Alaska Bear Viewing Tours departing from Anchorage, Brown bear viewing trips from 1 to 7 days to Katmai Brooks Falls, Lake Clark, Savonoski Loop, and Bear Viewing and Giant Icebergs. Outdoor Photography Alaska Brown Bears, Grizzly Bears and Black Bears in Alaska.

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Seward Sea Kayaking tours Alaska tour packagesWeb Special Alaska toursNational Geographic Adventure TravelAlaska Certified travel expert ATIA Seward Sea Kayaking tours
Alaska Cruises Seward, Alaska (SOO-word)
Gateway to Kenai Fjords National Park

Recommended Activities and Tours  •  Lodging  •  Recommend Reading

Current Population: 2,693 (2010)
Borough Located In: Kenai Peninsula Borough
Taxes: 4% Sales, 3% Borough, Bed 4%

Location and Climate
Seward is situated on Resurrection Bay on the east coast of the Kenai Peninsula, 125 highway miles south of Anchorage. It lies at the foot of Mount Marathon, and is the gateway to the Kenai Fjords National Park. Bear Creek and Lowell Point are adjacent to Seward. The community lies at approximately 60.104170° North Latitude and -149.442220° West Longitude (Sec. 10, T001S, R001W, Seward Meridian). Seward is located in the Seward Recording District. The area encompasses 14.4 sq. miles of land and 7.1 sq. miles of water.

Seward experiences a maritime climate. Winter temperatures average from 17 to 38; summer temperatures average 49 to 63. Annual precipitation includes 66 inches of rain and 80 inches of snowfall

History, Culture and Demographics
Resurrection Bay was named in 1792 by Russian fur trader and explorer Alexander Baranof. While sailing from Kodiak to Yakutat, he found unexpected shelter in this bay for a storm. He named the Bay Resurrection because it was the Russian Sunday of the Resurrection. Seward was named for U.S. Secretary of State William Seward, 1861-1869, who negotiated the purchase of Alaska from Russia in 1867. In the 1890s, Capt. Frank Lowell arrived with his family. In 1903, John and Frank Ballaine and a group of settlers arrived to begin construction of a railroad. Seward became an incorporated City in 1912. The Alaska Railroad was constructed between 1915 and 1923, and Seward developed as the ocean terminus and supply center. By 1960, Seward was the largest community on the Peninsula. Tsunamis generated after the 1964 earthquake destroyed the railroad terminal and killed several residents. As an ice-free harbor, Seward has become an important supply center for Interior Alaska.

Seward is primarily a non-Native community, although the Qutekcak Tribe is very active within the community. Seward's annual Fourth of July celebration and its grueling Mount Marathon race attracts participants and visitors worldwide. Other annual events include the Seward Silver Salmon Derby in August and the Polar Bear Jump-Off Festival in January.

According to Census 2010, there were 1,124 housing units in the community and 928 were occupied. Its population was 16.8 percent American Indian or Alaska Native; 68.5 percent white; 3.1 percent black; 2.4 percent Asian; 0.6 percent Pacific Islander; 8.1 percent of the local residents had multi-racial backgrounds. Additionally, 3.6 percent of the population was of Hispanic decent.

Economy and Transportation
As the southern terminus for the Alaska Railroad and road link to Anchorage and the Interior, Seward has long been a transportation center. The economy has diversified with tourism, commercial fishing and processing, ship services and repairs, oil and gas development, an Alaska Railroad Corp. export facility for Usibelli coal, Alaska Vocational Technical Center (AVTEC), a State Prison, and the University of Alaska's Institute of Marine Sciences. The Alaska SeaLife Center, the the Kenai Fjords National Park, and the Mt. Marathon Race and Fourth of July festivities attract visitors. Over 320,000 cruise ship passengers visit Seward annually. 80 residents hold commercial fishing permits.

Seward is connected to the Alaska Highway system by the Seward Highway. Bus and commercial trucking services to and from Anchorage are available daily. Air services and charters are available at the state-owned airport. Two paved runways are utilized; one is 4,240' long by 100' wide, and the other is 2,279' long by 75' wide. The port serves cruise ships, cargo barges, and ocean freighters from Seattle and overseas. The small boat harbor has moorage for 650 boats and 2 boat launch ramps. It is a major transit site for the Alaska Railroad. Seasonal passenger transportation is available by rail.

Seward Visitor Information and Recommend Activities


Seward Lodging, Hotels and Bed & Breakfast


Recommend Reading


Alaska Travel hotline

Backcountry Safaris
P.O. Box 1397 Seward, Alaska USA 99664
1-907-205-5900 • Fax 1-907-205-5902
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Sea Kayaking Related Links
Kenai Fjords Related Links
Kenai Fjords Wildlife
Kenai Fjords Birds
Suggested Alaska Reading
Kenai Fjords Historic Resource Study (online book) by Linda Cook and Frank Norris
Exploring Alaska's Kenai Fjords by David Miller
Kenai Fjords Park - Trails Illustrated Map
Alaska: A Novel by James A. Michener
Alaska: A History of the 49th State by Claus-M Naske and Herman E. Slotnick
Guide to the Birds of Alaska by Robert H. Armstrong
Wild Flowers of the Yukon, Alaska by John G. S. Trelawny
Coming into the Country by John McPhee
Travels in Alaska by John Muir
Kenai Fjords Weather
Current Seward, AK Weather
Click for Seward, Alaska Forecast

Did You Know?
City Of Anchorage. In 1915 President Woodrow Wilson authorized funds for the construction of the Alaska Railroad. Ship Creek Landing was selected as the headquarters of this effort. A Tent City sprang up in the wilderness at the mouth of Ship Creek, and soon swelled to a population of over 2,000. On July 9, 1915, the Anchorage townsite auction was held, and over 600 lots were sold. Although the area had been known by various names, in this same year the U.S. Post Office Department formalized the use of the name Anchorage, and despite some protests the name stuck.
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