenai Fjords National Park have been inhabited since ancient times by the Alutiiq. These native Amerindian people from Alaska, also called the Pacific Yupik or Sugpiaq, live mainly from fishing and travel in wooden kayaks called anyaq. By basing their way of life on the cycle of the seasons, the Alutiiq succeed in taming the inhospitable areas of the Kenai Fjords region that are subject to great natural upheavals (glacier melt, earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, harsh climate and strong temperature changes between the seasons). Thirty archaeological sites discovered in Kenai Fjords National Park suggest that the establishment of the first indigenous peoples dates back over 6,000 years.
The constantly changing Arctic landscape of Kenai Fjords National Park is rich in wild habitats for the observation of marine fauna and migratory birds. Its coasts and the cold waters of the North Pacific are a breeding ground for large marine mammals such as seals, sea otters, orcas, Steller sea lions or grey and humpback whales. Excursions by boat or kayak are best for observing the park’s wildlife while safely exploring the environment of the most remote fjords and glaciers. The profusion of natural sites (glaciers, lush forests, coves, bays, capes and virgin islands) of Kenai Fjords National Park is an invitation to Ice Age adventure.