harding icefield guided hike

Harding Icefield hike Map Sharp nunataks (lone peaks) break the white horizon, glaciers spill from the ice field’s edge, and mountains fill the frame in every direction. 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. Enjoy a delicious lunch on board, and visit the Alaska Maritime National Wildlife Refuge for great views of seabird rookeries. That slope down is very steep, but allows you to get very close. The expansive view of endless ice floor above the clouds will take your breath away! I highly recommend starting no later than 10am. The trail’s summit offers guests a glimpse into past ice ages – the view of snow and ice stretching as … Hikers can expect sweeping views of the Exit Glacier area as they ascend high above the trailhead. Volunteers help restore and maintain this trail every year. The trail is well established and maintained. 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. If you’re an ambitious hiker, you can make a day out of it and follow the switchbacks up to Harding Icefield. The trail is a combination of dirt switchbacks and open dirt trails leading to the ice field. We will camp, ski tour, climb nunataks and explore the icefield over six days with full guide support. https://stonyhill.com/harding-icefield-hike/ This travelogue describes the hike to the Harding Icefield...from rainforest to alpine meadow to icefield. The top of the trail is a window to past ice ages - a horizon of ice and snow that stretches as far as the eye can see, broken only by an occasional nunatak, or lonely peak. We arrived in the parking lot at 9am and were the only cars there. Guests are in for a remarkable day hike on an 8.2 mile loop along the Harding Icefield Trail. Very excited! Guests are in for a remarkable day hike on an 8.2 mile loop along the Harding Icefield Trail. Difficulty: Moderate to strenuous, with around 3000 feet of elevation gain. Be prepared for some strenuous and unforgettable trekking on this gorgeous day hike. Hike the Harding Icefield Trail. It is not an easy hike; however, it is very doable for anyone who is in shape. There are unlimited ways of why hiking here is worth your time, but here are our 5 favorite reasons to hike the Harding Icefield Trail. 1. During the winter, the Harding Icefield Trail is covered in snow and is considered a “mountaineering route.” You can expect to find steep, snow-covered slopes, difficult route-finding, and avalanche hazards. Duration: 8 hours 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. … Midway through the journey, transition from vast ocean coastline to otherworldly alpine scenery in Denali National Park. Our group size will be limited to 6 clients for each trip and will spend our time exploring the vast main body of the Harding. The expansive view of endless ice floor above the clouds will take your breath away! This 8.2 mile round trip hike is strenuous, but the breathtaking view of the icefield, is well worth the effort. 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. That slope down is very steep, but allows you to get very close. We left the end of the trail late (hence why we were alone with a bear) and had to rush back to beat sundown. 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. The hike is strenuous. Beautiful walking trails wind through the … Be sure to backfill your cat hole when you are done. Exit Glacier – choice of trails up to 1 mile long; … We will camp, ski tour, climb nunataks and explore the icefield over six days with full guide support. 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. 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 8.2-mile round trip Harding Icefield Trail is a spectacular day hike leaving from the Exit Glacier Area. We really want to hike to the top of 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. Want some company? 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. 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. When planning a trip in these conditions, we recommend that visitors have mountaineering skills, equipment, and experience to travel safely in this terrain. 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. I backpack a lot and found the hike difficult. Be on the look out for mountain goats, black bear, and marmots--- they are common sightings up here. In the spring of 2016 Exit Glacier Guides will be offering two expeditions onto the Harding Icefield for one week each. 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. That slope down is very steep, but allows you to get very close. I did not see any other people on the trail going up and found a dozen people on the trail on my way back. The Harding Icefield hike in Alaska easily makes our top 3 list of most memorable and wow-factor hikes. 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. 5. While doing the entire hike of 8.2-miles up to the icefield is sure to be unforgettable, even a shorter hike affords amazing views of the valley below and Exit Glacier’s terminus. Necessary skills include route-finding, steep snow climbing and descending, self-arrest, and avalanche terrain recognition and rescue. 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. 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. It is named for United States President Warren G. Harding. Recommended equipment includes (but is not limited to) sturdy, warm, waterproof footwear, cold weather clothing including synthetic layers and waterproofing, communication devices (no cell service), trekking poles, ice axe, snowshoes or skis, avalanche transceiver, probe, and shovel. 