• Glacier in Kenai Fjords National Park

    Kenai Fjords

    National Park Alaska

Winter Activities

Winter at Exit Glacier

Snow covered trail at Exit Glacier

© Ron Niebrugge—www.wildnatureimages.com

Once the road to Exit Glacier is snow-covered and closed to cars, it is accessible by cross-country skis, snowmobile, or dog sled. Winter recreation generally starts in early November and the snow can last into May. This can vary greatly from season to season, so be sure to check on current conditions before starting out.

Winter is one of the best times of year to spot moose at Exit Glacier. Enjoy viewing them from a distance, since they are likely to be stressed in this season of food scarcity.

Facilities: A warming hut with firewood and benches is available for day use. The Willow Public Use Cabin can be rented by the night, providing visitors with a once in a lifetime winter backcountry experience.

Snowmobiles: Snowmobiles are allowed in the park once there is at least 18 inches of snow with a solid base. The Harding Icefield has adequate snow cover year-round, but the rest of the park is generally open to snowmobile use from November through April. The use of snowmobiles is prohibited within the Exit Glacier Developed Area, except on the road to Exit Glacier, in the parking areas, and on a designated route through the Exit Glacier Campground to Exit Creek. The Exit Glacier Developed Area is further described under the Snowmobile Regulations webpage. Riders must follow the Alaska State Laws and NPS regulations that govern snowmobile use in the park.

Snowcoach: A commercial snowcoach, operated by Adventure Sixty North, provides 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 the Adventure Sixty North website.

 
Ranger over glacial crevasse.

© Ron Niebrugge—www.wildnatureimages.com

Ice Climbing: Technical ice climbing is permitted on the glacier’s terminus from November through March. The rest of the year, climbers must be at least ½ mile above the terminus. Ice climbing opportunities are very limited due to unstable ice conditions.

Did You Know?

River Otter

River otters defecate in certain spots to mark their territory. Researchers in Kenai Fjords National Park have discovered that these "latrine sites" enrich the soil, allowing plants to grow in those spots that aren't found anywhere else close by.