Throughout the entire hike you have splendid views of … Happy hiking. you can either drive and park at Exit Glacier Car Park or take the Exit Glacier Shuttle that costs $10 return with a few different times to choose from. The vast expanse of the Harding Ice Field is absolutely mind-boggling. If you’re in decent shape you’ll be able to finish the hike. The adventurous Harding Icefield Trail is a spectacular day hike near Seward in Kenai Fjords National Park, Alaska. Elevation wise its all uphill with no flats whatsoever. There are unlimited ways of why hiking here is worth your time, but here are our 5 favorite reasons to hike the Harding Icefield … How to Hike the Harding Icefield Trail Getting to the Harding Icefield Trail. Even if you do not hike the entire length of the trail, simply experiencing part of it allows for stunning views of the valley and Started around 9:30am and finished at 4:45pm with a long photo break at the top. Seward residents generally ignored the huge icefield west of town before 1922. Also, resist the urge to step on the icefield or glacier as it can be extremely dangerous. Trail was amazing! Harding Icefield Trail For physically fit hikers, a strenuous four-mile trail parallels the glacier’s north edge on a 3,000-foot ascent to the ice field, offering spectacular views of the glacier and surrounding mountains along the way. Such a fun and beautiful trail. 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. This strenuous trail climbs approximately 1,000 feet every mile, but spectacular views along the way make it well worth the effort. The ice field itself looks like something from another planet. This was definitely the right decision for our family. Killed my knees on the way down. I would love to go back, maybe even in winter for a snowshoe hike. Harding Icefield Trail A hike to the top of the Harding Icefield Trail gives you a glimpse of what much of south-central Alaska looked like during the last ice age. The trail climbs up four miles from the valley floor, ending above the tree line at the stunning lookout over the Harding Icefield. you can either drive and park at Exit Glacier Car Park or take the Exit Glacier Shuttle that costs $10 return with a few different times to choose from. The trail is easy to follow all the way to the cabin, snow ankle deep for about the last 30 min or so but the trail is still easy to follow! The magnificent coastline of Kenai Fjords is steep valleys that were carved by glaciers in retreat. The adventurous Harding Icefield Trail is a spectacular day hike near Seward in Kenai Fjords National Park, Alaska. I did know when I didn’t make it to the ice field because of some sketchy (to me) last steep exposed waterfall sections that were too narrow for my comfort level. We saw 3 black bears on the way up. If you’re an ambitious hiker, you can make a day out of it and follow the switchbacks up to Harding Icefield. Top of the cliff is probably a good return point if you are short of time. It’s difficult rating hikes when everyone is on different levels. We did see a black bear that was off the trail and uninterested in us. We saw a baby moose which was so beautiful. Harding Icefield Trail. The trail itself is only 3.8 miles out, but you'll need to access it via the Exit Glacier Paved Path, which adds to the overall distance.Hikers can expect sweeping views of the Exit Glacier area as … and drive 11.4km until you reach a big Exit Glacier car park. The views are beautiful. Hikes Oct 16th. Difficulty of the Harding Icefield Trail That is just a little over 1000ft per mile, making the trail very steep and suitable only for hikers in good condition. 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. Harding Ice Field Trail is a 13.2 kilometer heavily trafficked out and back trail located near Seward, Alaska that features a waterfall and is rated as difficult. Be on the look out for mountain goats, black bear, and marmots--- they are common sightings up here. The trail climbs up four miles … 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 icefield may be a remnant of the Pleistocene ice masses once covering half of Alaska. This trail is a tough day hike, gaining 3,000 feet of … The rest of us can only begin to appreciate the magnitude of this immense geographic feature by air. The Trail. The elevation gain is never very steep or too hard. However, we didn’t think the girls would enjoy completing the 8.2 miles round trip journey. I say this first because I read the reviews of this climb thinking it was going to be very difficult. This route…, Lost Lake Trail is a wonderful day-hike in Alaska that leads to the secluded Lost Lake, surrounded by meadows full…, Today for free and be the first to get notified on new updates. Hike a bit further and in rocky alpine meadow you will reach another overlook – this time even closer. This 8.2 mile round trip hike takes you through alder forests, fields of fireweed, and alpine terrain, finishing at the top of the Harding Icefield; the second largest icefield in North America, where it's all blue ice as far as the eye can see. Harding Ice Field Trail, Kenai Fjords National Park: Address, Harding Ice Field Trail Reviews: 5/5 I write this for the other scaredy-cats like me out there, the trail is worth it! The expansive view of endless ice floor above the clouds will take your breath away! The construction of the Spruce Creek trail that year, however, made it possible to view the upper portions of the icecap, and … Hard on the knees when you go down. And then you get to the top where you will see the incredible Harding Icefield… Altogether the hike to and from Harding Icefield is 8.2 miles. 