This wondrous national park consists of three main areas: the Coast, the Exit Glacier, and the Harding Ice Field. The Exit Glacier is easily accessible by the main road, with plenty of hiking trails and a Nature Center that hosts variety of ranger-led hikes and programs.
The Harding Ice Field is the perfect spot for adventuring mountaineers or those who want to charter a plane for scenic and dramatic overviews of the area wildlife and geography.
Daily programs are offered at the Alaska SeaLife Center, with the early 11am program featuring the Alutiiq Native Alaskan culture through Archeology research, and the 3pm program covering various topics related to glaciers and climate change.
Learn about the refuge's conservation projects and be guided in the many activities in the refuge such as wilderness and wildlife viewing, canoeing, camping, hiking, and winter activities. Naturalists will find plenty of information on the area's plant species and geography.
This small market is on an old dock on the Kenai River where an old fishing town was once located. The warehouse, rebuilt in 1922 after a tremendous fire, still has its rustic look including worn wooden flooring and a low ceiling to accommodate a second floor. The bright shops line the walls and middle of the dark almost dungeon like path through the inside. Shops in this large building sell Alaskan art, coffee, Klondike photos, salmon and gifts. If you are hungry, dine at the Sockeye restaurant next door and take a walk back to the main road and down to the beach.
A popular way to see these beautiful fjords is to go on a day tour on a boat. Beginning in Seward, a boat tour lets you see all the marine wildlife, tidewater glaciers and the steep fjords this national park has to offer.
The Kenai National Wildlife Refuge Canoe Trail System is separated into two areas: the Swanson River and Swan Lake Routes. Canoeing and Kayaking in the many lakes in this area is a popular experience. Visitors can enjoy a leisurely paddle in a mist-covered lake and hearing the call of nearby loons or spot a moose dip its head for a drink while being surrounded by the beautiful birch and spruce forests.
Birdwatchers rejoice! Kenai is home to a wide variety of avian species, including Geese, Grouse, Woodpeckers, Terns, Owls, Jays, Kingfishers, Herons, Cormorants, Cranes, Swans, Grebes, and Doves. Sportfishers will find a range of salmon and trout. Other wildlife lovers will see mountain goats, Dall sheep, Black and Brown bears, Wolves, Wolverines, Caribou and Moose, Otters, Martens, Mink, Marmots, Ermine, Muskrat, Red Fox, and Lynx.
The area around Kenai was first occupied by the Kachemak people around 1000 B.C. Russian fur traders then started exploring the area in the 1700's. After the Alaskan purchase of 1869, a prospector named Alexander King discovered gold on the Kenai Peninsula. Later, shipping and canning companies were established in this region and in 1957, oil was discovered here.