More than half of the park is covered in ice. In fact, Kenai Fjords National Park is one of the only tree national parks in Alaska that can be reached by road. From so close, I can sense the disappearing act on stage before me. Kenai Fjords National Park is found in south central Alaska, on the Kenai Peninsula. As we float by the icy monoliths, the urge to touch one is strong, but Ryan warns me not to get too close. 2000). Everywhere the glacier is also cut through with stripes of a gray-black substance called moraine – dirt and rock caught up in the slow movement of the ice as it flows out of Harding Icefield. The crests are well over the top of the small, fire-engine-red vessel, and through the quiet tension I sense that a wrong decision could send the boat toppling into the waves. It is a very different kind of trip. Unlike many other parts of Alaska’s national parks, Kenai Fjords remains relatively accessible year-round. Last updated: October 9, 2020 This park also has the fjords. He gives a quick rundown of stand-up paddleboard basics: feet parallel and a shoulder width apart, knees slightly bent. 669,983 Acreage of the park. As icebergs melt, they release air bubbles that have been frozen for millennia, exposing prehistoric air to the world. The park’s rugged landscape includes fjords, mountains, and glaciers. Northwestern Glacier, for example, has retreated around a series of bends in its valley. Over 38 named glaciers dot the valleys of the park, all coming from a single source, the Harding Icefield, an expanse of ice that extends over 700 square miles. It is noted for the presence of the Harding Icefield, one of the biggest of its kind in the country. A cool breeze wafts up from the ice. Kenai Fjords National Park in Alaska is a region of very deep ocean inlets that were glacier carved from previous ice ages, surrounded by mountain peaks that rise straight out of the ocean. The most spectacular of these glaciers is the tidewater glacier. Visiting Alaska’s glaciers is one of the state’s most iconic experiences. CHiEN Popular Summary Much recent research points to the shrinkage of the Earth's small glaciers, however, few studies have been performed to quantify the amount of change over time. For instance, a picture of McCarty Glacier from 1909 precedes a picture of the same glacier in 2004. More than half of Kenai Fjords is obscured by it, and glaciers are one of Alaska’s coolest natural attractions. All ofthe glaciers that drain the Harding Icefield are valleyglaciers. The field is the source of at least 38 glaciers, th… Kenai Fjords National Park is an American national park established in 1980 by the Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act. The following day, I set out for Kenai Fjords National Park, an expanse of fjords and forests covering almost 600,000 acres. Price includes glass, window matboard, and your choice of frame The Wild Images Team has spent many days kayaking through the ocean inlets of Kenai Fjords National Park in Alaska. Kenai Fjords National Park is home to some of the most magnificent glaciers in Alaska. This is the edge of the Harding Icefield, which covers 300 square miles, not counting the 38 glaciers that descend from it. The Kenai Fjords, like much of Alaska’s landscape, were formed by two incredibly powerful but seemingly opposite forces: tectonic activity and glaciers. Things to Do in Kenai Alaska: From Fjords to Glaciers. Valley glaciers are what most people picture when theythink ofglaciers. What makes Kenai Fjords National Park very special is that it offers not only miles and miles of the incredible jagged natural coastline of Alaska’s Kenai Peninsula (and all the wildlife that comes with it). It is thought that there was long term use of the area because of new evidence found. can provide gear, guides and transportation. The video displays how the glaciers have receded over a century. Harding Icefield and the Grewingk-Yalik Glacier Complex, many of which originate in Kenai Fjords National Park (KEFJ). As the edge of the icefield spills over a ridge of mountains to the east, it forms the park’s signature attraction: Ice climbers tackling a face of Exit Glacier © Alexander Howard / Lonely Planet, It’s also notable for being one of the most visible indications of climate change. Established in 1980, the park is a wild land of mountain, water and ice. Established on December 1, 1978, the park protects 669,984 acres (2,711.33 km 2). , heading into one of the glacier-cut fjords of the Kenai Peninsula to Bear Glacier Lake. It occupies an area of 2,711.33 square km in southcentral Alaska’s Kenai Peninsula. There’s so much to learn about Kenai Fjords National Park's unique glacial landscape. Climbing 1400ft in elevation in just 1.5 miles, the trek is tough, leaving even a fit climber gasping at both the exertion and the views. Kenai Fjords National Park in Alaska is known for its abundance of steep glacier carved peaks that rise right out of the ocean, cut through by glaciers slowly sliding down from the ice fields above. Traveling by sea kayak is a quieter and more peaceful version of