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While doing the entire hike of 8.2-miles up to the icefield is sure to be unforgettable, even a shorter hike affords amazing views of the valley below and Exit Glacier’s terminus. Harding Icefield Trail Hike This trek climbs 3000 feet alongside Exit Glacier as it passes through several climatic zones. Kenai Fjords National Park was created to protect the unique landscape of the Harding Icefield: a 700 square mile reservoir of ice high in the mountains of the Kenai Peninsula. Harding Icefield Trail at about 1 mile of the hike and 1000 ft elevation gain Above the treeline, thick wildflowers start to appear, and the combination of alpine glaciated peaks, the forest below, glaciers, river flowing across the valley floor and wildlflowers made it feel like almost hiking in heaven. Difficulty: Moderate to strenuous, with around 3000 feet of elevation gain. … A trip for fit and adventurous hikers, this tour begins with a steep hike that gets you off-the-beaten-path and away from the hoards of … A pair of hikers stand near the end of the trail overlooking a sea of ice and snow. After passing the emergency shelter, you can climb up a little more, and then after that, it just goes down and down toward the ice. Being able to hike down more slowly will also help you to avoid killing your ankles like we did. correct. Necessary skills include route-finding, steep snow climbing and descending, self-arrest, and avalanche terrain recognition and rescue. Take this trail to visit the overlook to the father of over 30 beautiful glaciers in Kenai Mountains – Harding Icefield. The trail ends overlooking the massive 700 square mile Harding Icefield, which is a leftover of the last major Ice Age. Many of these challenges exist during the shoulder seasons (Oct, Nov, May, Jun) as well, when the trail will be covered in varying amounts of snow. Harding Icefield Trail Details: We started out with the kids and hiked the short trail up to the Glacier lookout. At the end of the hike I recommend following the karins all the way down to the glacier, just be careful when you get onto the ice! This is a challenging hike! A trip for fit and adventurous hikers, this tour begins with a steep hike that gets you off-the-beaten-path and away from the hoards of … The catabatic winds are chilly. Explore the trails with Seward Wilderness Collective or Exit Glacier Guides. The icefield may be a remnant of the Pleistocene ice masses once covering half of Alaska. When planning a trip in these conditions, we recommend that visitors have mountaineering skills, equipment, and experience to travel safely in this terrain. Bring lots of snacks like energy bars and trail mix and a small Ziploc bag to pack out garbage. Get yourself in shape before going so you can make it if that's what it takes. Explore the trails with Seward Wilderness Collective or Exit Glacier Guides. Hike the Harding Icefield Trail in Kenai Fjords National Park Few scenes in the world compare to the view across the frozen expanse of the 700-square-mile Harding Icefield. Hiking on glaciers can be intimidating, but by booking a guided tour you can explore the Exit Glacier with the security of a guide to lead the way. Pass through forested pathways and lush meadows as you ascend to a breathtaking view of the Harding Icefield. The trail’s summit offers guests a glimpse into past ice ages – the view of snow and ice stretching as … 1. We really want to hike to the top of the Harding Icefield. Just up the road from Seward Windsong Lodge is the jewel of the Resurrection River Valley; Exit Glacier. The views are unbelievable. Be prepared for storms, high winds, intense sunlight, and sudden temperature changes. Duration: 8 hours Harding Icefield Trail Hike This trek climbs 3000 feet alongside Exit Glacier as it passes through several climatic zones. The 8.2-mile round trip Harding Icefield Trail is a spectacular day hike. 8.4 Miles. That is not true. Guests are in for a remarkable day hike on an 8.2 mile loop along the Harding Icefield Trail. It is also partially located in Kenai Fjords National Park. The top of the trail is a window to past ice ages - a horizon of ice and snow that stretches as far as the eye can see, broken only by an occasional nunatak, or lonely peak. Throughout the entire hike you have splendid views of … Volunteers help restore and maintain this trail every year. Go early so you can take your time hiking back down. Sorry, there are no tours or activities available to book online for the date(s) you selected. I highly recommend starting no later than 10am. They lie. Exit Glacier – choice of trails up to 1 mile long; … Views from the Harding Icefield trail. Winding through the valley floor, the trail passes through a forest of alder and cottonwood, over meadows abundant in heather with a climactic ascent above the tree line to a stunning vista of the Harding Icefield. Things happen. Hike the Harding Icefield Trail. Some reviews state there is no true top of the hike and that you should stop at the emergency shelter. 