In response to guidance from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and the State of Alaska and in support of federal, state, and local efforts to slow the spread of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19), Kenai Fjords National Park is adapting park operations to limited and strategic locations where visitors typically congregate or frequent in close spaces or high numbers. Kenai Fjords National Park is committed to working with the local community as well as businesses that have a current commercial use authorization permit, to develop safe and socially-distanced tours and guided recreational opportunities for visitors.
As of May 22, Kenai Fjords National Park will offer limited visitor services, primarily those that support visitor or resource protection. The following details park areas and facilities operational status.
- The gate at Exit Glacier is open. Please park in designated parking spots and observe CDC guidance during all aspects of visiting the park, including in the parking area.
- Trails within the Exit Glacier area, including the Harding Icefield Trail are open. Please be advised that this area is frequented by both brown and black bears. Visitors are advised to practice bear safety including carrying bear spray and knowing how to use it, making noise and hiking in a group, while following CDC guidance. Visitors are also advised to be self- reliant—this includes being prepared, carrying what you need and taking everything with you that you brought during your visit.
- Exit Glacier restrooms will be open and available as long as they can be maintained safely. Visitors are advised to bring hand sanitizer in the event that handwashing stations or toilet paper become unavailable. Visitors are reminded to be self-reliant.
The following details park areas and facilities that have modified operations or are closed to public use, effective immediately, until further notice or as detailed below:
- The Kenai Fjords National Park Visitor Center will be utilized to support modified visitor services including Dial-A-Ranger customer service. As feasible, starting on June 4, the park will provide an open-air ranger information station.
- Within the Kenai Fjords National Park Exit Glacier area the park will provide modified visitor services. General information will be available on displays and information boards. Visitors will also find information regarding the Dial-A-Ranger program, which is only available from areas with phone service and is for non-emergency information purposes. Please note, the Exit Glacier area of the park does not support cell phone service.
- As feasible, the Exit Glacier Nature Center will provide an open-air ranger information station beginning June 4.
- Exit Glacier Campground is closed until further notice due to health and safety concerns and the ability for the park to mitigate these concerns.
- The following public use cabins are not accepting reservations at this time: Aialik, Holgate.
Areas and trails that continue to be open include the trails within the Exit Glacier area of the park, which includes viewpoints such as Glacier View and the Glacier Overlook. The Harding Icefield Trail is open. When visiting these areas, following CDC guidance to prevent COVID-19 will be critical and the park asks that visitors maintain social distancing during their recreational visit and avoid crowding trailheads, viewpoints and rest areas. Visitors are reminded to be self-reliant as staffing is limited and to be bear aware. This area is frequented by both brown bears and black bears. Visitors are encouraged to carry bear spray and know how to use it.
The health and safety of our visitors, employees, volunteers, communities and partners is our priority. Visitors come from diverse and distant locations to the small community of Seward and the remote locations in and around Kenai Fjords National Park. These closures and restrictions are strategic and limited in scope to those areas where visitors typically congregate or frequent in close spaces or high numbers. The NPS is working service-wide with federal, state, and local authorities to closely monitor the COVID-19 pandemic and to create ways to provide services safely. We will notify the public when we resume full operations and provide updates on our website https://www.nps.gov/kefj/index.htm and social media channels.
Kenai Fjords National Park spans over 1,000 square miles and much of the park remains accessible to the public where visitors can disperse and adhere to the latest health guidelines.
The NPS encourages people to take advantage of the many digital tools already available to explore Kenai Fjords National Park, including:
- The Kenai Fjords National Park website at https://www.nps.gov/kefj/index.htm.
- The on-line Kenai Fjords National Park Junior Ranger booklet is available at https://www.nps.gov/kefj/learn/kidsyouth/upload/KEFJ-Junior-Ranger-Booklet-reduced-508.pdf and Junior Ranger badges for completed booklets can be requested via mail.
- Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/KenaiFjordsNPS/
Visitors can also call (907) 422-0500, Monday through Friday between the hours of 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. to obtain information about the park.
Updates regarding NPS operations will be posted on www.nps.gov/coronavirus. Please check with individual parks for specific details about park operations.