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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. 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. I write this for the other scaredy-cats like me out there, the trail is worth it! 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. Altogether the hike to and from Harding Icefield is 8.2 miles. The adventurous Harding Icefield Trail is a spectacular day hike near Seward in Kenai Fjords National Park, Alaska. 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. The hike starts from the foot of Exit Glacier just outside Seward and takes you to the top of the enormous Harding Icefield. 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. 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! 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. How to Hike the Harding Icefield Trail Getting to the Harding Icefield Trail To reach the beginning of the Harding Icefield trail. 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. That is just a little over 1000ft per mile, making the trail very steep and suitable only for hikers in good condition. Along the way, enjoy wildlife, wildflowers, and waterfalls. 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. History. Starting on the valley floor, the trail meanders through alder … Begins in the lush green forest, ascends to colorful meadow and ends in a mars like tundra. How to Hike the Harding Icefield Trail Getting to the Harding Icefield Trail. Very beautiful, a must do if it fits your activity level. 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. Hiking the Harding Icefield Trail you’ll be transported to another time. The icefield may be a remnant of the Pleistocene ice masses once covering half of Alaska. I took my time and soaked it in. 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. Hikes Oct 16th. 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 … 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 Harding Icefield Trail is easily one of the most stunning and photogenic hikes I’ve ever done. 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. It is moderately inclined, but no difficult scrambling. Harding Icefield Trail Hike. harding icefield hike - kenai fjords national park - june 2016. I enjoyed this hike so much! It just will take some people longer. and drive 11.4km until you reach a big Exit Glacier car park. We hiked to the top and hit the offshoot on the way back. Want some knowledgeable company? The view is sooo awesome and 100% worth it! The Trail. attilio pregnolato/Shutterstock At Kenai Fjords National Park in Alaska, you can go for a scenic day hike on the Harding Icefield Trail. The hike starts from the foot of Exit Glacier just outside Seward and takes you to the top of the enormous Harding Icefield. The trail climbs up four miles from the valley floor, ending above the tree line at the stunning lookout over the Harding Icefield. Took us 6ish hrs roundtrip at a leisurely pace. Visit Alaska SeaLife Center at Seward to learn about Alaskan marine fauna. You will find the Exit Glacier trailhead at the western part of the carpark, near the nature center. Sharp nunataks (lone peaks) break the white horizon, glaciers spill from the ice field’s edge, and mountains fill the frame in every direction. 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. Bring tons of water and snacks. Harding Icefield Trail The 8.2-mile round trip Harding Icefield Trail is a spectacular day hike leaving from the Exit Glacier Area . Your adventure will begin at Exit Glacier car park. This climb is not difficult if you are prepared and have hiked before. We had decent boots with no covers and our feet stayed dry. Reach Seward Village by heading south on AK-1, then State Highway 9. The trail climbs up four miles … This 500-square-mile frozen mass feeds almost three dozen glaciers, including Exit. 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: Harding Icefield Hike - See 190 traveler reviews, 281 candid photos, and great deals for Kenai Fjords National Park, AK, at Tripadvisor. We were blessed — such days are not common in this area. 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. 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. Mostly vertical, it can be a real A** whupper, but ohhhhh, the reward is sooooo worth it. The Flattop Mountain trail is a great day-hike near Anchorage. The Harding Icefield hike in Alaska easily makes our top 3 list of most memorable and wow-factor hikes. Also saw two black bears, very non-aggressive, on the trail! The scenery is incredible as you hike up the mountain and get increasingly better views of the glacier and the Kenai Mountains. 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. Ice everywhere I look! If you’re in decent shape you’ll be able to finish the hike. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from May until October. The icefield is a remnant of the Pleistocene ice masses that once covered half of Alaska. 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 vast expanse of the Harding Ice Field is absolutely mind-boggling. Hike a bit further and in rocky alpine meadow you will reach another overlook – this time even closer. Head to Harding Icefield for views of surrounding peaks and fjords. Also, resist the urge to step on the icefield or glacier as it can be extremely dangerous. Seward residents generally ignored the huge icefield west of town before 1922. The Harding Icefield hike starts just a bit above sea level--so hopefully that will make a huge difference. Visit Exit Glacier Nature Centre to check the weather conditions before the hike. The 700-square-mile Harding Icefield, one of four major ice caps in the United States, crowns Kenai Fjords National Park. I am an avid climber. Lastly, you will traverse along the hillside and descend to get right next to the Harding Icefield itself. This 8.2-mile roundtrip hike is sure to not disappoint if you are ready mentally and physically. This 8.2 mile round trip hike is strenuous, but the breathtaking view of the icefield, is well worth the effort. Harding Icefield Trail. It’s difficult rating hikes when everyone is on different levels. Saw 3 black bears out today towards the last mile to the top, be careful. Harding Icefield Trail is one of the most rewarding day hikes in the Kenai Peninsula of Alaska. 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. 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. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from May until October. 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? The views are beautiful. We were blessed — such days are not common in this area. 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 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. 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. Went all the way down to stand on the icefield. The Harding Icefield hike is a must-do hike in Kenai Mountains. Hiking the Harding Icefield Trail in Kenai Fjords National Park, Alaska. Even a Hikers can expect sweeping views of the Exit Glacier area as they ascend high above the trailhead. It was a warm, sunny July day when my wife and I hiked the Harding Icefield trail. We saw 3 black bears on the way up. Become a Contributor at 10Adventures and share your adventures! No spam. Even a It was a long and never-to-be-forgotten adventure! We will camp, ski tour, climb nunataks and explore the icefield over six days with full guide support. 