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. Following the Glacier Overlook Trail for 0.4 miles (0.64 km), the Harding Icefield Trail branches off to the right (well-marked). The trail itself is only 3.8 miles out, but you'll need to access it via the Exit Glacier Paved Path, which adds to the overall distance. A definite must hike if you are in the Seward area. Harding Icefield Trail (Kenai Fjords National Park, Alaska) Looking for an all-day, challenging hike with a huge payoff for your fitness *and* Instagram feed? Today the 700 square feet of ice and snow is dotted with glacial islands of exposed parts of mountains known as “nunataks”. Pretty cold and breezy at the top as well so layers are definitely needed. As noted, the hike is fairly difficult as it is pretty elevation intensive, but it is very much worth it. 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. The Harding Icefield hike is a must-do hike in Kenai Mountains. 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. It’s not technical and very safe. Harding Icefield Trail A hike to the top of the Harding Icefield Trail gives you a glimpse of what much of south-central Alaska looked like during the last ice age. Short, but steep this trail takes you to the top…, The hike up Hope Point Trail is a fun and challenging hike to the peak of Hope Point. The Harding Icefield hike starts just a bit above sea level--so hopefully that will make a huge difference. Few scenes in the world compare to the view across the frozen expanse of the 700-square-mile Harding Icefield. It felt like going through two different worlds in one afternoon. Probably ranks as my favorite hike so far! The Harding Icefield Trailhead is located on the right about 1/3 of mile along the Exit Glacier Paved Path. If you decide to spend some time here, you might even notice the very slow movement of ice, slowly approaching the edges of the icefield and pouring from one of over 30 glaciers. How to Hike the Harding Icefield Trail Getting to the Harding Icefield Trail To reach the beginning of the Harding Icefield trail. Head to Harding Icefield for views of surrounding peaks and fjords. The icefield itself receives over 400 inches of snow each year. You will find the Exit Glacier trailhead at the western part of the carpark, near the nature center. It is moderately inclined, but no difficult scrambling. The hike starts from the foot of Exit Glacier just outside Seward and takes you to the top of the enormous Harding Icefield. Would have loved to see a bear but maybe next time. Your adventure will begin at Exit Glacier car park. Dress in layers- very cold at the top if you go to the glacier. Ice everywhere I look! It is one of the most amazing scenes I’ve ever experienced. The 8.2-mile round trip Harding Icefield Trail is a spectacular day hike. Enjoy the view and carry on towards the glacier. The Harding Icefield hike in Alaska easily makes our top 3 list of most memorable and wow-factor hikes. Steep and damp but not really technical. For this reason, it’s best to treat the hike as a full-day excursion and set out in the early morning! Strenuous. Very beautiful, a must do if it fits your activity level. This 8.2 mile round trip hike is strenuous, but the breathtaking view of the icefield, is well worth the effort. I took my time and soaked it in. Gorgeous hike. The trail is well developed but steep with nearly 3,000 feet of elevation gain. Guests are in for a remarkable day hike on an 8.2 mile loop along the Harding Icefield Trail. The terrain remained interesting throughout the route. The ice field was incredible (and freezing) make sure you bring gloves and a warm hat. This 500-square-mile frozen mass feeds almost three dozen glaciers, including Exit. Definitely would recommend this one. 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. Harding Ice Field Trail: Harding Icefield Hike - See 190 traveler reviews, 281 candid photos, and great deals for Kenai Fjords National Park, AK, at Tripadvisor. 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. The Harding Icefield Trail by Exit Glacier. This 8.2 mile round trip hike is strenuous, but the breathtaking view of the icefield, is well worth the effort. The whole trail takes approximately 8 hours: about four hours to hike up and about 3-4 hours to descend. 