• Glacier in Kenai Fjords National Park

    Kenai Fjords

    National Park Alaska

Backcountry Registration

Do I need to register to use the backcountry?

Anyone planning to camp overnight in Kenai Fjords' backcountry is encouraged to register, but it is only mandatory for guided groups. Campers at the Exit Glacier campground or visitors staying in a public use cabin should not register for backcountry use.

A voluntary backcountry registration system was implemented in 2001 with limited success. In 2002, the park mandated free and unlimited backcountry permits for all users. A review of this program in the fall of 2002 determined that it was more appropriate to request voluntary registration than to require permits through regulation at this time.
Why should I register?

Recreational use of backcountry areas, especially in Aialik and Harris bays, appears to be growing every year, resulting in increased competition for limited camping beaches. Registration allows us to collect information on visitor use. Basic information about where people go and how long they stay helps with park planning and management, such as determining where bear boxes are placed or where impact monitoring should be conducted. Registration also allows us an opportunity to give basic resource protection and safety information to ALL overnight visitors. Registration before your trip may assist us in locating you to deliver an emergency message,

during a search, or other incident.

Where can I register?

  • Kenai Fjords Information Center: Backcountry registration is available at the Kenai Fjords Information Center during normal business hours (9am - 6pm Memorial Day through Labor Day).
  • Exit Glacier: For the Harding Icefield backcountry area, backpackers can self-register at the Harding Icefield Trailhead.
  • Water Taxis: Since coastal backcountry visitors often take a water taxi to access the Park, permits will also be available through a self-registration program with three water-taxis based in Seward.

Millers Landing at Lowell Point (907) 224-5739

Alaska Saltwater Charters at Lowell Point (907) 224-7254

Weather Permitting, Seward Small Boat Harbor (907) 224-6595

  • Outfitter Guides: Other commercial operators including kayak tour companies and rental companies, may also make backcountry registration available to their customers. Check with the outfitter when you arrange your trip.
  • Alaska Maritime National Wildlife Refuge Visitor Center: Visitors starting their trip from Homer, Alaska can get permits at the Alaska Maritime National Refuge Visitor Center located on the Sterling Highway in Homer.

Did You Know?

Hoary Marmot

The Hoary Marmot is the largest member of the ground squirrels. These guys hibernate half or more of their life away. They have very thick fur and a substantial fat layer that protects them from the cold. You are not as likely to see them on hot days as they hide in the shade to keep cool.