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. We ended up with 10.5 miles and just under 4000’ of elevation. Guests are in for a remarkable day hike on an 8.2-mile loop along the Harding Icefield Trail. Altogether the hike to and from Harding Icefield is 8.2 miles. The Harding Icefield Trail is a relatively strenuous trail for the casual visitor to Alaska. This trail is a tough day hike, gaining 3,000 feet of … 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. 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. 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. Make sure you are dressed properly, as the weather on top is often different than in the Exit Glacier area below. 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. Throughout the entire hike you have splendid views of … The elevation gain is never very steep or too hard. The 8.2-mile round trip Harding Icefield Trail is a spectacular day hike. Today the 700 square feet of ice and snow is dotted with glacial islands of exposed parts of mountains known as “nunataks”. Dress in layers- very cold at the top if you go to the glacier. This trail is a tough day hike, gaining 3,000 feet of … The Harding Icefield Trail by Exit Glacier. This was one of our first hikes on our trip to Alaska, and it was definitely worth it. 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. Guests are in for a remarkable day hike on an 8.2 mile loop along the Harding Icefield Trail. We had great weather and clear skies! 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. Following the Glacier Overlook Trail for 0.4 miles (0.64 km), the Harding Icefield Trail branches off to the right (well-marked). We saw a baby moose which was so beautiful. There are unlimited ways of why hiking here is worth your time, but here are our 5 favorite reasons to hike the Harding Icefield … 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. The expansive view of endless ice floor above the clouds will take your breath away! 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. Soon you will emerge above the treeline with the first overlook to Harding Icefield. The trail was very crowded since it was a … Trail was amazing! Gorgeous hike. Loose trail is hard on the knees but the view from the top is amazing! Harding Icefield Trail is one of the best hikes in Alaska without a doubt. 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. It was a warm, sunny July day when my wife and I hiked the Harding Icefield trail. Strong winds, snow and storm are not uncommon here even after the sunniest mornings! Skiing down the Grewingk was Sarah’s favorite part of the trip. This strenuous trail leaves from the same trailhead as the Exit Glacier Trail. We will camp, ski tour, climb nunataks and explore the icefield over six days with full guide support. The icefield is also one of four remaining icefields in the United States and is the largest contained entirely within the United States. A particularly gorgeous turn back point is Marmot Meadows and the amazing view of the Exit Glacier. Throughout the entire hike you have splendid views of … Strenuous. Elevation wise its all uphill with no flats whatsoever. The scenery is incredible as you hike up the mountain and get increasingly better views of the glacier and the Kenai Mountains. The adventurous Harding Icefield Trail is a spectacular day hike near Seward in Kenai Fjords National Park, Alaska. The terrain remained interesting throughout the route. It’s not technical and very safe. The construction of the Spruce Creek trail that year, however, made it possible to view the upper portions of the icecap, and … 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. 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 700-square-mile Harding Icefield, one of four major ice caps in the United States, crowns Kenai Fjords National Park. The endless icefield scene will take your breath away. The trail is well developed but steep with nearly 3,000 feet of elevation gain. Easy unsubscribe links are provided in every email. If you’re interested in a longer day hike to add to the Exit Glacier Trail, consider the Harding Icefield Trail. Top of the cliff is probably a good return point if you are short of time. That is just a little over 1000ft per mile, making the trail very steep and suitable only for hikers in good condition. Such a fun and beautiful trail. Unfortunately you’ll also have to hike on the road to the trail head, which is closed to traffic in the winter. A particularly gorgeous turn back point is Marmot Meadows and the amazing view of the Exit Glacier. The magnificent coastline of Kenai Fjords is steep valleys that were carved by glaciers in retreat. But, if there’s one trail I could recommend in Alaska, it’s Harding Icefield. Harding Ice Field Trail, Kenai Fjords National Park: Address, Harding Ice Field Trail Reviews: 5/5 Difficulty of the Harding Icefield Trail Easily one of the best hikes we've ever done and could probably list it in the top 10 day hikes in the US. The trail climbs up four miles from the valley floor, ending above the tree line at the stunning lookout over the Harding Icefield. If you’re an ambitious hiker, you can make a day out of it and follow the switchbacks up to Harding Icefield. Be on the look out for mountain goats, black bear, and marmots--- they are common sightings up here. 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. This 8.2 mile round trip hike is strenuous, but the breathtaking view of the icefield, is well worth the effort. Started around 9:30am and finished at 4:45pm with a long photo break at the top. Please do not pass this one up. The 8.2-mile out-and-back hike along Harding Icefield is a spectacular outing. 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. Three different climates to pass through and insane views all over the place. Starting on the valley floor, the trail meanders through alder … Frequently Asked Guests are in for a remarkable day hike on an 8.2-mile loop along the Harding Icefield Trail. The ice field itself looks like something from another planet. After leaving the Harding Icefield, we continued south on smaller glaciers. Mostly vertical, it can be a real A** whupper, but ohhhhh, the reward is sooooo worth it. I say this first because I read the reviews of this climb thinking it was going to be very difficult. Here you will be able to visit the nature center, fill your empty bottles and even use flush toilets. Take this trail to visit the overlook to the father of over 30 beautiful glaciers in Kenai Mountains – Harding Icefield. The icefield may be a remnant of the Pleistocene ice masses once covering half of Alaska. Would have loved to see a bear but maybe next time. This trek climbs 3000 feet alongside Exit Glacier as it passes through several climatic zones. Probably ranks as my favorite hike so far! 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. 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 8.2-mile out-and-back hike along Harding Icefield is a spectacular outing. 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. We hit the trail head at 10am on an Oct Tue and had the whole trail to ourselves. Happy hiking. 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.

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