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. Unfortunately you’ll also have to hike on the road to the trail head, which is closed to traffic in the winter. Visit Alaska SeaLife Center at Seward to learn about Alaskan marine fauna. Harding Ice Field Trail, Kenai Fjords National Park: See 190 reviews, articles, and 281 photos of Harding Ice Field Trail, ranked No.1 on Tripadvisor among 8 attractions in Kenai Fjords National Park. Glaciers And Glory: The Harding Icefield Trail. Glaciers And Glory: The Harding Icefield Trail. Also saw two black bears, very non-aggressive, on the trail! The nearby town of Seward averages 72 inches of rain per year. We were blessed — such days are not common in this area. Harding Icefield Trail Hike. If you have time, take the offshoot at mile 2.5 to hike down to the glacier and get a feel for how amazing it is. It was a warm, sunny July day when my wife and I hiked the Harding Icefield trail. One of the hardest yet most rewarding hikes I’ve EVER done. It just will take some people longer. 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. Adding the Harding Icefield Trail. The scenery is incredible as you hike up the mountain and get increasingly better views of the glacier and the Kenai Mountains. We will camp, ski tour, climb nunataks and explore the icefield over six days with full guide support. Saw 3 black bears out today towards the last mile to the top, be careful. Visit Exit Glacier overlook, which is easily accessible by the trail from the Exit Glacier carpark, Spend a night at Exit Glacier Campground to beat the crowds. The hike starts from the foot of Exit Glacier just outside Seward and takes you to the top of the enormous Harding Icefield. The icefield may be a remnant of the Pleistocene ice masses once covering half of Alaska. Along the way, enjoy wildlife, wildflowers, and waterfalls. 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 meanders through alder … The trail was very crowded since it was a … Three different climates to pass through and insane views all over the place. Even a Want some knowledgeable company? The 8.2-mile out-and-back hike along Harding Icefield is a spectacular outing. harding icefield hike - kenai fjords national park - june 2016. Mostly vertical, it can be a real A** whupper, but ohhhhh, the reward is sooooo worth it. Length 8.2 mi Elevation gain 3,812 ft Route type Out & Back 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. 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. The Harding Icefield hike starts just a bit above sea level--so hopefully that will make a huge difference. 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. Take this trail to visit the overlook to the father of over 30 beautiful glaciers in Kenai Mountains – 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. Altogether the hike to and from Harding Icefield is 8.2 miles. It climbs 5000 feet … Hikers can expect sweeping views of the Exit Glacier area as they ascend high above the trailhead. Become a Contributor at 10Adventures and share your adventures! Even a Hiking the Harding Icefield Trail in Kenai Fjords National Park, Alaska. Enjoy a rigorous hike in the beautiful Kenai Fjords National Park. Bring tons of water and snacks. The Harding Icefield Trail is a relatively strenuous trail for the casual visitor to Alaska. We had great weather and clear skies! We planned to exit on the Grewingk Glacier, which would provide an easy summer trail to access Kachemak Bay and a boat ride to Homer. The hike up to the Harding Icefield is a strenuous, 7.7 mile roundtrip, hike that gains 3000 feet. This trail is a tough day hike, gaining 3,000 feet of … Frequently Asked Guests are in for a remarkable day hike on an 8.2-mile loop along the Harding Icefield Trail. Reach Seward Village by heading south on AK-1, then State Highway 9. Lastly, you will traverse along the hillside and descend to get right next to the Harding Icefield itself. This strenuous trail climbs approximately 1,000 feet every mile, but spectacular views along the way make it well worth the effort. The nearby town of Seward averages 72 inches of rain per year. Visit Exit Glacier Nature Centre to check the weather conditions before the hike. It was a long and never-to-be-forgotten adventure! Please do not pass this one up. Strong winds, snow and storm are not uncommon here even after the sunniest mornings! The Harding Icefield hike in Alaska easily makes our top 3 list of most memorable and wow-factor hikes. Harding Icefield Trail The 8.2-mile round trip Harding Icefield Trail is a spectacular day hike leaving from the Exit Glacier Area . We hiked to the top and hit the offshoot on the way back. For physically fit hikers, a strenuous four-mile trail parallels the glacier’s north edge on a 3,000-foot ascent to the ice field, offering spectacular views of the glacier and surrounding mountains along the way. We hit the trail head at 10am on an Oct Tue and had the whole trail to ourselves. The hike is challenging. It was a warm, sunny July day when my wife and I hiked the Harding Icefield trail. First, I didn’t know this trail was rated difficult when we were on 99% of the trail! The Harding Icefield trailhead is on the right side of the path. We ended up with 10.5 miles