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. There are hundreds of glaciers in Kenai Fjords National Park (KEFJ) and Katmai National Park and Preserve (KATM) covering over 2,276 km 2 of park land (ca. Transportation to Bear Glacier Lake can be booked through Seward Water Taxi (. For many, the “crown jewel” of this pretty spectacular park is the Harding Icefield. Alongside a small group of other hikers, I follow the lower portion of the Harding Icefield Trail, my pack heavy with gear necessary for the highlight of our trek: walking on Exit Glacier. 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. Glacier Kayaking in Kenai Fjords National Park. A gray sky caps the pillars of mountains on either side of the valley. 2) GLACIERS. The valley view from the surface of Exit Glacier © Alexander Howard / Lonely Planet. 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. On land, you can may see Moose, Mountain Goats, River Otters, Snowshoe Hares, … 669,983 Acreage of the park. Their longest tour is the Kenai Fjords Tours Northwestern Tour. Eventually, we make it to the foot of the glacier, resting before donning crampons that will secure our feet into the ice. At several stations, glacier termini were no longer visible. Kenai Fjords Weather. Title: Kenai Fjords National Park Glaciers; Location: Kenai Fjords National Park; Get the app. The park is named for the numerous fjordscarved by glaciers moving down the mountains from the ice field. As icebergs melt, they release air bubbles that have been frozen for millennia, exposing prehistoric air to the world. Incredible Kenai Fjords Kayaking Trips. Kenai Fjords National Park is home to some of the most magnificent glaciers in Alaska. No part of this site may be reproduced without our written permission. The Harding Icefield Kenai Fjords National Park is a land dominated by glaciers, massive rivers of ice that flow out from the Harding Icefield. Agreement NNX16AC86A, Is ADS down? 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. Getting out on a vessel will give you the ultimate opportunity to watch glaciers calving off into the sea, pods of Orcas, sea lions, birds, and Humpback whales! It occupies an area of 2,711.33 square km in southcentral Alaska’s Kenai Peninsula. 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. Northwestern Glacier, for example, has retreated around a series of bends in its valley. Each animation begins with a 1909 Grant and Higgins photograph which fades into the 2004 image. 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. The Harding Icefield has over 300 square miles of ice and is over one mile thick. Lonely Planet contributors do not accept freebies in exchange for positive coverage. There are so many different types of animals that you can find within the Kenai Fjords. Kenai Fjords National Park, one of Alaska's few road-accessible national parks, is a wonderland of mountains, glaciers, and wildlife. 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. All rights reserved. (or is it just me...), Smithsonian Privacy The icebergs can roll or calve at any moment, trapping a wayward paddleboarder underneath a mountain of ice. Incredible Kenai Fjords Kayaking Trips. Kenai is a word adapted from an indigenous group known as the Athabaskans, who previously lived in the region. Kenai Fjords National Park: The Glaciers A highlight of our time in Seward was our Northwestern Glacier Tour with Kenai Fjords Tours. Things to Do in Kenai Alaska: From Fjords to Glaciers. He gives a quick rundown of stand-up paddleboard basics: feet parallel and a shoulder width apart, knees slightly bent. Naming the Ice. The engine shudders to a stop, and we hop the gunwales and wade to shore. To help inspire your next Alaska adventure, we’re sharing five cool … 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. Uploaded by AlbertHerring; Urheber: National Park Service, Alaska Region: Lizenz. 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. Trails from the parking lot lead to the face of the glacier. As one of the biggest ice fields in all of North America, it is home to over three dozen glaciers. It’s the same as the pop of ice in a tumbler of whiskey, but this sound is a steady crackle, gentle from some icebergs and louder from others, but all are reminiscent of the sound of falling rain on a metal roof. Astrophysical Observatory. 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. ‎Kenai Fjords National Park: Pictures of the glaciers at Kenai Fjords are compared in sequence. Perched on the edge of Kenai Fjords National Park, Seward is the gateway town to adventure. Recommended. It is noted for the presence of the Harding Icefield, one of the biggest of its kind in the country. 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. Established in 1980, the park is a wild land of mountain, water and ice. Das Eis verläuft in Form von mehreren Gletschern bis ins Wasser des Meeres. Bear Glac­i­er, found in Kenai Fjords Nation­al Park, is a tide­wa­ter glac­i­er and a pop­u­lar spot for kayak­ers, but you can eas­i­ly see it on a cruise from Seward. Kayaking through the narrow inlets of the Kenai Fjords feels like stepping back in time. For instance, a picture of McCarty Glacier from 1909 precedes a picture of the same glacier in 2004. Kenai Fjords National Park is a land dominated by glaciers, massive rivers of ice that flow out from the Harding Icefield. Up close, the surface of the glacier is a mixture of smooth, meltwater-polished glaze and jagged ice that looks as though salt had been tossed on it (gloves are a required piece of equipment lest you fall and cut your hand on the rough ice). Experienced kayakers often travel in and around Resurrection Bay. 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. Kenai Fjords. 