Adding the Harding Icefield Trail. Ice everywhere I look! Hiking the Harding Icefield Trail you’ll be transported to another time. If you’re in decent shape you’ll be able to finish the hike. Hard on the knees when you go down. This trail is a tough day hike, gaining 3,000 feet of … This strenuous trail leaves from the same trailhead as the Exit Glacier Trail. 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. Even a It was a long and never-to-be-forgotten adventure! The 8.2-mile out-and-back hike along Harding Icefield is a spectacular outing. Easily one of the best hikes we've ever done and could probably list it in the top 10 day hikes in the US. Happy hiking. The route is 8.2 miles long and takes six to eight hours. The Harding Icefield Trail is a relatively strenuous trail for the casual visitor to Alaska. Did this hike on Aug 16. The icefield is a remnant of the Pleistocene ice masses that once covered half of Alaska. Harding Icefield Trail Details: We started out with the kids and hiked the short trail up to the Glacier lookout. The scenery is incredible as you hike up the mountain and get increasingly better views of the glacier and the Kenai Mountains. This trail is a tough day hike, gaining 3,000 feet of … The 700-square-mile Harding Icefield, one of four major ice caps in the United States, crowns Kenai Fjords National Park. Pretty cold and breezy at the top as well so layers are definitely needed. Along the way, enjoy wildlife, wildflowers, and waterfalls. 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. 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 nearby town of Seward averages 72 inches of rain per year. 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. That is just a little over 1000ft per mile, making the trail very steep and suitable only for hikers in good condition. Following the Glacier Overlook Trail for 0.4 miles (0.64 km), the Harding Icefield Trail branches off to the right (well-marked). 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. The amazing views require some effort – the hike is strenuous with a lot of elevation gain. 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. The Harding Icefield hike is a must-do hike in Kenai Mountains. It felt like going through two different worlds in one afternoon. The Harding Icefield trailhead is on the right side of the path. Harding Icefield Trail is one of the best hikes in Alaska without a doubt. We saw a baby moose which was so beautiful. We were blessed — such days are not common in this area. Go towards Exit Glacier for around 0.5km until you find the Harding Icefield Trailhead on your right. This 8.2-mile roundtrip hike is sure to not disappoint if you are ready mentally and physically. Would have loved to see a bear but maybe next time. Unfortunately you’ll also have to hike on the road to the trail head, which is closed to traffic in the winter. Want some knowledgeable company? The whole trail takes approximately 8 hours: about four hours to hike up and about 3-4 hours to descend. 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. You will find the Exit Glacier trailhead at the western part of the carpark, near the nature center. The trail climbs up four miles from the valley floor, ending above the tree line at the stunning lookout over the Harding Icefield. It is moderately inclined, but no difficult scrambling. Dress in layers- very cold at the top if you go to the glacier. 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? Such a fun and beautiful trail. 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. Easy unsubscribe links are provided in every email. 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. It was a warm, sunny July day when my wife and I hiked the Harding Icefield trail. The Trail. Even a After leaving the Harding Icefield, we continued south on smaller glaciers. Here you will be able to visit the nature center, fill your empty bottles and even use flush toilets. The ice field itself looks like something from another planet. 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 Make sure you are dressed properly, as the weather on top is often different than in the Exit Glacier area below. That is just a little over 1000ft per mile, making the trail very steep and suitable only for hikers in good condition. It was a warm, sunny July day when my wife and I hiked 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 … Top of the cliff is probably a good return point if you are short of time. The magnificent coastline of Kenai Fjords is steep valleys that were carved by glaciers in retreat. harding icefield hike - kenai fjords national park - june 2016. You could, if you like “posting” which is hiking in extremely deep snow. Peer into the Pleistocene on the Harding Icefield Trail, high in the Kenai Mountains. This was definitely the right decision for our family. Hiking the Harding Icefield Trail in Kenai Fjords National Park, Alaska. Harding Icefield Trail is one of the most rewarding day hikes in the Kenai Peninsula of Alaska. A definite must hike if you are in the Seward area. Skiing down the Grewingk was Sarah’s favorite part of the trip. How to Hike the Harding Icefield Trail Getting to the Harding Icefield Trail. Lastly, you will traverse along the hillside and descend to get right next to the Harding Icefield itself. And then you get to the top where you will see the incredible Harding Icefield… One of the hardest yet most rewarding hikes I’ve EVER done. You will start ascending through bushy terrain. Hikers can expect sweeping views of the Exit Glacier area as they ascend high above the trailhead. Seward residents generally ignored the huge icefield west of town before 1922. And then you get to the top where you will see the incredible Harding Icefield… Also, resist the urge to step on the icefield or glacier as it can be extremely dangerous. The icefield may be a remnant of the Pleistocene ice masses once covering half of Alaska. Throughout the entire hike you have splendid views of … This 8.2 mile round trip hike is strenuous, but the breathtaking view of the icefield, is well worth the effort. Didn’t see any cool animals, but other hikers saw bears. I took my time and soaked it in. For this reason, it’s best to treat the hike as a full-day excursion and set out in the early morning! The 700-square-mile Harding Icefield, one of four major ice caps in the United States, crowns Kenai Fjords National Park. Harding Icefield Trail. Hikes Oct 16th. attilio pregnolato/Shutterstock At Kenai Fjords National Park in Alaska, you can go for a scenic day hike on 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. 