Best Alaska Fjords and Glaciers – Kenai and Tracy Arm Fjord

by | Sep 18, 2023 | Uncategorized | 0 comments

Alaska Fjords and Glaciers

The Best Fjords In America Are Right Here In Alaska. If you’re looking for some of the most breathtaking scenery in the world, you need to head to Alaska. The state is home to some of the best fjords in the world, and Kenai Fjords National Park is one of the best places to visit. Kenai Fjords Tours offers a variety of tour Activities that will let you see the fjords up close and personal.

Glacier Bay National Park is another great place to see Alaska’s fjords. The park is home to different types of glaciers. you can take boat tours to get up close and appreciate the gorgeous Glacier Scenery. College Fjord is another must-see for anyone interested in Alaska’s fjords. The fjord is home to five different glaciers, and the scenery is simply stunning. So if you’re looking for some of the most beautiful Fjords scenery on Earth, be sure to check out the best fjords in Alaska and When is the best time to visit Alaska. You won’t be disappointed

What Is the Best Time of Year To See Alaska’s Fjords?

The best time of year to see Alaska’s fjords is during the summer months. The weather is generally nicer during this time of year, and the days are longer so you’ll have more time to explore. However, keep in mind that the summer months are also the busiest time of year for tourism in Alaska. So if you’re looking to avoid the crowds, you may want to plan your trip for shoulder season (spring or fall).

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Here are Alaska’s Fjords And Glaciers

Here are the most visited and picturesque fjords in Alaska that should go on your travel bucket list:

Fjords National Park – Alaska

Kenai Fjords National Park is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Alaska. And for good reason – it’s absolutely gorgeous. The park is home to glaciers, whales, and a whole host of other wildlife. visitors can take Kenai Fjords tours or Kenai Fjords cruises to see the sights. There are also plenty of hiking and camping opportunities.

In short, it’s the perfect place to get away from it all and enjoy some of the most incredible scenery on earth. So if you’re looking for an unforgettable vacation, be sure to add Kenai National Park to your list.

Is Kenai Fjords worth visiting?

When you think of the perfect destination for a vacation, where do you normally head? If it’s a place that offers great scenery and wildlife viewing opportunities then Kenai Fjords should be a top priority. This area is home to some incredible natural wonders such as waterfalls tumbling down from impossibly high mountains or glaciers calving off into lagoons filled with ice blue water – all while offering stunning views no matter how far up close one walks!

The best way visitors can experience this landscape isn’t just by hiking along its trails but also by taking advantage when there are tours operating– many of which offer both activities so people who don’t want soaking wet feet won’t have to worry.

There are also Kenai Fjords cruises that go out into the park and give tourists an even better look at its glaciers from a safe distance. So really, there’s no excuse not to visit this place!

Portage Glacier

Portage Glacier resides magnificently on the Kenai Peninsula of the U.S. state of Alaska. Encompassed within the boundaries of the Chugach National Forest, this icy marvel is a sight to behold. Imagine beholding an enormous mass of ice, smoothly gliding down a valley like a slow-moving river, bordered by mountain peaks. It’s a testament to nature’s grandeur and a place that captures the essence of the Alaskan wilderness. Visitors can take boat tours to view the glacier or visit the nearby Begich Boggs Visitor Center to learn more about this extraordinary work of nature. Get ready to be awed by Portage Glacier’s frosted majesty, a must-see addition to your Alaskan adventure.


Kenai Fjords Alaska Glacier Lodge

The Kenai Fjords Glacier Lodge is uniquely situated on the tranquil shores of a protected lagoon, offering its patrons panoramic views of the Pedersen Glacier. The backdrop is an artist’s dream, a magnificent canvas of icy blue hues and alpine beauty. Visitors aren’t merely spectators to this grandeur; they can immerse themselves in it. A significant attraction at the lodge is sea kayaking.

The calm waters of the lagoon provide an ideal setting for both beginners and seasoned kayakers alike to paddle their way through, surrounded by the breathtaking Alaskan wilderness. This spirited excursion presents a brilliant opportunity to observe the local wildlife in their natural habitat. Additionally, the lodge offers a variety of other activities, ensuring that there’s something for everyone.

Where can I see the Fjords in Alaska?

The Kenai Fjords, National Park is truly a sight to behold. Here are 5 ways you can explore and take in all the park has to offer.

  1. Take the ranger-led boat ride out of Seward: This is an amazing way to see the park and learn about the area from a ranger.
  2. Fly out of Seward or Valdez on a day tour: This is a great option if you want to see the fjords but don’t have a lot of time.
  3. Take a longer boat tour from one of the small towns in the park: This is a great option if you want to spend a few days in the park and really explore everything it has to offer.
  4. Hike into one of the many glaciers in the park: This is a great way to really get up close and personal with the glaciers.
  5. Take a floatplane tour out of Anchorage: This is a great way to see the fjords and the glaciers in a short amount of time.