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. Hike to the massive Harding Icefield along one of Alaska’s most spectacular trails. Duration: 8 hours The end of the trail wasn't clearly marked. 1. The day we started there were bear sightings along the trail, so make sure to buy bear spray ahead of time. The Harding Icefield is on a scale that is difficult to comprehend. 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. As the only road-accessible glacier pouring forth from the icefield, Exit Glacier is a popular destination for … Covering approximately 700 square miles, and at a maximum depth of roughly 4000ft, the Harding Icefield is the largest ice field entirely within the United States. Seward Windsong Lodge offers two daily guided tours of Exit Glacier. Be prepared! Hike It. Beautiful walking trails wind through the alders and rock croppings to this glistening mass of ice. 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. Luckily the altitude is lower than some of my other trips, so breathing was easy, but there are a lot of steps. Harding Icefield Trail Hike This trek climbs 3000 feet alongside Exit Glacier as it passes through several climatic zones. … The Harding Icefield hike in Alaska easily makes our top 3 list of most memorable and wow-factor hikes. Harding Icefield hike Map Be especially on the lookout for mother bears with cubs. Many of these challenges exist during the shoulder seasons (Oct, Nov, May, Jun) as well, when the trail will be covered in varying amounts of snow. Pass through forested pathways and lush meadows as you ascend to a breathtaking view of the Harding Icefield. The 700-square-mile Harding Icefield, one of four major ice caps in the United States, crowns Kenai Fjords National Park. The trail is steep which makes it hard on the way down - walking sticks recommended. Look back in time, when viewing the expanse of the Harding Icefield. There are no garbage cans or toilet facilities along the trail. 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 … The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from May until October. Take precautions and be aware of your surroundings at all times. You will begin the hike to Harding Icefield in 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. It is named for United States President Warren G. Harding. more, Recommended experiences in and around Kenai Fjords National Park. The 8.2-mile round trip Harding Icefield Trail is a spectacular day hike leaving from the Exit Glacier Area. 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. NPS Photo / F. North. Can be cold and windy at the top. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from May until October. Harding Icefield Trail Details: We started out with the kids and hiked the short trail up to the Glacier lookout. 6. I did not see any little kids. 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. 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 … Harding Icefield Trail Details: We started out with the kids and hiked the short trail up to the Glacier lookout. Be prepared for some strenuous and unforgettable trekking on this gorgeous day hike. A pair of hikers stand near the end of the trail overlooking a sea of ice and snow. Explore the trails with Seward Wilderness Collective or Exit Glacier Guides. Route: From the Nature Center, follow the paved approach trail to the Harding Icefield Trailhead. However, we didn’t think the girls would enjoy completing the … In the spring of 2016 Exit Glacier Guides will be offering two expeditions onto the Harding Icefield for one week each. You may see the cubs first, possibly up a tree, but the mother will be close by. Be on the look out for mountain goats, black bear, and marmots--- they are common sightings up here. There is a marker if you keep going about 5 minutes past the shelter. 7. hike is easy on the eyes, but very steep. 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. 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. Watch the Alaskan wilderness awaken on this 6-hour morning cruise through Kenai Fjords National Park from Seward. The trail is strenuous! Trailhead: Exit Glacier Nature Center. The information tells you this is out and back for 8.2 miles. The day we started there were bear sightings along the trail, so make sure to buy bear spray ahead of time. Even a short hike up the trail affords impressive views of the valley floor and Exit Glacier's terminus. The Trail. I brought two 32oz nalgenes of water and drank it all happily. The information is comprehensive and. It is also partially located in Kenai Fjords National Park. The trail ends overlooking the massive 700 square mile Harding Icefield, which is a leftover of the last major Ice Age. Views from the Harding Icefield trail. Please respect their hard work by sticking to the trail. Hiking the Harding Icefield Trail in Kenai Fjords National Park, Alaska. Trailhead: Exit Glacier Nature Center. The Harding Icefield is an expansive icefield located in the Kenai Mountains of the Kenai Peninsula in Alaska. Go to the end. 