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. Sharp nunataks (lone peaks) break the white horizon, glaciers spill from the ice field’s edge, and mountains fill the frame in every direction. We will camp, ski tour, climb nunataks and explore the icefield over six days with full guide support. The hike up to the Harding Icefield is a strenuous, 7.7 mile roundtrip, hike that gains 3000 feet. The construction of the Spruce Creek trail that year, however, made it possible to view the upper portions of the icecap, and … 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. A particularly gorgeous turn back point is Marmot Meadows and the amazing view of the Exit Glacier. Bring tons of water and snacks. 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. Difficulty of the Harding Icefield Trail 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. 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 Harding Icefield Trail by Exit Glacier. 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. Harding Icefield Trail is one of the most rewarding day hikes in the Kenai Peninsula of Alaska. Mostly vertical, it can be a real A** whupper, but ohhhhh, the reward is sooooo worth it. Definitely would recommend this one. Above the Harding Icefield. The Harding Icefield hike in Alaska easily makes our top 3 list of most memorable and wow-factor hikes. Enjoy a rigorous hike in the beautiful Kenai Fjords National Park. We hiked to the top and hit the offshoot on the way back. It just will take some people longer. 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 adventurous Harding Icefield Trail is a spectacular day hike near Seward in Kenai Fjords National Park, Alaska. Glaciers And Glory: The Harding Icefield Trail. Steep and damp but not really technical. Length 8.2 mi Elevation gain 3,812 ft Route type Out & Back Also saw two black bears, very non-aggressive, on the 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. The endless icefield scene will take your breath away. History. 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. We had great weather and clear skies! Take this trail to visit the overlook to the father of over 30 beautiful glaciers in Kenai Mountains – Harding Icefield. The Harding Icefield hike starts just a bit above sea level--so hopefully that will make a huge difference. This climb is not difficult if you are prepared and have hiked before. We ended up with 10.5 miles and just under 4000’ of elevation. 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. Hiking the Harding Icefield Trail in Kenai Fjords National Park, Alaska. Become a Contributor at 10Adventures and share your adventures! I write this for the other scaredy-cats like me out there, the trail is worth it! Very beautiful, a must do if it fits your activity level. It looks so gentle and lightly sloping with a … You will begin the hike to Harding Icefield in the Exit Glacier area. This strenuous trail climbs approximately 1,000 feet every mile, but spectacular views along the way make it well worth the effort. and drive 11.4km until you reach a big Exit Glacier car park. 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. 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. This trek climbs 3000 feet alongside Exit Glacier as it passes through several climatic zones. I say this first because I read the reviews of this climb thinking it was going to be very difficult. Altogether the hike to and from Harding Icefield is 8.2 miles. We hiked to the top of the Icefield in July 2013. The Harding Icefield Trail is a relatively strenuous trail for the casual visitor to Alaska. Visit Alaska SeaLife Center at Seward to learn about Alaskan marine fauna. The hike starts from the foot of Exit Glacier just outside Seward and takes you to the top of the enormous Harding Icefield. We had decent boots with no covers and our feet stayed dry. The trail ends overlooking the massive 700 square mile Harding Icefield, which is a leftover of the last major Ice Age. 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. The day we started there were bear sightings along the trail, so make sure to buy bear spray ahead of time. The 8.2-mile round trip Harding Icefield Trail is a spectacular day hike. 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. I am an avid climber. Altogether the hike to and from Harding Icefield is 8.2 miles. People do hike up to the icefield, and a few adventures ones even continue across. It climbs 5000 feet … The scenery is incredible as you hike up the mountain and get increasingly better views of the glacier and the Kenai Mountains. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from May until October. 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 trail was very crowded since it was a … Enjoy a rigorous hike in the beautiful Kenai Fjords National Park. 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. Come prepared to hike the Harding Icefield Trail with layers, water, and trekking poles. Loose trail is hard on the knees but the view from the top is amazing! Sharp nunataks (lone peaks) break the white horizon, glaciers spill from the ice field’s … It’s difficult rating hikes when everyone is on different levels. 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 8.2-mile out-and-back hike along Harding Icefield is a spectacular outing. Head to Harding Icefield for views of surrounding peaks and fjords. 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 Flattop Mountain trail is a great day-hike near Anchorage. The Harding Icefield Trailhead is located on the right about 1/3 of mile along the Exit Glacier Paved Path. Soon you will emerge above the treeline with the first overlook to Harding Icefield. The icefield may be a remnant of the Pleistocene ice masses once covering half of Alaska. The trail is well developed but steep with nearly 3,000 feet of elevation gain. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from May until October. Make sure you are dressed properly, as the weather on top is often different than in the Exit Glacier area below. 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. If you’re interested in a longer day hike to add to the Exit Glacier Trail, consider the Harding Icefield Trail. Three different climates to pass through and insane views all over the place. Glaciers And Glory: The Harding Icefield Trail. However, we didn’t think the girls would enjoy completing the 8.2 miles round trip journey. Reach Seward Village by heading south on AK-1, then State Highway 9. The adventurous Harding Icefield Trail is a spectacular day hike near Seward in Kenai Fjords National Park, Alaska. The nearby town of Seward averages 72 inches of rain per year. The views are beautiful. The last 20-30 mins was through snow, at times knee deep, but just follow the tracks and the flags. 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. 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. I enjoyed this hike so much! The hike starts from the foot of Exit Glacier just outside Seward and takes you to the top of the enormous 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.
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