Wildlife of Kenai Peninsula

Kenai Peninsula, Alaska, Moose

Kenai Peninsula, Alaska, Moose

Amid the craggy mountains and massive icefields of Alaska rests the Kenai Peninsula extending approximately 150 miles (240 km) into the Gulf of Alaska.

 

Surrounded by frigid waters teeming with sea life and the towering masses of the Kenai Mountains, the Peninsula is host to a plethora of wildlife.

 

Kenai Peninsula, Alaska

Kenai Peninsula, Alaska

We first arrived on the Peninsula via the Seward Highway, a scenic highway traversing south from Anchorage to Seward.

 

The western side, protected by Cook Inlet, is marshy habitat, lakes, and rivers.  Here we saw moose wading in sparkling waters, grazing on marsh grass.  Chickadees danced in the foliage among numerous red berries and wildflowers.

 

Kenai, Humpback Whale

Kenai, Humpback Whale

The Peninsula’s eastern side is dominated by glaciers that originate from the Sargent and Harding Icefields.

 

The Harding Icefield, the largest icefield in the U.S., spawns 40 glaciers and receives up to 400 inches of snow a year.  Info here.

 

Kenai Fjords National Park is also on the eastern side, with a 700,000 acre expanse.  Formed by the movement of glaciers, slightly over half of the park is covered by ice.  The rest is loaded with wildlife.

 

Bald Eagle, Seward

Bald Eagle, Seward. This photo was snapped at 7:30pm, see how bright out it still is?

More about Kenai Fjords NP here.

 

Land mammals here include wolves, bears, moose; marine mammals include humpback whales and orcas, sea otters, sea lions, porpoises and dolphins; birds include puffins, murres, and bald eagles.

 

Otter

Kenai Peninsula, Otter

Visitors to this area enjoy kayaking, hiking, boating, fishing, and wildlife viewing to name just a few activities.  And in a land so far north, the days remain light until midnight–that leaves a lot of daylight for adventuring.

 

In Seward, one of the larger cities on the Peninsula, we enjoyed a day trip boat cruise where we saw glaciers and many species of mammals and birds.

 

Puffins

Kenai Peninsula, Puffins

Even though it was August, we were in an arctic world, so the closer we got to the glacier, the colder it became.  Then the excitement began when we heard the thunder of the glacier calving, or breaking off.  Huge chunks of ice dramatically tumbled into the deep blue waters.

 

Kenai Peninsula, Alaska. Courtesy Wikipedia.

Majestic mountains and wildlife at every turn, in a world where the sun never sets — it’s incredible.

 

Photo credit:  Athena Alexander

 

Stellar Sea Lions

Kenai Peninsula, Stellar Sea Lions

 

Advertisements

74 thoughts on “Wildlife of Kenai Peninsula

  1. What a wonderful wilderness! So much to take in, and such a rich ecosystem, what an adventure for you both. Particularly loved the sea otter, they are so entertaining, even if that isn’t their intent.
    Thanks, Jet – this was another beautiful post!

    • A pleasure it is to share the beauties of Alaska with you, pc. I found it fun that your post today was lively with gorgeous photos of Canadian wildlife. Thank you for your kind comment.

  2. Jet I can’t believe how fortunate or skilled you and Athena are to capture these wildlife photos! Who gets a photo of a moose?! I am definitely clapping for that one. What an experience to see all of this amazing animals. As often happens when I visit your blog my wanderlust meter begins to rise. Really I will have to live to 175 at this rate ( an increase from my previous 150 year estimation).

    • I have the same wanderlust meter risings when I visit your posts, Sue! Thanks so much for your enthusiastic comments and yes, we will both have to live to be 175. My best wishes to you and Dave for a delightful weekend~~

  3. what a delightful read, Jet! thank you for sharing your awesome wildlife experiences! most especial is Athena’s photography, all beautifully captured! thank you both 🙂

  4. …loaded with wildlife, and see wildflowers, river, water, whales,… heavenly. Thank you so much, Jet for sharing the joyfulness with us! Great photos. 🙂
    We visited Seward some years ago, I wish I had a DSLR camera then…

    • I’m delighted you enjoyed the Alaskan adventure, Amy, and am so glad you have had the pleasure of seeing the beauties of Alaska for yourself. A big smile lights my face….

  5. We loved Kenai Peninsula! I really enjoyed seeing photos from this beautiful location, thanks for taking me right back there Jet. Funny enough, I heard there as supposed to be a lot of moose on Kenai before we got there so was really looking forward to getting some lovely moose photos, but I don’t think we saw a single one!

    • It was not easy capturing the moose, but we were so excited to see them, and never saw them again after that. I have been inspired by your enthusiasm and joy, as well as wonderful posts, about the Kenai Peninsula, Inger; so I am delighted to have shared some of our fun with you. Many thanks. Your hikes are always an inspiration.