a glacier and wildlife cruise on a boat. This collection documents the current but ephemeral state of the park’s changing glaciers and provides a historical record for all. If you’re looking to go whale spotting in America, the Kenai Fjords are your best option. For many, the “crown jewel” of this pretty spectacular park is the Harding Icefield. Astrophysical Observatory. , an expanse of fjords and forests covering almost 600,000 acres. Perched on the edge of Kenai Fjords National Park, Seward is the gateway town to adventure. Trails from the parking lot lead to the face of the glacier. The collection currently consists of 77 sets of photos, including 265 photos of 40 individual glaciers or glacier groups. Exploring the Kenai Fjords The inlets, coves, fjords, islands, and even glaciers of Kenai Fjords offer hikers and boaters many opportunities for exploring and seeing wildlife in a spectacular natural setting. Naming the Ice. Kenai Fjords National Park. The valley view from the surface of Exit Glacier © Alexander Howard / Lonely Planet. Paddling further, the blue world emits its own universe of sound: a marine calm punctuated by the lapping of water against massive objects, but there’s something else, too. From the turn of the 20th century to 1951 – the year I Love Lucy aired its first episode – the ice retreated almost 3000ft. It can range from around 50 to 70 degrees Fahrenheit. There aren’t many opportunities in life to be able to immerse yourself in the sights, sounds, and the feelings of floating near tidewater glaciers in the Alaskan wilderness. The landscape here is very dramatic, with steep mountain peaks rising out of the ocean for thousands of feet, where there are capped off by an extensive ice field. From the tip of the glacier, a cloudy stream trickles through the valley, runoff from the melting ice. Examples of typical, medium-sized valley glaciers in the icefield are Skilak and McCarty. This is in the south of Alaska and can be found near the amazing town of Seward. Chances are you are going to Alaska to explore the extraordinary landscape and wildlife that the state has to offer. Each animation begins with a 1909 Grant and Higgins photograph which fades into the 2004 image. We wind through switchbacks overgrown with dense forest, pausing at each break in the trees to catch our breath and stare at the glacier in the distance. Title: Kenai Fjords National Park Glaciers; Location: Kenai Fjords National Park; Get the app. Lonely Planet contributors do not accept freebies in exchange for positive coverage. Explore museums and play with Art Transfer, Pocket Galleries, Art Selfie, and more. Experienced kayakers often travel in and around Resurrection Bay. are many cirque glaciers in Kenai Fjords National Park, but most of them are unnamed because theyare so small. We work our way west to the center of the glacier, crampons crunching into the ice, stopping to peer into deep crevasses and examine trickles of meltwater. Independent travelers have access to the variety of trails around Exit Glacier via the national park, but those wanting to walk on the surface of the ice should go with experienced guides. In these instances, new GPS-located photo stations were established within sight of the present day termini. The barren Chiswell Islands, serviced by ferry boat, are an excellent place to see giant Steller sea lions basking, playing, and fighting on the rocks. As climate changes and glaciers recede, pioneer plants move in to prepare the land for the forests to come. ‎Kenai Fjords National Park: Pictures of the glaciers at Kenai Fjords are compared in sequence. It’s a slow one, taking place over decades and centuries, but it’s there, in the trickle of water or the calving chunks that break off from the glacier’s leading edge. Kenai Fjords National Park, which is situated 130 miles south of Anchorage near Seward, Alaska, is home to a quarter of the state’s glaciers.While the park’s icefields have receded due to climate change, many glaciers are still intact, drawing in hundreds of thousands of visitors annually. Today, nearly 51 percent of the park is covered by ice. This was a special trip for us, one that measured up to it's expectations. Examples of typical, medium-sized valley glaciers in the icefield are Skilak and McCarty. Kenai Fjords National Park: Glaciers Melting Fast - See 1,687 traveler reviews, 930 candid photos, and great deals for Seward, AK, at Tripadvisor. He’s looking for an oncoming wave that will carry us into the quiet waters ahead. This 700-square-mile ice cap—mother of 38 glaciers that spill from Kenai’s mountainous spine—is most easily accessible by ski plane or a 3,000-foot ascent of the Harding Icefield Trail beside Exit Glacier. Over 38 named glaciers dot the valleys of the park, all coming from a single source, the Harding Icefield, an expanse of ice that extends over 700 square miles. Over 38 named glaciers dot the valleys of the park, all coming from a single source, the Harding Icefield, an expanse of ice that extends over 700 square miles. Few places rival Kenai Fjords National Park when it comes to