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 National Park is found in south central Alaska, on the Kenai Peninsula. From the tip of the glacier, a cloudy stream trickles through the valley, runoff from the melting ice. Kenai Fjords National Park near Seward, is a place where the mountains towers us making us look like ants, glaciers thousands of years old, dense forests and the icy waters abundant with various wildlife, all meet. For instance, a picture of McCarty Glacier from 1909 precedes a picture of the same glacier in 2004. 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. Hiking for mere mortals like us is pretty much restricted to Exit Glacier, but that is a beautiful hike well worth the time. Alexander traveled to Alaska with support from Travel Alaska (travelalaska.com). As we float by the icy monoliths, the urge to touch one is strong, but Ryan warns me not to get too close. 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. Over the years, especially with global warming, the glaciers have “retreated,” melting into the sea and either shrinking or disappearing completely, leaving behind the carved fjords. A cool breeze wafts up from the ice. It’s also notable for being one of the most visible indications of climate change. Here’s how to get up close and personal with the glaciers of Kenai Fjords National Park. Today, nearly 51 percent of the park is covered by ice. Aialik glacier in Kenai Fjords National Park. Approximately one quarter (4.6 million acres) of Alaska's glaciers exist within national parks. 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. Few places rival Kenai Fjords National Park when it comes to tidewater glaciers. To illustrate the changes for the public, a dozen photographic pairs have been turned into animated GIFs using MacroMedia Flash. Established on December 1, 1978, the park protects 669,984 acres (2,711.33 km 2). ‎Kenai Fjords National Park: Pictures of the glaciers at Kenai Fjords are compared in sequence. Mr. J shares some of his best memories and pictures that prove just that. With the possibility of taking an unexpected dip in freezing waters, the lesson is heavy with the anxiety to get it right the first time. 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 Pedersen Glacier in Kenai Fjords National Park is a great glacier destination and when visiting you can stay at the Kenai Fjords Glacier Lodge. Kenai Fjords National Park is located on the edge of Alaska’s Kenai Peninsula. You will start your trip with a cruise through the park. Examples of typical, medium-sized valley glaciers in the icefield are Skilak and McCarty. With mas­sive ice­bergs and blue waters, see­ing the glac­i­er up close is a thrilling expe­ri­ence. The Wild Images Team has spent many days kayaking through the ocean inlets of Kenai Fjords National Park in Alaska. The Kenai Fjords, like much of Alaska’s landscape, were formed by two incredibly powerful but seemingly opposite forces: tectonic activity and glaciers. The two images have been correlated by matching topographic features. The video displays how the glaciers have receded over a century. Impressions of Kenai Fjords National Park: Glaciers, fjords, wildlife, majestic mountains that reach right to the coast, are what makes this park so enjoyable. It is also home to the largest icefield in United States, Harding Icefield. Examples of typical, medium-sized valley glaciers in the icefield are Skilak and McCarty. Several different types of glaciers can be seen from our cruises, including tidewater, piedmont, hanging, and cirque glaciers. It’s the best way to see the wildlife and glaciers of the Kenai Fjords area. 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). Many air charters take off from Merrill Field and Lake Hood airstrips right inside Anchorage. At each station, we took new photographs duplicating the field of view shown in the 1909 photographs and also showing panoramic views. 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. It is thought that there was long term use of the area because of new evidence found. The following day, I set out for Kenai Fjords National Park, an expanse of fjords and forests covering almost 600,000 acres. 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. Chapter 12: Alaska: Glaciers of Kenai Fjords National Park and Katmai National Park and Presenle BRUCE A. GIFFEN, DOROTHY K. HALL, AND JANET Y.L. The animations clearly depict changes in vegetation, glacier cover, and geomorphologic features that have taken place in the last 95 years. There’s so much to learn about Kenai Fjords National Park's unique glacial landscape. 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. 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 Tours, which started operating in 1974, is Alaska’s top wildlife and glacier cruise provider for more than 30 years now. Eine der beliebtesten Touristenattraktionen im Bereich des Nationalparks ist der Exit-Gletscher, der von Seward aus über eine Straße erreicht werden kann. The video displays how the glaciers have receded over a century. 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. All ofthe glaciers that drain the Harding Icefield are valleyglaciers. The road to the Exit Glacier trailhead closes during the winter months (usually mid-November). Kenai Fjords National Park is found in south central Alaska, on the Kenai Peninsula. It can range from around 50 to 70 degrees Fahrenheit. The video displays how the glaciers have receded over a century. The ADS is operated by the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory under NASA Cooperative At the right moment, the pilot guns the engine and we speed into the inlet, a breaking wave carrying us in like a surfboard. Kenai is a word adapted from an indigenous group known as the Athabaskans, who previously lived in the region. Glaciers slide down off of the ice field and carve canyons into the peaks. 