In The Area
In the Area: Kenai Fjords National Park
Discover Kenai Fjords National Park, one of Alaska's Rare Treasures
Kenai Fjords National Park is a geological wonderland where glaciers and ice caps meet the ocean. Comprising an edge of the Kenai Peninsula in southcentral Alaska near the town of Seward, the park is home to the Harding Icefield, one of the four major ice caps in the United States. The Icefield, which covers more than half of the 700,000+ acre national park, has carved long, steep-sided water valleys, called "fjords," forming the perfect habitat and aquatic environment for a wide array of marine wildlife. These plankton-rich waters are natural feeding grounds for whales on their long migrations north and south. Above sea level, the chiseled fjords reach toward the sky, home to millions of migratory birds.
Although the Harding Icefield and other topographic relics found in the park date back to the last ice age, the Kenai Fjords area is one of constant change and activity. The rugged coastline is constantly altered by the collision of the Pacific and North American tectonic plates. These forces deepen the fjords, lower the Kenai Mountain Range and create spectacular landscapes.
The National Park Service produces a yearly profile of the park, its history and other interesting facts.