This past summer, I had the opportunity to travel with my family to Alaska for the first time. Truthfully, I had never thought that I would be able to go to Alaska. I just always thought about how far away it is and how I was sure I would not get the chance to go there. Fortunately, I was able to go there for two weeks at the beginning of June this past summer.
We went to a total of three different National Parks and each one had their own breathtaking moments. We went to Denali National Park, Wrangell St. Elias National Park, and my personal favorite, Kenai Fjords National Park.
Kenai Fjords is based on the northern coast of the Gulf of Alaska. It surrounds the city of Seward, Alaska. Seward is a maritime-based town which means that the lives of the people basically depends on the Gulf. It is their main source of food and employment.
I think this maritime feeling was the main reason I loved this National Park and the surrounding area. Now don’t get me wrong, I love the ocean just like any other person, but I would much prefer a small fishing or sailing town. The simplicity and quaintness of towns like these just make me feel at home in some way. It is an awesome feeling to be able to wake up every morning and look out onto a beautiful body of water with towering mountains surrounding it. It was one of the most incredible things to me.
Now let’s talk about the actual adventuring part of this park. We were only there for a few days and nights, so we definitely did not get to experience everything. However, what we did experience was incredible. My favorite thing that we did was definitely the 6-hour boat tour. It was a tour of the fjord, including some of the glaciers, the different islands, and all the wildlife that we came across.
As we came across the glacier, it was massive. It was crazy to be in front of something that large, while knowing that it is moving a few inches a day. We were still on the boat, maybe 100-150 yards from the glacier, and we could all hear the cracking of the ice within the glacier. It sounded like such a powerful force of nature; it was almost eerie. There would also be chunks of ice that would fall from the outer edge of the glacier into the water. The crazy part was that the sound would be delayed a few seconds from when it actually fell, so it was hard to see the process of the ice falling.
On the wildlife front, we saw almost every marine animal imaginable. We saw several dolphins, a few orcas or killer whales, a few sea lions, about 50 seals, many puffins, many seagulls, and finally, a couple different humpback whales. I certainly did not think I would see any kind of whales on this tour because it is usually pretty difficult to see them. However, it was a cloudy and somewhat cold day, so this tempted them to come to the surface of the water more. We also saw many other animals that we had seen at other parks, including bears, moose, foxes, and even bald eagles who built their nest right outside of our house!
This was our most low-key park that we visited because we just wanted to enjoy the pure beauty of it. Our house that we stayed in was right along the water, so we did not really have to go very far to experience what it had to offer. This is exactly why Kenai Fjords is my favorite National Park. It was fairly small, but still had so much to offer, simply by walking across the road to the rocky beach and looking out at the water and the mountains. If I ever get the chance to go back to Alaska, I will most definitely be going to Kenai Fjords National Park again.