Kenai Fjords National Park is seriously stunning.

By Stacey Leasca
May 04, 2020
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By now, you’ve likely virtually explored a museum or two. You maybe even already took a virtual cooking, art, or gardening class. Now, it’s time to check one more virtual event off your to-do list: A trip to one of America’s greatest national parks.

The National Parks System teamed up with Google Earth to bring some of the greatest parks online for everyone to explore no matter where they are. Though all the virtual park tours are great, the tour of Kenai Fjords National Park in Alaska may be the coolest. (It’s most definitely the coldest.)

Jaime Espinosa de los Monteros / Travel + Leisure

“One thousand miles north of the continental United States is a land where the ice age still lingers,” the voiceover for the tour says before introducing park ranger Fiona North.

“This place is wild in the truest sense of the word,” North explains in her introduction to the park. “It’s inaccessible in the winter and there are only a few trails in the entire park. But the ruggedness isn’t intimidating, it’s inviting.”

North goes on to note her love for the park saying, “the connections here are so obvious between the mountains and the ocean, the glaciers, and the animals. Everything just works the way nature intended. What excites me so much about the Kenai Fjords is seeing things I’ve never seen before,” the New York City native explained. “Once I saw what it was like I didn’t want to leave.”

James + Courtney Forte / Getty Images

On the tour, North takes virtual visitors to see a glacier first hand to look down a deep crevasse. But, it doesn’t stop there. North then takes visitors about 30 feet below the surface and explains how the ice is actually moving and “alive” inside.

Next, North heads out to see a glacier melt, bringing viewers along for the ride, and showing the world how the glacier is quickly melting at 150 feet per year.

The journey continues as North takes virtual visitors on a kayak ride into an absolutely drop-dead gorgeous blue lagoon. But, don’t let the tropical color fool you — that water is literally ice cold.

“Take a kayak journey of your own,” she says. “Witness a humpback whale soar out of the water. Watch a glacier caving huge chunks of ice into the sea.”

There is so much more to this tour than meets the eye, but we won’t spoil it for you here. Head over to the park’s tour page now and discover everything it has to offer for yourself now.