tidewater glaciers. Glaciers slide down off of the ice field and carve canyons into the peaks. Transformed in a U.S. National Park in 1980 by the Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act, the Kenai Fjords embodies part of the Harding Icefield, the largest and one of the four remaining icefields in the United States. The park’s name comes from the many glacial fjords that dot the coastline of the park. United States. This was first established in 1980 through the Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act. But, finally atop the board, my feet seem to instinctively know what to do, and after a few strokes of the paddle, I’m ready to head into the bay. The two images have been correlated by matching topographic features. The park contains the Harding Icefield, one of the largest ice fields in the United States. All along the road to the visitor center, signs show the glacier’s retreat over the last century, each marker indicating the location of the edge of the glacier during the year written on the sign. © 2020 Lonely Planet. Several different types of glaciers can be seen from our cruises, including tidewater, piedmont, hanging, and cirque glaciers. The ADS is operated by the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory under NASA Cooperative The lake before us is littered with icebergs, some as small as basketballs, others the size of houses. Valley glaciers are what most people picture when theythink ofglaciers. Kenai Fjords. On the shore, my guide Ryan Fisher removes a tarp that hides a cache of paddleboards and paddles. Glacier's Glaciers - photos of Ice Cave, Boulder Glacier (Glacier National Park) Kenai Fjords Culture & Science Unit Photo Gallery Mountain valley - Nicholas School of the Environment and Earth Sciences, Duke University, Geology 41 Experienced kayakers often travel in and around Resurrection Bay. Kenai Fjords National Park is a land dominated by glaciers, massive rivers of ice that flow out from the Harding Icefield. It’s a striking display, a visual representation of a warming earth. The water can be significantly cooler, but it’s not as cold as you may think, averaging about 50 degrees. The Wild Images Team has spent many days kayaking through the ocean inlets of Kenai Fjords National Park in Alaska. A lot of us forget to explore our own backyard, and I’m totally guilty of this one: despite living a short 2.5 hour drive from Seward, I’ve never gone on a wildlife day cruise in Kenai Fjords National Park. ). The fjords that have been carved by glaciers over thousands of years have created estuary ecosystems that are only found in five other locations in the world. The park is going to cover a massive area of 669,984 acres and it can be found on the Kenai Peninsula. The Harding Icefield covers more than 700 square miles in Kenai Fjords National Park and is the source of over 35 named glaciers. The Pedersen Glacier in Kenai Fjords National Park is a great glacier destination and when visiting you can stay at the Kenai Fjords Glacier Lodge. National park. The Harding Icefield is here, its host of nearly 40 glaciers calving bergs into Resurrection Bay. An extensive ice field covers the upper altitudes and glaciers carve canyons down to the water edge. Impressions of Kenai Fjords National Park: Glaciers, fjords, wildlife, majestic mountains that reach right to the coast, are what makes this park so enjoyable. The Harding Icefield has over 300 square miles of ice and is over one mile thick. At the mouth of a small inlet, the pilot of our jetboat looks over his shoulder, analyzing the swells behind us. To illustrate the changes for the public, a dozen photographic pairs have been turned into animated GIFs using MacroMedia Flash. Kenai Fjords is located about 2.5 hours drive south of Anchorage, in the coastal fishing town of Seward, Alaska. Many visitors will head to Denali National Park, and for good reasons as the park is a must-see while in Alaska. This national park of Alaska was also founded in 1980. Look for Sea Otters, Stellar Sea Lions, Orcas, Fin, Gray, Humpback, Minke, and Sei Whales. The engine shudders to a stop, and we hop the gunwales and wade to shore. This one is about the glacier scenery we saw and the next blog will have the wildlife photographs. No part of this site may be reproduced without our written permission. You might assume that kayaking near Alaskan glaciers would be freezing, but actually, in the summer and early fall, the weather is fairly temperate. Alexander traveled to Alaska with support from Travel Alaska (. The Harding Icefield covers more than 700 square miles in Kenai Fjords National Park and is the source of over 35 named glaciers. All ofthe glaciers that drain the Harding Icefield are valleyglaciers. It’s also notable for being one of the most visible indications of climate change. Recommended. Several glaciers originate from this icefield like the Bear Glacier. Exit Glacier, like many glaciers in Kenai Fjords National Park, is undergoing rapid recession now. I arrived into Seward, Alaska on a Thursday morning at 7:40 am since I had been camping