Glacier Bay National Park

Southeast Alaskan Wilderness

Glacier Bay National Park is one of Alaska’s Inside Passage highlights, covering 3.3 million acres of rugged mountains, dynamic glaciers, temperate rainforest, wild coastlines, and deep sheltered fjords. It is also part of a 25-million-acre World Heritage Site—one of the world’s largest international protection areas. There are limitless opportunities for adventure and inspiration waiting to be discovered here at Glacier Bay!

Glacier Bay National Park is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Alaska. And for good reason – it’s absolutely gorgeous. The park is home to glaciers, whales, and a whole host of other wildlife. visitors can take Kenai Fjords tours or Kenai Fjords cruises to see the sights. There are also plenty of hiking and camping opportunities.

In short, it’s the perfect place to get away from it all and enjoy some of the most incredible scenery on earth. So if you’re looking for an unforgettable vacation, be sure to add Glacier Bay National Park to your list.

Tidewater Glaciers and Lake Water Glaciers

Johns Hopkins Glacier is about 1 mile wide and 225-300 feet high at the terminus. It is formed from numerous tributary glaciers, many of which extend 12 or more miles into the surrounding peaks. About 50 medial moraines develop from the joining of these tributary glaciers.

Grand Pacific Glacier is 1.35 miles wide at the terminus. With an ice face ranging from 65-165 feet, and a length over 20 miles long. Grand Pacific Glacier’s flow rate is approximately 0.5-1 foot per day, according to satellite data.

Lamplugh Glacier is 0.9 miles wide, 165 feet high at the face, and over 19 miles long. Its flow rate is approximately 0.75 – 1 foot per day. Noted for the intense blue color of its ice. Lamplugh is fed by the Brady Icefield, which lies east of the Fairweather Range.

Margerie Glacier

Is an icy highlight of any visit to Glacier Bay National Park. And a primary destination for visitors on sailboats, kayaks, tour boats, and cruise ships. It is about 0.85 miles wide, with an ice face that is about 200 feet high above the waterline.

Reid Glacier is about ¾ mile wide, 150 feet high, and over 10 miles long. Like Lamplugh Glacier to the northwest, it originates in the Brady Icefield. The glacier is now fully accessible.

McBride Glacier is about ½ mile wide and 14 miles long. Its ice face is approximately 200 feet high above the waterline and currently extends about 270 feet below it.

Muir Glacier is ½ mile wide, and about 13 miles long. The former major attraction of Glacier Bay, this glacier is no longer tidewater.

Riggs Glacier is about ¾ mile wide at the terminus and about 14 miles long.

Map of tidewater and lakewater glaciers in Glacier Bay NP part of this info wast recapitulated from NPS.GOV

Is Glacier Bay Alaska or Tracy Arm Fjord Better?

Glacier Bay or Tracy Arm? It’s a tough choice, but we think Tracy Arm gives Glacier Bay a run for its money. For one, the fjord is narrower than Glacier Bay, so you’re in for a more intimate experience. The high, craggy rock walls on either side are also a plus – it’s like being in your own personal IMAX theater. And let’s not forget the waterfalls. You’ll be spoiled for choice with all the scenic vistas on offer. Plus, you’re more likely to spot wildlife on land when you’re in Tracy Arm. So if you’re looking for an unforgettable Alaska cruise experience, Tracy Arm fjords is the way to go.

Tracy Arms Fjord

A short 45-mile trek from Juneau and you’ll find yourself in a new world entirely. The magnificent granite walls, roaring waterfalls, towering glaciers, and lofty mountains that highlight the creativity of God’s work are all part of this world. This fjord is also home to active sea life and floating icebergs that provide a spectacle in every direction.

But it isn’t until travelers reach the end of this narrow fjord that they get to witness the best it has to offer. The Sawyer Glaciers. Once every hour, travelers lucky enough to visit watch in awe as the glaciers “calve. Chunks of ice break off of the iceberg and come crashing into the icy waters below.

In some places, the sheer rock walls of this inlet rise nearly a mile above the water. Visitors are treated to the sight of icebergs, harbor seals, and breathtaking mountain views along their journey. During your cruise up Tracy Arm, take a glance at the sky—chances are you’ll see plenty of seaplanes taking in the view above you.

South Sawyer Glacier in Tracy Arm Fjord (photo)

College Fjord Alaska

The College Fjord is a fjord in the northern part of Prince William Sound, Alaska, United States. It contains five tidewater glaciers (ice formed in water), five major valley glaciers, and hundreds of minor glaciers named after famous East Coast colleges (women’s colleges on the NW side and men’s colleges on the SE side).

The Harriman expedition in 1899 led to the discovery of College Fjord, along with the naming of several glaciers. The team was made up of a Harvard and an Amherst professor who named the glaciers after prestigious colleges. Bruce Molina, author of Alaska’s Glaciers says, “They took great delight in ignoring Princeton.”