7. The Harding Icefield hike in Alaska easily makes our top 3 list of most memorable and wow-factor hikes. The Harding Icefield trailhead is on the right side of the path. Guests are in for a remarkable day hike on an 8.2 mile loop along the Harding Icefield Trail. Harding Ice Field Trail is a 8.2 mile heavily trafficked out and back trail located near Seward, Alaska that features a waterfall and is rated as difficult. Hiking to the icefield starts on the Exit Glacier paved path that begins at the nature center and goes for about a third of a mile before intersecting with the start of the Harding Icefield trail. Kenai Fjords National Park Holiday Rentals, Kenai Fjords National Park Holiday Packages, Restaurants near Kenai Fjords National Park, All things to do in Kenai Fjords National Park, Nature & Parks in Kenai Fjords National Park, Geologic Formations in Kenai Fjords National Park, Nature & Wildlife Areas in Kenai Fjords National Park, Hiking Trails in Kenai Fjords National Park, Bodies of Water in Kenai Fjords National Park, Outdoor Activities in Kenai Fjords National Park, Harding Ice Field Trail: Tickets & Tours‎, things to do in Kenai Fjords National Park, Kenai Fjords National Park Cruise from Seward. NPS Photo / F. North. Watch the Alaskan wilderness awaken on this 6-hour morning cruise through Kenai Fjords National Park from Seward. Hiking to the icefield starts on the Exit Glacier paved path that begins at the nature center and goes for about a third of a mile before intersecting with the start of the Harding Icefield trail. Check on trail conditions before starting out - the upper portion of the trail is often covered with snow through early July and there may be avalanche danger. You may see the cubs first, possibly up a tree, but the mother will be close by. It's truly the hike of a lifetime. Bring warm clothes, rain gear, sturdy footwear, sunglasses, and sunscreen. Altogether the hike to and from Harding Icefield is 8.2 miles. Just know that if you go down, you're going to have a steep 10-15 minute hike back up to the shelter. While doing the entire hike of 8.2-miles up to the icefield is sure to be unforgettable, even a shorter hike affords amazing views of the valley below and Exit Glacier’s terminus. Recommended equipment includes (but is not limited to) sturdy, warm, waterproof footwear, cold weather clothing including synthetic layers and waterproofing, communication devices (no cell service), trekking poles, ice axe, snowshoes or skis, avalanche transceiver, probe, and shovel. The day we started there were bear sightings along the trail, so make sure to buy bear spray ahead of time. Hike It. Want some company? The. It is not an easy walk in terms of elevation gain but anyone with moderate level of fitness can do it. Starting on the valley floor, the trail winds through cottonwood and alder forests, passes though heather filled meadows and ultimately climbs well above tree line to a breath-taking view of the Icefield. Winding through the valley floor, the trail passes through a forest of alder and cottonwood, over meadows abundant in heather with a climactic ascent above the tree line to a stunning vista of the Harding Icefield. 2. The 8.2-mile round trip Harding Icefield Trail is a spectacular day hike. Harding Icefield Trail is one of the best hikes in Alaska without a doubt. Don’t miss one of Alaska’s most popular wildlife and glacier cruises! Take in the area's stunning and scenic beauty along the Harding Icefield trail as you approach the trail's namesake vista. The trail is a combination of dirt switchbacks and open dirt trails leading to the ice field. The magnificent coastline of Kenai Fjords is steep valleys that were carved by glaciers in retreat. Hikers gain approximately 1,000 feet of elevation with every mile. You will begin the hike to Harding Icefield in the Exit Glacier area. Altogether the hike to and from Harding Icefield is 8.2 miles. Hike to hidden backcountry lakes and high ridgelines where, on clear days, Denali can be seen in all its majestic grandeur. I did not have trekking poles but wished I did coming down. Hike the Harding Icefield Trail in Kenai Fjords National Park Few scenes in the world compare to the view across the frozen expanse of the 700-square-mile Harding Icefield. The hike is strenuous. Throughout the entire hike you have splendid views of … 1. The expansive view of endless ice floor above the clouds will take your breath away! Beautiful walking trails wind through the … The trail’s summit offers guests a glimpse into past ice ages – the view of snow and ice stretching as … I've climbed in big mountains before but the size of this ice field is something else. Even a short hike up the trail affords impressive views of the valley floor and Exit Glacier's terminus. Hike to the massive Harding Icefield along one of Alaska’s most spectacular trails. https://stonyhill.com/harding-icefield-hike/ This travelogue describes the hike to the Harding Icefield...from rainforest to alpine meadow to icefield. This is bear country! Sharp nunataks (lone peaks) break the white horizon, glaciers spill from the ice field’s edge, and mountains fill the frame in every direction. Careless hikers who cut switchbacks, along with frequent summer rains, cause tremendous erosion. There is a marker if you keep going about 5 minutes past the shelter. Very excited! We hiked this trail around the end of July in 2020 and here is a guide of what you need to know before diving into this epic adventure. Route: From the Nature Center, follow the paved approach trail to the Harding Icefield Trailhead. We had a close encounter with a cub (didn't have to actually discharge the can) and there were no other humans anywhere nearby. After passing the emergency shelter, you can climb up a little more, and then after that, it just goes down and down toward the ice. For