Yet the trail is very well-traveled and flagged. Even though I would allow for an entire day for the Harding Icefield Trail, it wasn’t difficult to add the Glacier Overlook Trail, which only added a mile out-and-back. All-Day Run: The Harding Icefield Trail is strenuous! An informational display outside of the Visitor’s Center at Exit provides a visual map of the glacier’s location, but because it was taken in 2005 and is thus already outdated, our guide Lane used his finger to show us the terminus at the present year of 2017. Eventually, you come to the end of the maintained trail. These links help support this website and keeps the content free. Keep your eyes peeled for Mountain Goats that frequent the areas along this hike. Additionally, bears frequent this area, so you must know how to stay safe in bear country! The Harding Icefield located in Kenai Fjords National Park is the largest icefield contained entirely within the United States, 300 square miles and if you included the glaciers which descends from the icefield it would be over 1,100 square miles. Few scenes in the world compare to the view across the frozen expanse of the 700-square-mile Harding Icefield. Description for a few backcountry hikes possible near the Worthington Glacier starting at 2-miles and up. The hike begins at the Exit Glacier Nature Center. Be on the look out for mountain goats, black bear, and marmots--- they are common sightings up here. 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. Harding Icefield Trail Hike. Although the view from the top is well worth the effort, you need not hike all the way to the top to experience the wonders of this 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.Runners can expect sweeping views of the Exit Glacier area … Snow persists into mid-summer at the higher elevations. Guests are in for a remarkable day hike on an 8.2 mile loop along the Harding Icefield Trail. Sign Up. Sign Up. Hiking and travel guide to Alaska. This 8.2 mile round trip hike is strenuous, but the breathtaking view of the icefield, is well worth the effort. For the more adventurous, the challenging Harding Icefield Trail is a must. Hikers can expect ample wildflowers, wildlife and amazing views along this steep trail. You can’t camp there. Showing results 1 - 90 of 744. 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. Help Download the app. You are not allowed to camp up there. Harding Icefield Trail in Kenai Fjords is a tough hike near Seward Alaska and features tremendous scenery. Pack a warm coat or fleece, windbreaker and hat. The Kenai Peninsula tends to be wet, so definitely be prepared to deal with rain (or snow). Early in the season, there may be avalanche risk. The Harding Icefield Trail is easily one of the most stunning and photogenic hikes I’ve ever done. The vista is difficult to soak in. Be prepared and know your skill level, the glacier is heavily crevassed and dangerous! In late July, I’ve had to cross about a half-mile in snowfields. The 8.2-mile round trip Harding Icefield Trail is a spectacular day hike. NPS Photo / F. North. But, since it had been raining all day, I was already soaked. (If you’re looking for something a little tamer, these are some great walks and may only take a few hours to explore). I highly recommend this trail for anyone that is suitably fit and has some experience hiking and navigating. Keystone Canyon is a gorgeous 3-mile long canyon with enormous waterfalls and cliffsides near Valdez, Alaska. ... › Harding Ice Field Trail › Photos Photos of Harding Ice Field Trail Harding Ice Field Trail. The expanse of ice and snow seems endless. 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. It can snow any time of the year, and the local climate is typically very wet. Because of the heavy traffic in this area, walking or camping on vegetation is devastating. 5. The 8.2-mile out-and-back hike along Harding Icefield is a spectacular outing. You can check out my other photos and galleries here! Mostly in the Fairbanks and interior region of Alaska, but always expanding to new areas! 