Misty Fjords National Monument

Even when fog builds up, passengers may still see the steep cliffs and magnificent vistas of the Misty Fjords. Passengers will be able to view a variety of waterfalls splashing over the bluffs as swollen rivers emptying into the fjord as they cruise through sea cliffs that rise up to 3,000 feet out of the ocean.

The Misty Fjords National Monument is located east of Ketchikan and is part of the Tongass National Forest. Tongass is the largest temperate rainforest in the world, providing copious chances for sighting wildlife including brown and black bears, moose, wolves, and wolverines!

Misty Fjords (photo)

Lynn Fjord (Lynn Canal)

The longest fjord in the U.S., which is 97 kilometers long and 610 meters deep, connects Juneau with Skagway. A crucial gold rush route, this waterway allows for scenic cruising with beautiful views of quartz-flecked rocks at its northeastern tip near Skagway.

Haines boasts some of the most beautiful snow-capped mountains in Alaska, including the Takinshas, the Chilkats, the Takshanuks, and the Coast Mountains. Be sure to bundle up and try to be on deck to see them when they’re illuminated by the setting sun for a truly magical experience. Ford

Lynn Canal is a major shipping and cruise route connecting the towns of Skagway and Haines to Juneau and the rest of the inside passage. This fjord was once used by thousands of prospectors during the late 19th-century Gold Rush to reach the Klondike goldfields.

You will not leave with gold, but you will take away memories of the spectacular beauty of this river. Don’t forget to see the several beautiful lighthouses along the route, including Eldred Rock Lighthouse, which is old and octagonal-shaped!

Eldred Rock Lighthouse Preservation Alaska (photo)

Endicott Arm And Dawes Glacier

Although Tracy Arm is the more famous of Alaska’s fjords, Endicott Arm should not be missed. It features stunning granite cliffs, lush valleys, and roaring waterfalls that will take your breath away.

Endicott Arm extends southeast from Stephens Passage, accessible via the same inlet that leads to Sawyer Glacier. It’s at the southern edge of Ford Terror, a protected area named for a naval crewman who got trapped there during a rare tidal surge in the 1800s.

To put it simply, Endicott Arm reaches its termination at the Dawes Glacier—a blue tidewater glacier that’s extremely active and 600 feet tall. A mile wide, this glacier is frequently shedding icebergs into the water below. For some perspective on just how large these glaciers can be: the smaller ones created by Dawes are as massive as a three-story building!

Endicott Arm Fjord (photo)

South Sawyer Glacier in Tracy Fjord – Princess Louisa Inlet on the British Columbia Coast is 6 km in length and lies at the northeast end of Jervis Inlet. It is entered through Malibu Rapids off Queens Reach past Malibu, a former private resort and now youth camp. A portion of the area that makes up Princess Louisa Marine Provincial Park

Matanuska Glacier

Venturing northeast of Anchorage, a scenic car ride along the Glenn Highway will lead you to the grand Matanuska Glacier. Spanning an impressive 27 miles in length and 4 miles in width, this valley glacier stands as the largest glacier in the United States and is accessible by car.

The glacier’s terminus, a gateway to a world of icy grandeur, feeds the Matanuska River, contributing to the hydrological network that outlines the Alaskan landscape. Resting amidst the panoramic Glacier View, the Matanuska Glacier presents an awe-inspiring spectacle of nature’s raw power and beauty, a must-visit destination for any ardent explorer or casual visitor in Alaska.

Matanuska Glacier (photo)

Grand Pacific Glacier

Straddling the boundary between British Columbia and Alaska is the immense Grand Pacific Glacier. Originating in the St. Elias Mountains within the Glacier Bay National Park, just a stone’s throw from Mount Hay, this 25-kilometer-long glacier trends east into the Grand. Earning its title as a ‘Grand’ glacier, it boasts a breadth and beauty that is truly captivating.

This colossal river of ice paints a dramatic landscape that is both intimidating and awe-inspiring. Its darkened exterior, due to the dirt and rocks it collects along its path, masks the pure, vibrant blue ice beneath. Visitors lucky enough to witness this natural marvel on their Alaskan tour will be left with an indelible impression of the raw power and majesty of Mother Nature.

Grand Pacific Glacier (photo)

Conclusion: Which of these fjords are you most excited to visit?

No matter which fjord you choose to explore, you are sure to be left in awe by their immense natural beauty. From the grand glaciers of the Grand Pacific Glacier and Matanuska Glacier to the wildness of Misty Fjords National Monument and Lynn Canal, each one has something unique to offer. So get out there and experience Alaska’s incredible natural wonders for yourself – you won’t regret it!

From the remote and tranquil lands of College Fjord to the rugged beauty of Takinshas Mountain Range in Haines, Alaska is full of fjords begging to be explored. Whether you’re planning a cruise or just looking for breathtaking views, you will find something beautiful and unique at each one.


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