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Kenai Fjords National Park

     Kenai Fjords National Park derived its name from the long, steep-sided, glacier-carved valleys - once filled with glacier ice - that are now deepwater, mountain-flanked fjords filled with ocean waters. The park is a pristine, yet rigorous place where many of the earth’s most powerful natural forces have worked to create and continually evolve this truly magnificent national treasure. The park boasts an icefield wilderness, waterfalls, canyons, glaciers that sweep down narrow mountain valleys, and a coastline along which thousands of seabirds and marine mammals raise their young each year.

     One of the most dominant features in the park is the Harding Icefield, which today measures approximately 35 miles long and 20 miles wide. The Icefield is nearly flat - except for the occasional mountain peak rising from its surface. It is the source of over 30 named glaciers which, together with the icefield, cover over 700 square miles. The Harding Icefield is one of only four remaining icefields in the United States and receives a minimum of 400 inches of snow each year.

     The park's wildlife is equally as awe-inspiring as its landscape. Mountain goats, moose, bears, wolverines and marmots all make their home on the precious habitat which exists between sea and ice. Steller sea lions can be seen relaxing on rocky islands at the entrances to Aialik and Nuka Bays. In fact, the only Steller sea lion rookery that can be legally and easily approached is found here. Dall porpoises, sea otters, and gray, humpback, killer, and minke whales all revel in the rich waters of the park. Beneath the surface, numerous species of fish also abound including, halibut, lingcod, and salmon. Gazing upward, thousands of birds, including horned and tufted puffins, murres and gulls, can be seen as they seasonally inhabit the steep cliffs and rocky shores of the majestic coastline. Bald eagles also can be found surveying the bustle of activity taking place beneath their treetop nests.

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