624 Reviews. I do not recommend it as one of your first hikes without someone experienced. If you are particularly adventurous (and well-experienced), you can access the icefield from here. There are numerous hiking trails in the area. Check out the Resurrection River Trail at Mile 7 of Exit Glacier Road. Map of Harding Icefield Trail (red) and Exit Glacier trails (blue) – map disclaimer and information. Popular Charitable Galleries Abstract Landscapes Wildlife Glaciers Aurora Forest Water, All material Copyright Lee Petersen 2010-2020 For usage please contact me at lee@lwpetersen.com 603-748-1057, As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. The Harding Icefield Trail You can access this 8.2-mile trail near the Exit Glacier Nature Center – but beware, the trail is not for the faint of heart (literally). This is a day hike only. This trek climbs 3000 feet alongside Exit Glacier as it passes through several climatic zones. Kenai Fjords lodging map Hike the Harding Icefield Trail in Kenai Fjords National Park. Plan. Often these crevasses are snowcovered, so there’s no indication of what you are walking over. This is a Harding Icefield Trail map, showing the route up to the Harding Icefield from the Exit Glacier area and visitor center. If you have time after returning, it’s well worth the quick jaunt out to see the terminus up close. These guides will remain free for reading. The Harding Icefield Trailhead is located on the right about 1/3 of mile along the Exit Glacier Paved Path. Alpine flora takes a very long time to grow, so please stick to the trails. Harding Icefield Trail Exit Glacier Trails Map photo taken July 2003 North 0 0.5 Miles 0 0.5 Kilometers Kenai Fjords National Park National Park Service U.S. Department of the Interior 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. Be sure to include the dates of your hike! Harding Icefield Trail - Hiking. As in all National Parks, and as we should everywhere, follow Leave No Trace principles. The trail is strenuous – you’ll gain about 1,000 feet of elevation each mile – and it will take you most of the day to complete it. Be sure to check other restrictions with the National Park Service before your trip! National Park Service Ranger-led walks are available as well as a guiding service through Exit Glacier Guides. Map and descriptions for numerous trails near the entrance and Visitor Center to Denali National Park. Thank you for your support! Land Website. There are also trails to the toe of the glacier and to the edge of the glacier that are shorter and less steep than the Harding Icefield Trail. I may earn commissions if you shop through the affiliate links on this page. This is the turn-around. From cottonwood forests on the lower trail, the trek takes you through some rocky terrain, to green alpine meadows overlooking the blue, crevassed Exit Glacier, past mountain cascades up to a vista of the endless sea of ice that is the Harding 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. The magnificent coastline of Kenai Fjords is steep valleys that were carved by glaciers in retreat. Late July, I had to cross some snowfields, but the path was obvious and flagged with orange markers through the snow. The construction of the Spruce Creek trail that year, however, made it possible to view the upper portions of the icecap, and President Harding's promise to visit the territory was sufficient to bestow his name on the feature. Sharp nunataks (lone peaks) break the white horizon, glaciers spill from the ice field’s … It became a national park in 1980 to preserve the fjord and rainforest ecosystems, Harding Icefield, abundant wildlife and historical and archeological remains, and to provide visitor access. A "can't believe I'm here" moment: top of Harding Icefield Trail. Favorites Lists Maps Create Map. The trail ends overlooking the massive 700 square mile Harding Icefield, which is a leftover of the last major Ice Age. It was worth a pause to get out of the rain. Starting on the valley floor, the trail meanders through alder and cottonwood forest as well as heather-filled meadows. Green meadows give way to rocky alpine terrain. My foot punched through into water a few times. There is a trail shelter high up for emergency use only. Click the image to view a full size JPG (580 kb) or download the PDF (550 kb). 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 … My income comes partly from affiliate links on these pages and from photographic print sales. If you have recently hiked the Harding Icefield Trail, please feel free to leave info about the conditions in the comments below. Log In. Hiking to the Exit Glacier View at the Bottom of the Cliffs. Look back in time, when viewing the expanse of the Harding Icefield. The 8.2-mile round trip Harding Icefield Trail is a spectacular day hike. Camping is permitted along the trail only 1/8 mile from the trail on bare ground, not on vegetation! Seward residents generally ignored the huge icefield west of town before 1922. History. Take this trail to visit the overlook to the father of over 30 beautiful glaciers in Kenai Mountains – Harding Icefield. If traveling in September, consider gloves and a hot thermos. This is one of the most stunning sections of trail I’ve ever seen. Tutorials on general and auorora photography. Following the Glacier Overlook Trail for 0.4 miles (0.64 km), the Harding Icefield Trail branches off to the right (well-marked). Harding Icefield Trail is one of the best hikes in Alaska without a doubt. 