this reason, it’s best to treat the hike as a full-day excursion and set out in the early morning! Be especially on the lookout for mother bears with cubs. That slope down is very steep, but allows you to get very close. However, we didn’t think the girls would enjoy completing the … I did not see any little kids. Please choose a different date. Harding Icefield hike Map Go to the end. As you head up and back in the car, keep a look out for bald eagles. You are climbing over 3000 feet. It's not for the faint of heart. This 8.2 mile round trip hike is strenuous, but the breathtaking view of the icefield, is well worth the effort. https://stonyhill.com/harding-icefield-hike/ This travelogue describes the hike to the Harding Icefield...from rainforest to alpine meadow to icefield. The Harding Icefield is on a scale that is difficult to comprehend. The 8.2-mile round trip Harding Icefield Trail is a spectacular day hike leaving from the Exit Glacier Area. The whole trail takes approximately 8 hours: about four hours to hike up and about 3-4 hours to descend. Starting on the valley floor, the trail winds through cottonwood and alder forests, passes though heather filled meadows and ultimately climbs well above tree line to … Starting on the valley floor, the trail winds through cottonwood and alder forests, passes though heather filled meadows and ultimately climbs well above tree line to a breath-taking view of the Icefield. For this reason, it’s best to treat the hike as a full-day excursion and set out in the early morning! They will lead you on a guided hike on the Lower Trail or to Harding Icefield, all while providing information about how climate change has affected the landscape, wildlife, and people of Alaska. The trail ends overlooking the massive 700 square mile Harding Icefield, which is a leftover of the last major Ice Age. Without a doubt, if you can only do one thing while visiting Seward, you really really should go on this hike. Weather conditions are variable, as is human sensitivity to wind and cold. The 700-square-mile Harding Icefield, one of four major ice caps in the United States, crowns Kenai Fjords National Park. The end of the trail wasn't clearly marked. The Harding Icefield Trail starts near the Exit Glacier area and ascends alongside the glacier with spectacular views of its crevasses and moraines (glacial deposits). Look back in time, when viewing the expanse of the Harding Icefield. The trail is well developed but steep with nearly 3,000 feet of elevation gain. Geologic Formations, Hiking Trails, Nature & Wildlife Areas, Water Sports, Kayaking & Canoeing, Stand-Up Paddleboarding, Boat Tours, Hiking & Camping Tours, Walking Tours, Hiking & Camping Tours, Nature & Wildlife Tours, Continue your visit to www.tripadvisor.com, Popular Kenai Fjords National Park Categories, Things to do near Harding Ice Field Trail, Commonly searched for in Kenai Fjords National Park, Things to do in Kenai Fjords National Park. Be prepared for some strenuous and unforgettable trekking on this gorgeous day hike. Difficulty: Moderate to strenuous, with around 3000 feet of elevation gain. Enjoy a rigorous hike in the beautiful Kenai Fjords National Park. We hiked this trail around the end of July in 2020 and here is a guide of what you need to know before diving into this epic adventure. Take in the area's stunning and scenic beauty along the Harding Icefield trail as you approach the trail's namesake vista. Black bears are spotted almost everyday from the Harding Icefield Trail. They will lead you on a guided hike on the Lower Trail or to Harding Icefield, all while providing information about how climate change has affected the landscape, wildlife, and people of Alaska. The information is comprehensive and. The trail is steep which makes it hard on the way down - walking sticks recommended. I went on October 4, the off-season. The vegetation along the trail is dense and passes through thickets of salmonberries, a favorite food of black bears. Exit Glacier/Harding Icefield, Seward - Good to Know. This massive wall of blue ice descends the mountainside from the Harding Ice Field, down to the Resurrection River. Hiking on glaciers can be intimidating, but by booking a guided tour you can explore the Exit Glacier with the security of a guide to lead the way. Guests are in for a remarkable day hike on an 8.2-mile loop along the Harding Icefield Trail. The 8.2-mile out-and-back hike along Harding Icefield is a spectacular outing. Luckily the altitude is lower than some of my other trips, so breathing was easy, but there are a lot of steps. Winding through the valley floor, the trail passes through a forest of alder and cottonwood, over meadows abundant in heather with a climactic ascent above the tree line to a stunning vista of the Harding Icefield. In the spring of 2016 Exit Glacier Guides will be offering two expeditions onto the Harding Icefield for one week each. Very excited! Pack out all litter. Distance: 8.2 miles out and back, plus a short approach trail. 