Located three hours from Anchorage near Seward, the Kenai Fjords National Park is famous for its tidewater glaciers that calve into the water and its pristine beauty. One of the most visited spots is Exit Glacier, which has been rapidly retreating, and is part of the expansive Harding Icefield which can receive over nine meters of snow each year. To get there, take a boat tour—only a small portion of the park is accessible from land. You can expect opportunities to spot mountain goats, sea lions, puffins, otters, porpoises and humpback and orca whales.
Nearly 40 glaciers flow from lofty peaks down to the sea here, blanketing half the park in ice. But the rugged terrain isn’t the only draw. Orca whales and sea otters often cavort alongside the dayboats (far and away the best way to explore Kenai Fjords). Birders should remain alert for the area’s 191 species, including bald eagles and marbled murrelets, which only come ashore to nest on the mossy branches of old-growth spruce forests.