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Kenai Peninsula: Map

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Kenai Peninsula Outer Coast


Kenai River


Kenai Peninsula Bear Glacier Lake and Pacific Ocean


The Kenai River & Mountains, August 2003.


The Kenai Peninsula is a large peninsula jutting from the southern coast of Alaskamarker in the United Statesmarker. The name Kenai is possibly derived from Kenayskaya, the Russian name for Cook Inletmarker, which borders the peninsula to the west.

Lakes and mountains on the Kenai Peninsula

Geography

The peninsula extends approximately 150 miles (240 km) southwest from the Chugach Mountains, south of Anchoragemarker. It is separated from the mainland on the west by Cook Inletmarker and on the east by Prince William Soundmarker. Most of the peninsula is part of the Kenai Peninsula Boroughmarker. Gerasim Izmailov was the first to explore and map the peninsula in 1789.

The glacier-covered Kenai Mountainsmarker (7,000 ft/2,130 m) run along the southeast spine of the peninsula along the coast of the Gulf of Alaskamarker. Much of the range is within Kenai Fjords National Parkmarker. The northwest coast along the Cook Inlet is flatter and marshy, dotted with numerous small lakes. Several larger lakes extend through the interior of the peninsula, including Skilak Lakemarker and Tustumena Lakemarker. Rivers include the Kenai Rivermarker, famous for its salmon population, as well as the Russian Rivermarker, the Kasilof Rivermarker, and the Anchor Rivermarker. Kachemak Baymarker, a small inlet off the larger Cook Inletmarker, extends into the peninsula's southwest end, much of which is part of Kachemak Bay State Parkmarker

The Kenai Peninsula has many glaciers in its eastern and southern areas. It is home to both the Sargent Icefieldmarker and Harding Icefieldsmarker and numerous glaciers that spawn off them.

Towns and cities

The peninsula includes several of the most populous towns in southern Alaska, including Sewardmarker on the Gulf of Alaska Coast, Soldotnamarker and Kenaimarker along the Cook Inlet, and Homermarker, along Kachemak Bay in the south. Across Kachemak Bay from Homer, on the more mountainous and remote end of the peninsula are the villages of Seldoviamarker, Nanwalekmarker, and Port Grahammarker.

Transportation

Homer famously marks the terminus of the paved highway system of North America and is a popular destination for travelers who have driven to Alaska from the lower 48 states. Seward is the southern terminus of the Alaska Railroad.

Climate

The peninsula has a coastal climate that is relatively mild, with abundant rainfall. It is one of the few areas in Alaska that allows for agriculture, with a growing season adequate for producing hay and several other crops.

Natural resources and economy

The peninsula also has natural gas, petroleum, and coal deposits, as well as abundant commercial and personal-use fisheries. Tourism is a major industry, along with outfitting and guiding services for hunters and fishers.









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