Frequently Asked Questions

Legislative Background
Kenai Fjords was established as a national monument by presidential proclamation in 1978. It was designated as a national park in 1980 through the Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act (ANILCA).

PUBLIC LAW 96-487, Section 201(5) - DEC. 2, 1980: The park shall be managed for the following purposes, among others: To maintain unimpaired the scenic and environmental integrity of the Harding Icefield, its outflowing glaciers, and coastal fjords and islands in their natural state;and to protect seals, sea lions, other marine mammals, and marine and other birds and to maintain their hauling and breeding areas in their natural state, free of human activity which is disruptive to their natural processes.

Mission Statement: "Kenai Fjords National Park was established to maintain unimpaired the scenic and environmental integrity of the Harding Icefield, its outflowing glaciers and coastal fjords and islands in their natural state;and to protect seals, sea lions, other marine mammals, and marine and other birds and to maintain their hauling and breeding areas in their natural state, free of human activity which is disruptive to their natural processes."
 
Access
The park's headquarters and primary visitor center are located in the town of Seward, Alaska, 126 miles south of Anchorage via the Seward Highway.

The Exit Glacier Area is accessible by road, approximately 12 miles from Seward.

Additional access to the park is by small plane or by one of the many commercial tour and charter boats that ply the coast along Kenai Fjords. Most of these boats operate out of Seward.
 
Amenities
Campgrounds: 1 (located in the Exit Glacier area)
  • This is a 12-site, tent-only campground, with two sites that are wheelchair accessible.
  • Sites are available on a first-come, first-served basis.
  • Each site is limited to 2 tents and no more than 8 people per campsite.
  • There are no reservations or camping fees. There is a fourteen day stay limit.
  • A shelter for food storage, cooking and dining is provided for the campground. Cooking and/or storing food in the campsites is prohibited. There is a pump for drinking water and pit toilets are available.
  • The campground frequently fills by early evening in July and August.
  • Pets are not permitted in campsites.
  • Vehicle camping is strictly prohibited.
Backcountry Camping: (no reservations necessary)
Public Use Cabins: 3 (reservations required)
  • Two public use cabins, Aialik and Holgate are available on the Kenai Fjords coast during the summer months (from Memorial Day weekend to Labor Day). They can be reached by boat or float plane. Reservations can be made through the Alaska Public Lands Information Center (APLIC) by phone at 866.869.6887.
  • Aialik Cabin is located on a 5-acre lease from Port Graham Native Corporation. Special permission is needed if you wish to access Port Graham lands outside of the leased area. To get a permit, you must contact Port Graham Corporation in advance at (907) 284-2212.
  • Willow cabin at Exit Glacier, is available once Herman Leirer Road is snow-covered in late fall through approximately early April. Reservations are available by calling the park directly, at 907.422.0500.
Picnic Areas: 3
  • Located next to the Exit Glacier Nature Center off the main parking lot.
  • Located adjacent to the RV parking lot, in the Exit Glacier Area.
  • The food shelter at the parking area for the Exit Glacier campground, dedicated for the campers staying in the park's campground ONLY.

Hiking Trails: 4
The only maintained trails in Kenai Fjords National Park are those in the Exit Glacier Area. The 3 short trails on the valley floor range from .5 to 1.5 miles (one-way) and provide views and/or access to Exit Glacier.
  • Trail to Glacier View: A wheelchair accessible loop that leads to a panoramic view of Exit Glacier. A spotting scope is provided (0.5 miles).
  • Trail to the Toe of the Glacier: Getting to the toe of Exit Glacier requires crossing the rocky outwash plain. This area is not always accessible due to shifting streams (1.0 mile).
  • Trail to the Edge of the Glacier: A moderately strenuous hike that leads to a wall of blue ice at the edge of Exit Glacier (1.2 miles).
  • The Harding Icefield Trail: A strenuous hike with an elevation gain of approximately 3500 feet that ends in a spectacular view of the Harding Icefield (4.1 miles).
Visitor Centers: 2
  • Kenai Fjords Visitor Center - located in the small boat harbor of Seward, Alaska.
  • Exit Glacier Nature Center - located at the end of Herman Leirer Road in the Exit Glacier Area.
 

Nearby Neighbors
Other hiking trails near Kenai Fjords National Park are located within:

Did You Know?