Destination List > Kenai Fjords National Park
Kenai Fjords National Park
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Kenai Fjords National Park maintains the Harding Icefield, its outflowing glaciers, and coastal fjords and islands. The park covers an area of 669,984 acres on the Kenai Peninsula in south-central Alaska, west of the town of Seward.
The park contains the Harding Icefield, one of the largest ice fields in the United States, and is named for the numerous fjords carved by glaciers moving down the mountains from the ice field. The field is the source of at least 38 glaciers, the largest of which is Bear Glacier. The fjords are glacial valleys that have been submerged below sea level by a combination of rising sea levels and land subsidence. Exit Glacier is a popular destination at the end of the park's only road. The remainder of the park is accessible by boat, airplane, and hiking.
Kenai Fjords National Monument was initially designated by President Jimmy Carter on December 1, 1978, using the Antiquities Act. Establishment as a national park followed the passage of the Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act in 1980. The park protects the icefield, a narrow fringe of forested land between the mountains and the sea, and the deeply indented coastline. The park is inhabited by a variety of mammals, including brown and black bears, moose, sea otters, harbor seals, humpback and killer whales.