  6. Oh what a wonderful experience. I have not visited Alaska…but would love to do so and Konai Fjords National Park sounds positively amazing. It’s so good to know that there are still parts of this world where the wildlife is so abundant. Thank you, Jet for yet another superb post. Have a wonderful weekend…janet:)

    • We visited two national parks in Alaska on that visit, Kenai Fjords and Denali, and both were a total delight. If you ever have the chance to visit Alaska, Janet, you will not be disappointed with either of these parks. Thanks so much for your comment, my friend, and I hope you are enjoying a pleasant weekend.

  7. It’s difficult to capture the magnificence and beauty of that area, but you and Athena did a great job of it.

  8. Nice to see a place where nature is so pristine. Or at least looks so pristine. Love the picture of the otter on his back (it was a sea otter wasn’t it?)

  9. Love reading about Alaska, the rugged terrain and wildlife – some aspects remind me so much of Maine. But AK seems more majestic. Wonderful post Jet.

    • Hi Mary! Yes, Alaska is so incredibly majestic. While I have not been to Maine (would love to visit), it sounds very beautiful there too. And Maine has puffins too. A delight to connect with you, I’m headed toward your blog now, to see what beautiful art you’ve been creating….

    • Thanks so much, CI, for stopping by and leaving this lovely message. The otters are endlessly entertaining, and the bald eagles were really great to watch at Seward. They perched in the masts of many different boats in the marina, keeping their eye on the fish, hunting. I hope you are enjoying the weekend~~

  10. I sooooo want to visit Alaska. I have never been to either Maine nor Alaska, but have been to all other states. Your photos are marvelous. Love the whale, of course, I want to take that photo some day!!! Who doesn’t. And the moose! I actually thought about going to Alaska this summer…but didn’t want to travel with cold weather gear.

    • I have the feeling you will be visiting Alaska soon, badfish, having visited almost all the other states. It is not easy planning a visit to Alaska, so give yourself about half a year. not kidding. There are only 3 habitable months to visit (Jun, Jul, Aug), so everything gets booked quickly; and it is super expensive to do anything there, so creativity is the key. It’s worth it, and great fun, and you’ll enjoy it…I am certain. Thanks so much for your visit here.

  11. Your short travelog on adventures to Kenai Peninsula has introduced me to the some of the lovely sites to see in Alaska. My husband and I are near neighbors to the amazing state…so close…but I’ve never traveled there. My husband has been there several times during his younger years. What lovely photos drawing me to visit Alaska. Thanks for sharing.

    • Your proximity to Alaska is a great thing, SWI, and I hope you and your husband will visit sometime. Considering where you live, you might want to start with a coastal visit to southern Alaska, near Juneau and Sitka. Or not. Depends on your fancy. Most importantly, I am delighted to have given you this snapshot of some of the beauties in Alaska. As always, I appreciate your visit and comments.

  12. What a unique and majestic place! I have not yet visited Alaska, but would love to. Thank you for sharing your journey and wildlife experience, Jet, and Athena for the beautiful shots!

  13. What beautiful country and wildlife….I have heard so much about that area of Alaska…thank you very much for sharing it…Athena’s pictures make me feel like I was there….incredible!!

  14. We have been thinking about heading up to Alaska, perhaps doing some ferry hopping out of Washington. In the meantime, I’ve been spending way too much time watching the bearcam at Katmai National Park. Their fishing skills are much to be admired. http://explore.org/live-cams/player/brown-bear-salmon-cam-brooks-falls Now you’ve added Athena’s great photos and your excellent description. Something tells me we are just going to have to get to working on that trip north. I’m thinking I may have to make it past 175 to get to all the places I’d like to go (and that’s excluding anyplace that requires flying!) 😉

    • Wow, Gunta, that’s a fantastic bearcam, thanks for the link. I love how the salmon are literally flipping in the foreground, and that huge bear in the middle of the stream snapping his chops, thinking about the next delicacy. Thanks for sharing Katmai, and I hope you and your husband do get up to Alaska. I recommend Denali for someone like you who’s a hardcore outdoors person.

      • Thanks for the recommendation, but I’m not so sure about the ‘hardcore’ bit. I’m getting to an age where I’m not as fond of roughing it as I once was. 😉
        Glad you enjoyed the Katmai bearcam. I’m finding it terribly addicting.

      • I do not know the particulars. I have heard it is best to visit Katmai with a group, in order to be allowed entry, and that this is via lottery. That may just be at populated times of the year, or in certain areas of Katmai, I don’t know. There are loads of people who go to Katmai and authorities have to make numerous limitations to respect the bears’ needs, and safety. If you or I ever go, Gunta, we’ll have to look up the details…but I don’t see that happening for me anyway, I’m happy with the bearcam. ha.

  15. Pingback: Wildlife of Kenai Peninsula by — Jet Eliot – Bill's Travel Blog

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s