and just under 4000’ of elevation. The endless icefield scene will take your breath away. So, I know most hikers on All Trails are not going to have this perspective but in case there are more people like me out there, this is for those who are kind of irrationally afraid of heights. It looks so gentle and lightly sloping with a … Begins in the lush green forest, ascends to colorful meadow and ends in a mars like tundra. Hiking the Harding Icefield Trail you’ll be transported to another time. The first quarter-mile (0.4 km) is through dense cottonwood and alder passing a few small cascades. If you’re interested in a longer day hike to add to the Exit Glacier Trail, consider the Harding Icefield Trail. The hike up to the Harding Icefield is a strenuous, 7.7 mile roundtrip, hike that gains 3000 feet. Hiking Harding Icefield Trail in Kenai Fjords Alaska You really can’t lose when choosing which hikes to do in Alaska, the state is so full of beauty that you will be starry eyed while taking out your trash in the morning. Make sure you are dressed properly, as the weather on top is often different than in the Exit Glacier area below. Make sure you are dressed properly, as the weather on top is often different than in the Exit Glacier area below. I am an avid climber. Harding Icefield Trail Details: We started out with the kids and hiked the short trail up to the Glacier lookout. To reach the beginning of the Harding Icefield trail. There are several places on the trail where the view was worth the hike and those who need less challenge can turn back for the welcome center. The trail is well maintained and easy to follow. The icefield is also one of four remaining icefields in the United States and is the largest contained entirely within the United States. Soon you will emerge above the treeline with the first overlook to Harding Icefield. History. The Harding Icefield hike is a must-do hike in Kenai Mountains. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from May until October. We hiked to the top of the Icefield in July 2013. You could, if you like “posting” which is hiking in extremely deep snow. We had some difficulty navigating the trail under the snow as the orange flag trail markers seemed to have been covered for the most part. Copyright © 2020 10Adventures Inc. All rights reserved. This climb is not difficult if you are prepared and have hiked before. attilio pregnolato/Shutterstock At Kenai Fjords National Park in Alaska, you can go for a scenic day hike on the Harding Icefield Trail. We had decent boots with no covers and our feet stayed dry. After leaving the Harding Icefield, we continued south on smaller glaciers. The route is 8.2 miles long and takes six to eight hours. The view is sooo awesome and 100% worth it! Though the elevation profile is not always even, each of these sections is right around 2 miles so it breaks the day up nicely for objectives. Peer into the Pleistocene on the Harding Icefield Trail, high in the Kenai Mountains. The trail ends overlooking the massive 700 square mile Harding Icefield, which is a leftover of the last major Ice Age. 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. Easily one of the best hikes we've ever done and could probably list it in the top 10 day hikes in the US. Starting on the valley floor, the trail meanders through alder … The 700-square-mile Harding Icefield, one of four major ice caps in the United States, crowns Kenai Fjords National Park. The icefield is a remnant of the Pleistocene ice masses that once covered half of Alaska. Mostly vertical, it can be a real A** whupper, but ohhhhh, the reward is sooooo worth it. People do hike up to the icefield, and a few adventures ones even continue across. Go towards Exit Glacier for around 0.5km until you find the Harding Icefield Trailhead on your right. I enjoyed this hike so much! And then you get to the top where you will see the incredible Harding Icefield… So the very first place Emily and I went to when she arrived in Alaska was Seward, where we went to the Kenai Fjords National Park and hiked the Harding Icefield Trail. The last 20-30 mins was through snow, at times knee deep, but just follow the tracks and the flags. Guests are in for a remarkable day hike on an 8.2 mile loop along the Harding Icefield Trail. Throughout the entire hike you have splendid views of … Being Mid-October, we started off with beautiful falls colors going up the bottom of the mountain, and by the time we got to the top of the hike, we were walking through a couple feet of snow. Didn’t see any cool animals, but other hikers saw bears. The scenery is incredible as you hike up the mountain and get increasingly better views of the glacier and the Kenai Mountains. The Harding Icefield Trail is a relatively strenuous trail for the casual visitor to Alaska. Above the Harding Icefield. That is just a little over 1000ft per mile, making the trail very steep and suitable only for hikers in good condition. The Harding Ice Field is a fairly popular tourist destination, though those people typically come in July or August when the cruise ships make the rounds of the Alaskan coast. Enjoy a rigorous hike in the beautiful Kenai Fjords National Park. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from May until October. The Harding Icefield Trail is easily one of the most stunning and photogenic hikes I’ve ever done. Went all the way down to stand on the icefield. The Harding Icefield Trailhead is located on the right about 1/3 of mile along the Exit Glacier Paved Path. Here you will be able to visit the nature center, fill your empty bottles and even use flush toilets. Sharp nunataks (lone peaks) break the white horizon, glaciers spill from the ice field’s edge, and mountains fill the frame in every direction. 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 … The magnificent coastline of Kenai Fjords is steep valleys that were carved by glaciers in retreat. This strenuous trail leaves from the same trailhead as the Exit Glacier Trail. Loose trail is hard on the knees but the view from the top is amazing! No spam. This was one of our first hikes on our trip to Alaska, and it was definitely worth it. You will begin the hike to Harding Icefield in the Exit Glacier area. Easy unsubscribe links are provided in every email. Sharp nunataks (lone peaks) break the white horizon, glaciers spill from the ice field’s … A particularly gorgeous turn back point is Marmot Meadows and the amazing view of the Exit Glacier. Took us 6ish hrs roundtrip at a leisurely pace. 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. Skiing down the Grewingk was Sarah’s favorite part of the trip. Harding Icefield Trail is one of the most rewarding day hikes in the Kenai Peninsula of Alaska. The adventurous Harding Icefield Trail is a spectacular day hike near Seward in Kenai Fjords National Park, Alaska. Took us just under 5 hours bottom to top with a short lunch stop at the shelter. The 8.2-mile out-and-back hike along Harding Icefield is a spectacular outing. Harding Icefield Trail is one of the best hikes in Alaska without a doubt. The day we started there were bear sightings along the trail, so make sure to buy bear spray ahead of time. Hiking the Harding Icefield Trail in Kenai Fjords National Park, Alaska. We were blessed — such days are not common in this area. Come prepared to hike the Harding Icefield Trail with layers, water, and trekking poles. I was comfortable for most of the trail and it had the most beautiful views I’ve seen even not making it to the ice field. Hike the Harding Icefield Trail in Kenai Fjords National Park. Did this hike on Aug 16. Take a turn on your right to Herman Leirer Rd. This trek climbs 3000 feet alongside Exit Glacier as it passes through several climatic zones. The Harding Icefield, pictured Saturday, July 2, 2016, spans 700 square miles and feeds over 30 glaciers, including Exit Glacier, according to the National Park Service. I started out at 7:45am and had the trail all to myself the entire way up even going slow for all the picture taking. You will start ascending through bushy terrain. The 700-square-mile Harding Icefield, one of four major ice caps in the United States, crowns Kenai Fjords National Park. Guests are in for a remarkable day hike on an 8.2-mile loop along the Harding Icefield Trail. Though the elevation profile is not always even, each of these sections is right around 2 miles so it breaks the day up nicely for objectives. The amazing views require some effort – the hike is strenuous with a lot of elevation gain. This 8.2-mile roundtrip hike is sure to not disappoint if you are ready mentally and physically. 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. A particularly gorgeous turn back point is Marmot Meadows and the amazing view of the Exit Glacier. The forest slowly opens up as the trail steepens and you start some long switchbacks. They minded their own business and so did we. But, if there’s one trail I could recommend in Alaska, it’s Harding Icefield. Hike to Harding ice field in a nutshell starts on the valley floor, passes through dense forest growth, into the meadows and ultimately climbs above the tree line, though the gravel and snow to give a breath taking view of horizon of blue ice from the Ice Age, that is visible as far as the eye can see. Harding Icefield Trail is one of the most rewarding day hikes in the Kenai Peninsula of Alaska. If you give yourself enough time and have completed a few long hikes in your life, and maybe have a buddy for motivation, you should be fine :) As others have mentioned the changing landscape is amazing during this hike - definitely bring a camera, and LAYERS! The Flattop Mountain trail is a great day-hike near Anchorage. There are several places on the trail where the view was worth the hike and those who need less challenge can turn back for the welcome center. The amazing views require some effort – the hike is strenuous with a lot of elevation gain. The trail climbs up four miles from the valley floor, ending above the tree line at the stunning lookout over the Harding Icefield.
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