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. This national park of Alaska was also founded in 1980. 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. Experienced kayakers often travel in and around Resurrection Bay. 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 Glaciers in Kenai Fjords National Park. 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 Harding Icefield covers more than 700 square miles in Kenai Fjords National Park and is the source of over 35 named glaciers. 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 water can be significantly cooler, but it’s not as cold as you may think, averaging about 50 degrees. For safety, kayakers and paddleboarders should maintain a distance equal to the length of the berg itself, or twice its height, whichever is greater. The Harding Icefield spawns nearly 40 glaciers in Kenai Fjords National Park. 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. You might assume that kayaking near Alaskan glaciers would be freezing, but actually, in the summer and early fall, the weather is fairly temperate. Unlike many other parts of Alaska’s national parks, Kenai Fjords remains relatively accessible year-round. Traveling by sea kayak is a quieter and more peaceful version of a glacier and wildlife cruise on a boat. Der Park ist berühmt für den 1600 Meter hohen Kenai-Berg, der vollständig vom 777 km² großen Harding-Eisfeld verhüllt ist. Last updated: October 9, 2020 (Wikimedia Commons) How were the Kenai Fjords formed? Find information on glaciers in Kenai Fjords National Park as well as 69 glaciers in Alaska, 291 glaciers in United States, 38 Kenai Fjords National Park: Pictures of the glaciers at Kenai Fjords are compared in sequence. It’s estimated that around 100,000 visitors visit Kenai Fjords every summer. This was first established in 1980 through the Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act. The park is accessible mainly by boat tours, where most of what made this park special can be seen. , an expanse of fjords and forests covering almost 600,000 acres. 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. Valley glaciers are what most people picture when theythink ofglaciers. Kenai Fjords National Park is a land dominated by glaciers, massive rivers of ice that flow out from the Harding Icefield. In this spot in South Central Alaska, you’ll find orcas, humpbacks and grey whales that outnumber boats. 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. Several glaciers originate from this icefield like the Bear Glacier. 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. Kenai Fjords National Park. This is in the south of Alaska and can be found near the amazing town of Seward. 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. © 2020 Lonely Planet. Ice fields and massive glaciers are results of the chilly winters in Alaska. Notice, Smithsonian Terms of Here are some numbers that tell the story. are many cirque glaciers in Kenai Fjords National Park, but most of them are unnamed because theyare so small. At the mouth of a small inlet, the pilot of our jetboat looks over his shoulder, analyzing the swells behind us. He’s looking for an oncoming wave that will carry us into the quiet waters ahead. Kenai Fjords National Park is home to some of the most magnificent glaciers in Alaska. The place was a symbol of climate change, and it … If you’re looking to go whale spotting in America, the Kenai Fjords are your best option. The Harding Icefield can be reached in an all-day hike from the base of Exit Glacier. The field is the source of at least 38 glaciers, th… I can unsubscribe any time using the unsubscribe link at the end of all emails. To paddleboard among icebergs is to experience an Alaska of the imagination: a wild, isolated place where nature itself can do massive, beautiful things. There weren’t in fact many permanent residents living at and around the park. On the shore, my guide Ryan Fisher removes a tarp that hides a cache of paddleboards and paddles. Seedlings of alder, cottonwood, and fireweed quickly colonize the seemingly barren landscape, exposed by melting ice. More than half of the park is covered by glaciers and ice. This collection documents the current but ephemeral state of the park’s changing glaciers and provides a historical record for all. Kenai Fjords National Park: Glaciers Melting Fast - See 1,687 traveler reviews, 930 candid photos, and great deals for Seward, AK, at Tripadvisor. As climate changes and glaciers recede, pioneer plants move in to prepare the land for the forests to come. , heading into one of the glacier-cut fjords of the Kenai Peninsula to Bear Glacier Lake. This was a special trip for us, one that measured up to it's expectations. It’s a striking display, a visual representation of a warming earth. Kenai Fjords – Alaska, U.S. This is the edge of the Harding Icefield, which covers 300 square miles, not counting the 38 glaciers that descend from it. We paddle around an island that just before blocked our view. This one is about the glacier scenery we saw and the next blog will have the wildlife photographs. Nnx16Ac86A, is a cold, brisk hand wrapping around my feet information, promotions,,. And photographed this area by glaciers moving down the mountains from the ice using the link... While in Alaska winter months ( usually mid-November ) expanse of Fjords and covering..., so the water edge the next blog will have the wildlife and glaciers canyons. Like many glaciers in Kenai Fjords Tours recede, pioneer plants move in to prepare the land for public. Bis ins Wasser des Meeres are your best option ADS down in 2004 icebergs, as... 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