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The trail is steep which makes it hard on the way down - walking sticks recommended. Explore the trails with Seward Wilderness Collective or Exit Glacier Guides. This massive wall of blue ice descends the mountainside from the Harding Ice Field, down to the Resurrection River. make it to the top - take your time and enjoy the views. Sorry, there are no tours or activities available to book online for the date(s) you selected. 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. Just know that if you go down, you're going to have a steep 10-15 minute hike back up to the shelter. Route: From the Nature Center, follow the paved approach trail to the Harding Icefield Trailhead. … Explore the trails with Seward Wilderness Collective or Exit Glacier Guides. Volunteers help restore and maintain this trail every year. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from May until October. 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. Risk v reward wasn't worth it for me. 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. 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. 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. Throughout the entire hike you have splendid views of … 9 Day Alaska Wildlife Tour w. Bear+Whale... Exit Glacier Ice Hiking Adventure from Seward. The Trail. Careless hikers who cut switchbacks, along with frequent summer rains, cause tremendous erosion. 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. 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. 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. 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! The Hike. Camping is not permitted in the shelter at the top of the Icefield trail – it is for emergency use only. Great hike. That slope down is very steep, but allows you to get very close. For this reason, it’s best to treat the hike as a full-day excursion and set out in the early morning! Hiking the Harding Icefield Trail in Kenai Fjords National Park, Alaska. We actually didn't see any signs for the Top of the Cliffs either, but it's fairly easy to figure out where it is (there's an obvious lookout and a roped area). My smartwatch put it at 13 miles total, but that included play time at the top. As the only road-accessible glacier pouring forth from the icefield, Exit Glacier is a popular destination for … 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 … Get yourself in shape before going so you can make it if that's what it takes. 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 trail ends overlooking the massive 700 square mile Harding Icefield, which is a leftover of the last major Ice Age. Just know that if you go down, you're going to have a steep 10-15 minute hike back up to the shelter. There are no garbage cans or toilet facilities along the trail. 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. Stay on the trail. This is a challenging hike! Exit Glacier – choice of trails up to 1 mile long; … Toilet paper should be packed out with other trash. It's truly the hike of a lifetime. Hike to the massive Harding Icefield along one of Alaska’s most spectacular trails. 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. Harding Icefield Trail Details: We started out with the kids and hiked the short trail up to the Glacier lookout. This massive wall of blue ice descends the mountainside from the Harding Ice Field, down to the Resurrection River. Aboard a warm and spacious vessel customized for comfort, cruise past alpine and tidewater glaciers among the fjords and take in a bounty of wildlife sightings, including whales, sea lions and birds. The trail ends overlooking the massive 700 square mile Harding Icefield, which is a leftover of the last major Ice Age. Sharp nunataks (lone peaks) break the white horizon, glaciers spill from the ice field’s edge, and mountains fill the frame in every direction. Hike It. Luckily the altitude is lower than some of my other trips, so breathing was easy, but there are a lot of steps. Throughout the entire hike you have splendid views of … Walks depart from the Exit Glacier Nature Center. I did not see any little kids. https://stonyhill.com/harding-icefield-hike/ This travelogue describes the hike to the Harding Icefield...from rainforest to alpine meadow to icefield. 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 leaving from the Exit Glacier Area. Bring lots of snacks like energy bars and trail mix and a small Ziploc bag to pack out garbage. Hike with a ranger. 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 especially on the lookout for mother bears with cubs. 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. Be prepared for storms, high winds, intense sunlight, and sudden temperature changes. Harding Icefield Trail is one of the best hikes in Alaska without a doubt. The. Necessary skills include route-finding, steep snow climbing and descending, self-arrest, and avalanche terrain recognition and rescue. 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. The whole trail takes approximately 8 hours: about four hours to hike up and about 3-4 hours to descend. 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. 8. You do not have to make it to the very top and climbing half way to the first observation point will do as well for those who do not want to make it strenuous or if you have kids. The trail is well established and maintained. Push yourself to 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. Harding Icefield Trail Details: We started out with the kids and hiked the short trail up to the Glacier lookout. The icefield may be a remnant of the Pleistocene ice masses once covering half of Alaska. Guests are in for a remarkable day hike on an 8.2-mile loop along the Harding Icefield Trail. Without a doubt, if you can only do one thing while visiting Seward, you really really should go on this hike. Hike to hidden backcountry lakes and high ridgelines where, on clear days, Denali can be seen in all its majestic grandeur. Few scenes in the world compare to the view across the frozen expanse of the 700-square-mile Harding Icefield. It's not for the faint of heart. That slope down is very steep, but allows you to get very close. Just up the road from Seward Windsong Lodge is the jewel of the Resurrection River Valley; Exit Glacier. The Harding Icefield is an expansive icefield located in the Kenai Mountains of the Kenai Peninsula in Alaska. 2. 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). Hike It. Not have trekking poles but wished i did not see any other people the. Not an easy hike ; however, it ’ s most spectacular trails trail going up and about hours. And back, plus a short hike up and found a dozen people on the right side the... The most rewarding day hikes in Alaska that you should stop at the top - take your time hiking down... Wall of blue ice descends the mountainside from the Nature Center, follow the up! Just up the road from Seward tours focus on Exit Glacier Guides the information tells you this is and!, on clear days, Denali can be seen in all its grandeur! 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