at the Turnagain pass and the cold temps had awakened me early. Several different types of glaciers can be seen from cruises into the park, including tidewater, piedmont, hanging, and cirque glaciers.. At most locations, the change in glacier height and terminus position since 1909 has been dramatic. Exit Glacier, at right, can be reached by turning off the Seward Highway at Milepost 3.7 and following a gravel road several miles to a parking lot. Seeing a tidewater glacier up close is a thrill. The Harding Icefield Kenai Fjords National Park is a land dominated by glaciers, massive rivers of ice that flow out from the Harding Icefield. It’s the most precarious part of the hike – the awkward crampons and weight of my hiking pack threaten to tip me backward – but soon the surface evens out and I find myself on the edge of a massive blue runway heading up over the crest of mountains to the west. After that, the trailhead can be reached by snowmobile, dogsleds, cross-country skiing, or snowshoeing. Kenai is a word adapted from an indigenous group known as the Athabaskans, who previously lived in the region. Eventually, we make it to the foot of the glacier, resting before donning crampons that will secure our feet into the ice. Kenai Fjords. But oohing and aahing from a distant viewing platform or from the deck of a cruise ship aren’t the only ways you can encounter these grand natural wonders. Kenai Fjords National Park is found in south central Alaska, on the Kenai Peninsula. The icebergs can roll or calve at any moment, trapping a wayward paddleboarder underneath a mountain of ice. Tectonic activity did the building . Several different types of glaciers can be seen from our cruises, including tidewater, piedmont, hanging, and cirque glaciers. It’s a striking display, a visual representation of a warming earth. Notice, Smithsonian Terms of Hiking for mere mortals like us is pretty much restricted to Exit Glacier, but that is a beautiful hike well worth the time. The jetboat at anchor while we prep our equipment © Alexander Howard / Lonely Planet, A paddleboarder glides past an iceberg © Alexander Howard / Lonely Planet, View from the paddleboard © Alexander Howard / Lonely Planet. I did the same cruise itinerary you are doing and did not find the Kenai Fjord tour to be repetitive at all. However, it is thought that a lot of the sites that were rich in history for archaeological studies are now under water because of the rising water levels. The video displays how the glaciers have receded over a century. Independent travelers have access to the variety of trails around Exit Glacier via the national park, but those wanting to walk on the surface of the ice should go with experienced guides. Located in the remote and remarkable places where blue waters meet giant walls of ice, tidewater glaciers represent the ancient reaches of the planet, and help put our modern lives into perspective. The Harding Icefield covers more than 700 square miles in Kenai Fjords National Park and is the source of over 35 named glaciers. The dramatic coastal fjords and valleys of the park reveal a long history of glaciation. In fact, I took so many photos, I have to have 2 separate blog posts. From the turn of the 20th century to 1951, Hiking deeper into Exit Glacier © Alexander Howard / Lonely Planet, Examining a crevasse © Alexander Howard / Lonely Planet, Perched on the edge of Kenai Fjords National Park, Seward is the gateway town to adventure. (or is it just me...), Smithsonian Privacy We used Landsat Multispectral Scanner (MSS), Thematic Mapper (TM) and Enhanced Thematic Mapper Plus (ETM+) scenes to … Here are some numbers that tell the story. We begin the trek early in the day, hoping to beat the summer crowds that are sure to clog the trailhead as the morning rolls on. Das Eis verläuft in Form von mehreren Gletschern bis ins Wasser des Meeres. Now, we’d turn our attention to the 700 square-mile Harding Icefield and its more than 20 glaciers. Explore the Fjords. Mr. J shares some of his best memories and pictures that prove just that. To paddleboard among icebergs is to experience an Alaska of the imagination: a wild, isolated place where nature itself can do massive, beautiful things. For instance, a picture of McCarty Glacier from 1909 precedes a picture of the same glacier in 2004. We re-established 40 of their photo stations with a confidence level of approximately 5-30 feet. 2) GLACIERS. The Harding Icefield spawns nearly 40 glaciers in Kenai Fjords National Park. Kenai Fjords National Park is an American national park established in 1980 by the Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act.The park covers an area of 669,984 acres (1,046.9 sq mi; 2,711.3 km 2) on the Kenai Peninsula in south-central Alaska, near the town of Seward.The park contains the Harding Icefield, one of the largest ice fields in the United States. Kenai Fjords – Alaska, U.S. Today nearly 56 percent of the park is covered by ice, but all of this land was once buried beneath the ice and still bears its influence. Kenai Fjords Tours, which started operating in 1974, is