5. The Harding Icefield trail can really be broken up into two sections: hiking out of the forest to the cliffs for an amazing view of Exit Glacier and then climbing on up to the Harding Icefield above it. The Harding Icefield hike in Alaska easily makes our top 3 list of most memorable and wow-factor hikes. NPS Photo / F. North. Out and Back. A pair of hikers stand near the end of the trail overlooking a sea of ice and snow. Covering approximately 700 square miles, and at a maximum depth of roughly 4000ft, the Harding Icefield is the largest ice field entirely within the United States. Guests are in for a remarkable day hike on an 8.2-mile loop along the Harding Icefield Trail. I'm not sure I would go with a large group. Can be cold and windy at the top. Harding Icefield Trail is one of the most rewarding day hikes in the Kenai Peninsula of Alaska. Covering approximately 700 square miles, and at a maximum depth of roughly 4000ft, the Harding Icefield is the largest ice field entirely within the United States. Bring bear spray. My smartwatch put it at 13 miles total, but that included play time at the top. In the spring of 2016 Exit Glacier Guides will be offering two expeditions onto the Harding Icefield for one week each. Take this trail to visit the overlook to the father of over 30 beautiful glaciers in Kenai Mountains – Harding Icefield. You will begin the hike to Harding Icefield in the Exit Glacier area. The 8.2-mile round trip Harding Icefield Trail is a spectacular day hike leaving from the Exit Glacier Area. If you. Be on the look out for mountain goats, black bear, and marmots--- they are common sightings up here. If you try to go off trail toward the top, you'll find out it is like shale quicksand to get back up the embankment to the trail. Sharp nunataks (lone peaks) break the white horizon, glaciers spill from the ice field’s edge, and mountains fill the frame in every direction. Kenai Fjords National Park was created to protect the unique landscape of the Harding Icefield: a 700 square mile reservoir of ice high in the mountains of the Kenai Peninsula. It is named for United States President Warren G. Harding. Push yourself to do it. It is also partially located in Kenai Fjords National Park. Never get between a mother bear and her cubs. Winding through the valley floor, the trail passes through a forest of alder and cottonwood, over meadows abundant in heather with a climactic ascent above the tree line to a stunning vista of the Harding Icefield. Alpine vegetation is extremely fragile. Carry plenty of water (at least 2 liters per person), or bring along a filter - untreated water from streams along the trail may contain Giardia, a parasite that can cause severe abdominal distress. Follow the principles of Leave No Trace – limit group size, find a camp spot that is out of sight from the trail, and avoid crushing fragile vegetation. Be sure to backfill your cat hole when you are done. Pass through forested pathways and lush meadows as you ascend to a breathtaking view of the Harding Icefield. Seward Windsong Lodge offers two daily guided tours of Exit Glacier. The Trail. After passing the emergency shelter, you can climb up a little more, and then after that, it just goes down and down toward the ice. Midway through the journey, transition from vast ocean coastline to otherworldly alpine scenery in Denali National Park. The hike starts from the foot of Exit Glacier just outside Seward and takes you to the top of the enormous Harding Icefield. United States - Hike to Harding Icefield - My husband and I are travelling to Alaska during the last 2 weeks of July. Still, I did not play enough to accumulate 5 miles. We left the end of the trail late (hence why we were alone with a bear) and had to rush back to beat sundown. Hike the Harding Icefield Trail. We will camp, ski tour, climb nunataks and explore the icefield over six days with full guide support. Starting on the valley floor, the trail winds through cottonwood and alder forests, passes though heather filled meadows and ultimately climbs well above tree line to a breath-taking view of the Icefield. That slope down is very steep, but allows you to get very close. Make noise when you hike to avoid surprising a bear. It is named for United States President Warren G. Harding. Starting on the valley floor, the trail winds through cottonwood and alder forests, passes though heather filled meadows and ultimately climbs well above tree line to a breath-taking view of the Harding Icefield. The Harding Icefield trail can really be broken up into two sections: hiking out of the forest to the cliffs for an amazing view of Exit Glacier and then climbing on up to the Harding Icefield above it. As the only road-accessible glacier pouring forth from the icefield, Exit Glacier is a popular destination for … United States - Hike to Harding Icefield - My husband and I are travelling to Alaska during the last 2 weeks of July. Harding Icefield Trail Details: We started out with the kids and hiked the short trail up to the Glacier lookout. That slope down is very steep, but allows you to get very close. The Harding Icefield is an expansive icefield located in the Kenai Mountains of the Kenai Peninsula in Alaska. hike is easy on the eyes, but very steep. The trail ends overlooking the massive 700 square mile Harding Icefield, which is a leftover of the last major Ice Age. Duration: 8 hours Camping is not permitted in the shelter at the top of the Icefield trail – it is for emergency use only. Midway through the journey, transition from vast ocean coastline to otherworldly alpine scenery in Denali National Park. Starting on the valley floor, the trail winds through cottonwood and alder forests, passes though heather filled meadows and ultimately climbs well above tree line to a breath-taking view of the Harding Icefield.

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