Locations in Kenai Peninsula
Whittier | Kenai Peninsula
Whittier, the gateway to beautiful Prince William Sound, is only 63 miles from Anchorage. It is accessible by car, bus or via the Alaska Railroad. Surrounded by three magnificent glaciers Whittier is an ice-free port. In November 1941, a port and railroad terminus project was undertaken by the U.S. Army for transport of fuel and other supplies into Alaska. On November 20, 1942, the “holing through” ceremonies were held on the Whittier-cutoff and the first train was run through the tunnels on March 10, 1943. The Portage tunnel is 0.9 miles long and Whittier tunnel is 2.5 miles.
Change came in 2000 when, for the first time ever, residents were able to reach Whittier by road. The State of Alaska transformed the existing railroad tunnel into a one-lane, combination highway and railway tunnel, which allows cars and trains to take turns passing through. This effort is the longest combined rail and highway tunnel in North America.
Whittier is the site of many outdoor activities which include fishing, kayaking, scuba diving, boating, and photography. Visitors can hike the Portage Pass Trail, go fishing on one of several area charter operations or explore Prince William Sound with some of the best Glacier Tour operators in the State.