Connecting People to Parks
Contact: Kristy Sholly, (907) 422-0530
Kenai Fjords National Park Authorizes Snowcoach Access to Exit Glacier Area
A new way for winter travelers to access the Exit Glacier area in Kenai Fjords National Park was authorized this week by the National Park Service.
With the advent of operations in Kenai Fjords National Park, Adventure Sixty North, a commercial snowcoach operation, became the first such activity authorized in a unit of the National Park System in Alaska. The company will provide scenic tours and guided snowshoe walks, and passengers can be dropped off to enjoy winter activities on their own. The park has authorized four round-trips per day and no commercial services Tuesday through Thursday after 1 p.m. Costs and additional information regarding the service can be found on Adventure Sixty North's website.
Since Kenai Fjords was established in 1980, winter access to the Exit Glacier area has been limited only to those able to dogsled, ski, snowshoe, or snowmachine the six-mile section of snow and ice covered road, which is closed to vehicle traffic during the winter. Visitors in the winter are often rewarded with a quiet, solitary experience and have the opportunity to stay overnight at a park maintained public use cabin.
Beginning last fall, Kenai Fjords National Park and the Volpe National Transportation Systems Center (part of the U.S. Department of Transportation) held several meetings in the Seward area to consider the feasibility of providing an over-the-snow transportation service to the Exit Glacier area. This service had been identified by the park as a possibility in the 2004 Exit Glacier Area Plan. The park recently posted the final draft of the Feasibility Study in the Park Planning section of this website.
In addition to fulfilling part of the Exit Glacier plan, the new winter access service aligns with Connecting People to Parks, one of four themes in the National Park Service's Call to Action, a plan which is leading the agency towards its second century of stewardship beginning in 2016.
Any questions about the snowcoach operation or commercial services in Kenai Fjords National Park can be directed to Superintendent Jeff Mow.
Did You Know?
Snowfall on the Harding Icefield can exceed 100 feet each year. After 4-10 years of compression snow turns into glacial ice.