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. The Harding Icefield Trail near Seward is one of Alaska’s most memorable hikes. The first quarter-mile (0.4 km) is through dense cottonwood and alder passing a few small cascades. The terrain remained interesting throughout the route. The icefield may be a remnant of the Pleistocene ice masses once covering half of Alaska. I spend quite a bit of time hiking in the backcountry of Alaska to find gorgeous sights that few people ever see. My focus in photography is mainly landscape and wildlife. Show more photos. Make sure to keep an eye on the time! The 8.2-mile out-and-back run along Harding Icefield is a spectacular outing. You can go inside, but it is not permitted to camp here as it is an emergency-only shelter. A link to the trail map: Harding Icefield Trail Map The Harding Icefield trail is located about 9 miles down Exit Glacier Road, just outside of Seward, Alaska. While it helps to be in shape and have strong legs and endurance, I rate the trail moderate in difficulty because it’s only 3.7 miles (6 km) of climbing and is very well maintained. How to shoot the northern lights, how to edit photos in post-processing with a focus on FOSS software programs. Kenai Fjords National Park - Harding Icefield Trail is a hiking trail near Seward, Alaska, United States - Edit The Harding Icefield Trail is a great ambassador for the changing environment because of how easy it is accessed by people from all over the world. Dogs are not allowed on the trail. All Rights Reserved - Copyright Lee Petersen 2020, Intro To Darktable 1 – My Lightable Workflow, Arctic sweet coltsfoot – Petasites frigidus, Review: Gregory Alpinisto Pack (35 and 50). From cottonwood forests on the lower trail, the trek takes you through some rocky terrain, to green alpine meadows overlooking the blue, crevassed Exit Glacier, past mountain cascades up to a vista of the endless sea of ice that is the Harding Icefield. Full FTC Disclosure. Starting at milepost 3 on the Seward Highway, the steep trail makes it way above tree line for dramatic views of Exit Glacier and the vast Harding Icefield. Fireweed and lupins blooming along the trail. Watch the Alaskan wilderness awaken on this 6-hour morning cruise through Kenai Fjords National Park from Seward. Harding Icefield (Seward) Distance: 8 miles round trip Difficulty: Challenging. I usually don’t love out-and-back hikes, but I can say I looked forward to the return trip, not just because it was downhill. Back to Alaska Guide Alaska Guide – Hiking, If you like what I do please support me on Ko-fi. Depending on the time of year, you may be crossing some snowfields. There are no trash receptacles or outhouses along the trail, so be prepared to pack everything out or dig a cat hole at least 100 feet from the trail or water source for human waste. Harding Icefield Trail is one of the most rewarding day hikes in the Kenai Peninsula of Alaska. Get the App. Topographical Map. The 7.4-mile round trip Harding Icefield Trail is a spectacular day hike. The 8.2-mile round trip Harding Icefield Trail is a spectacular day hike leaving from the Exit Glacier Area.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. A trail shelter sits atop an outcropping. Maps, photos, and information. The forest slowly opens up as the trail steepens and you start some long switchbacks. Recordings Completed Stats. endstream endobj 11 0 obj <> endobj 12 0 obj <> endobj 13 0 obj <>stream To avoid hypothermia, change into dryer and/or warmer clothes at the emergency hut located 1/4 mile before the edge of the Icefield. Description: This map shows Harding Icefield Trail in Kenai Fjords National Park. You'll gain approximately 1,000 feet of elevation with every mile so be sure to allow at least 6-8 hours for this trip. Be sure you know what you are doing if venturing out on steep snow! Trails for all walkers and hikers. Overview. The best map of the trail route that I’ve seen can be found @ NPMaps.com. There is a register to sign in at the trail head. Aboard a warm and spacious vessel customized for comfort, cruise past alpine and tidewater glaciers among the fjords and take in a bounty of … Skiing down the Grewingk was Sarah’s favorite part of the trip. 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. Get directions, reviews and information for Exit Glacier and See the enormous glacial outflow plain where this past piedmont Glacier once sprawled across years... And cottonwood forest as well as a guiding Service through Exit Glacier view at the of. A Trail shelter high up for emergency use only partly from affiliate links on this page to info! 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