Alaska’s top wildlife and glacier cruise provider for more than 30 years now. Exit Glacier Guides and Seward Windsong Lodge offer organized hikes onto the glacier. Glacier Kayaking in Kenai Fjords National Park. It’s estimated that around 100,000 visitors visit Kenai Fjords every summer. In August, 2004, with funding from the National Park Service and the USGS Earth Surface Dynamics Program, we conducted a new photo survey in Grant and Higgins' footsteps. Ice fields and massive glaciers are results of the chilly winters in Alaska. Uploaded by AlbertHerring; Urheber: National Park Service, Alaska Region: Lizenz. Kenai Fjords gives visitors the opportunity to experience Alaska’s rugged coastline, countless glaciers, and abundant wildlife. TouristLink members rank Exit Glacier, Harding Icefield and Tustumena Glacier as the top glaciers in Kenai Fjords National Park. It is also home to the largest icefield in United States, Harding Icefield. For safety, kayakers and paddleboarders should maintain a distance equal to the length of the berg itself, or twice its height, whichever is greater. There aren’t many opportunities in life to be able to immerse yourself in the sights, sounds, and the feelings of floating near tidewater glaciers in the Alaskan wilderness. These glaciers calve icebergs frequently, so the water can be thick with floating ice and is a perfect environment for seals. Our guide Henry tells us that the overcast weather is perfect for looking at the ice: clouds magnify the blue wavelength of light it reflects. Their longest tour is the Kenai Fjords Tours Northwestern Tour. In 1909, USGS geologists U.S. Grant and D. F. Higgins mapped and photographed all of the tidewater glaciers and many of the land-terminating outlet glaciers in what is now Kenai Fjords National Park, creating a thorough record of glacier terminus positions and heights. The road to the Exit Glacier trailhead closes during the winter months (usually mid-November). Kenai Fjords National Park is a land dominated by glaciers, massive rivers of ice that flow out from the Harding Icefield. At the right moment, the pilot guns the engine and we speed into the inlet, a breaking wave carrying us in like a surfboard. The place was a symbol of climate change, and it … I’m on the southern end of Alaska, heading into one of the glacier-cut fjords of the Kenai Peninsula to Bear Glacier Lake. While many visitors aspire to visit the extraordinary icebound realms like Ruth Glacier in Denali or the Kennicott and Root glaciers of Wrangell-St. Elias national parks, don’t count out the less remote backcountry of the Chugach, Kenai and Talkeetna mountains. It’s the best way to see the wildlife and glaciers of the Kenai Fjords area. We begin the trek early in the day, hoping to beat the summer crowds that are sure to clog the trailhead as the morning rolls on. Kenai Fjords National Park, one of Alaska's few road-accessible national parks, is a wonderland of mountains, glaciers, and wildlife. The Kenai Fjords tour is about wildlife, not about glaciers. Then there’s us locals. Many visitors will head to Denali National Park, and for good reasons as the park is a must-see while in Alaska. Find information on glaciers in Kenai Fjords National Park as well as 69 glaciers in Alaska, 291 glaciers in United States, 38 Glaciers in Kenai Fjords National Park. I can unsubscribe any time using the unsubscribe link at the end of all emails. The animations clearly depict changes in vegetation, glacier cover, and geomorphologic features that have taken place in the last 95 years. The park covers an area of 669,984 acres (1,046.9 sq mi; 2,711.3 km ) on the Kenai Peninsula in south-central Alaska, near the town of Seward. Why Lake Tahoe’s south shore makes a perfect Nevada getaway for responsible travelers, "Paris is overrated" - Lonely Planet fans share their unpopular travel opinions, US airlines are introducing tough new rules for emotional support animals, You can now do a COVID test at home before flying to any of these 14 US destinations. Incredible Kenai Fjords Kayaking Trips. There are upwards of three dozen named glaciers in the national park—all of which originate from the colossal 700 square-mile Harding Icefield. Many air charters take off from Merrill Field and Lake Hood airstrips right inside Anchorage. Alexander traveled to Alaska with support from Travel Alaska (travelalaska.com). ‎Kenai Fjords National Park: Pictures of the glaciers at Kenai Fjords are compared in sequence. Its kind in the region Higgins photograph which fades into the peaks of Exit Guides! Stop, and abundant wildlife, where most of them are unnamed because theyare so small best.... Remains relatively accessible year-round and Lake Hood airstrips right inside Anchorage ‎kenai Fjords National Park going! From the Harding Icefield the most visible indications of climate change on the edge the... Fireweed quickly colonize the seemingly barren landscape, exposed by melting ice or calve at any moment, a. Charters take off from Merrill field and carve canyons down to the.. 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