The Kenai Peninsula: Seward

A humpback whale just after breaching

“Seward is a port city in southern Alaska, set on an inlet on the Kenai Peninsula. It’s a gateway to Kenai Fjords National Park, where glaciers flow from the Harding Icefield into coastal fjords. Surrounded by peaks, the fjords are a whale and porpoise habitat. The city’s Alaska SeaLife Center has seals and puffins, and fishing boats fill Seward Harbor.”

“Founded in 1903 as the ocean terminus of what is now the Alaska Railroad, Seward prides itself, not only on its natural beauty, but as Alaska’s only deep-water, ice-free port with rail, highway and air transportation to Alaska’s interior and major urban population centers. This strategically positions Seward for Pacific Rim maritime commerce. The town offers day cruises, kayaking, fishing, abundant marine activities and wildlife, unparalleled recreation and is the terminus for the Alaska Railroad.”

“Seward Waterfront Park extends from the small boat harbor to the SeaLife Center and contains paid tent and RV camping, playgrounds, a skate park, picnicing areas, beach access, and a trail lined with historical landmarks. The trail starts out of town at Mile 5 and continues through the small boat harbor, along the shoreline near all the RV and tent campgrounds, and ends at the SeaLife Center.”

We found campsites on the water, and within an hour we had spotted sea otters, humpback whales, Steller sea lions, harbor seals, a bald eagle and continued to spot more all during our stay.

The view from our campsite
Not too private, but great views and location in the middle of town
A Sea Otter having a snack
Steller Sea Lions playing in front of our campsite
A native woman catching King Salmon at the Resurrection River in Seward
A happy client after taking her family on a charter fishing excursion
Halibut being cleaned on the small boat harbor fish cleaning station
King and Sockeye Salmon being cleaned
Salmon carcasses will be collected and returned to the Resurrection River for marine animals to eat
A commercial fishing boat going out at night
Downtown Seward

After a number attempts at ordering halibut in restaurants, (none satisfactory) and after seeking a number of local recommendations, we ate at “The Cookery” in Seward. The food and service were both excellent.

Dinner at “The Cookery” Seward
Pan fried, never frozen halibut, so tender
Grilled sockeye salmon on cedar

Kenai Fjords National Park

Four musketeers and Exit Glacier
Sally decides it’s too cold to bathe in the glacier melt

“At the edge of the Kenai Peninsula lies a land where the ice age lingers. Nearly 40 glaciers flow from the Harding Icefield, Kenai Fjords’ crowning feature. Wildlife thrives in icy waters and lush forests around this vast expanse of ice. Sugpiaq people relied on these resources to nurture a life entwined with the sea. Today, shrinking glaciers bear witness to the effects of our changing climate.”

Climate Change in Kenai Fjords National

“Kenai Fjords National Park lies along the Kenai Peninsula coast in southcentral Alaska, just southwest of Prince William Sound. The park landscape is a dramatic juxtaposition of land and water, shaped by the advance and retreat of glaciers. The park is capped by the largest icefield entirely contained within the United States, Harding Icefield, a 300 square mile expanse covering a mountain range under ice several thousand feet thick.Exit Glacier is one of 38 glaciers that flow out from the Harding Icefield.

During the early nineteenth century, the glacier almost reached the Resurrection River, approximately 1.25 miles (2 km) below its present location. In the last 200 years, the glacier retreated exposing the valley below. The exposed valley is a natural laboratory where we can see the processes of life reclaiming a barren landscape: moss, lichen and fireweed colonize the bare rock; followed by grasses, shrubs, alders, and cottonwood; and finally, a spruce-hemlock forest grows where 200 years ago only ice and rock existed. Exit Glacier is accessible by road and thousands of park visitors have an opportunity to experience the glacier firsthand.”

Partying on the beach
After midnight, never gets dark, don’t see stars

Next Post; Homer Alaska

Author: David Willett

Worked at Agilent Technologies and Hewlett-Packard, attended University of Washington and Michigan State University, lived in the Netherlands, the Peoples Republic of China and the United States, visited 36 countries and 49 U.S. states, living in Fort Collins, CO, USA

5 thoughts on “The Kenai Peninsula: Seward”

  1. I’m salivating over the halibut and salmon. It’s good to see a place still living by its traditions. You all look beautiful there! A Fort Collins friend’s daughter is a school teacher in Homer. He loves going to see her and his grandsons n that lovely spot. Do you yet have a pie recommendation for Homer?

  2. This post made me very hungry! Your mix of fabulous photos, info and history is fantastic. Climate change is really in your face there. Sad.

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