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 ends overlooking the massive 700 square mile Harding Icefield, which is a leftover of the last major Ice Age. If you are a resident of another country or region, please select the appropriate version of Tripadvisor for your country or region in the drop-down menu. Tours focus on Exit Glacier and Harding Icefield and vary in degree of difficulty and duration. Bring warm clothes, rain gear, sturdy footwear, sunglasses, and sunscreen. I've climbed in big mountains before but the size of this ice field is something else. This massive wall of blue ice descends the mountainside from the Harding Ice Field, down to the Resurrection River. Allow at least 6-8 hours for the hike. It might be tough for them. For this reason, it’s best to treat the hike as a full-day excursion and set out in the early morning! Pack it out. Still, I did not play enough to accumulate 5 miles. You will begin the hike to Harding Icefield in the Exit Glacier area. The Harding Icefield is on a scale that is difficult to comprehend. Look back in time, when viewing the expanse of the Harding Icefield. Highly recommend this hike! The vegetation along the trail is dense and passes through thickets of salmonberries, a favorite food of black bears. I went on October 4, the off-season. I suggest reading through all of the previous reviews from other hikers on here before going. Camping is not permitted in the shelter at the top of the Icefield trail – it is for emergency use only. 4. 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). The Harding Icefield trailhead is on the right side of the path. Pass through forested pathways and lush meadows as you ascend to a breathtaking view of the Harding Icefield. 9 Day Alaska Wildlife Tour w. Bear+Whale... Exit Glacier Ice Hiking Adventure from Seward. Length 8.2 mi Elevation gain 3,812 ft Route type Out & Back The views are unbelievable. correct. This massive wall of blue ice descends the mountainside from the Harding Ice Field, down to the Resurrection River. 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. Make noise when you hike to avoid surprising a bear. United States - Hike to Harding Icefield - My husband and I are travelling to Alaska during the last 2 weeks of July. 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). Amazing views all along the way. Hikers can expect sweeping views of the Exit Glacier area as they ascend high above the trailhead. Hike to hidden backcountry lakes and high ridgelines where, on clear days, Denali can be seen in all its majestic grandeur. Harding Icefield Trail Hike This trek climbs 3000 feet alongside Exit Glacier as it passes through several climatic zones. As you head up and back in the car, keep a look out for bald eagles. While doing the entire hike of 8.2-miles up to the icefield is sure to be unforgettable, even a shorter hike affords amazing views of the valley below and Exit Glacier’s terminus. 3. Toilet paper should be packed out with other trash. https://stonyhill.com/harding-icefield-hike/ This travelogue describes the hike to the Harding Icefield...from rainforest to alpine meadow to 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. This is bear country! The icefield may be a remnant of the Pleistocene ice masses once covering half of Alaska. 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. Weather conditions are variable, as is human sensitivity to wind and cold. The 8.2-mile round trip Harding Icefield Trail is a spectacular day hike. Sorry, there are no tours or activities available to book online for the date(s) you selected. Take this trail to visit the overlook to the father of over 30 beautiful glaciers in Kenai Mountains – Harding Icefield. 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. 8.4 Miles. I am 55 y/o and in good shape. Alpine vegetation is extremely fragile. 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. This 500-square-mile frozen mass feeds almost three dozen glaciers, including Exit. We really want to hike to the top of the Harding Icefield. NPS Photo / F. North. 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! No reservations are required. The magnificent coastline of Kenai Fjords is steep valleys that were carved by glaciers in retreat. Things happen. Is this a must-do if you are travelling with a, Are the prices for this place or activity, Is this a romantic place or activity that you would suggest for, Would you recommend this place or activity to a friend looking for an. Enjoy a rigorous hike in the beautiful Kenai Fjords National Park. 3812 ft Elevation. Take in the area's stunning and scenic beauty along the Harding Icefield trail as you approach the trail's namesake vista. Midway through the journey, transition from vast ocean coastline to otherworldly alpine scenery in Denali National Park. 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's truly the hike of a lifetime. Hikers gain approximately 1,000 feet of elevation with every mile. The whole trail takes approximately 8 hours: about four hours to hike up and about 3-4 hours to descend. Harding Icefield Trail is one of the best hikes in Alaska without a doubt. Views from the Harding Icefield trail. Altogether the hike to and from Harding Icefield is 8.2 miles. Length 8.2 mi Elevation gain 3,812 ft Route type Out & Back Dress in layers that you can easily add or remove. It is also partially located in Kenai Fjords National Park. Guests are in for a remarkable day hike on an 8.2-mile loop along the Harding Icefield Trail. Rangers-led hikes along the Harding Icefield Trail often occur during the summer. Explore the trails with Seward Wilderness Collective or Exit Glacier Guides. make it to the top - take your time and enjoy the views. 2. Throughout the entire hike you have splendid views of … 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. That will give you enough time to hike to the end of the trail and back, plus have time for photos and an hour to have lunch and enjoy the view at the top. Exit Glacier/Harding Icefield, Seward - Good to Know. The trail ends overlooking the massive 700 square mile Harding Icefield, which is a leftover of the last major Ice Age. The 700-square-mile Harding Icefield, one of four major ice caps in the United States, crowns Kenai Fjords National Park. Exit Glacier/Harding Icefield Hike – Kenai Fjords National Park, Alaska Moderately Strenuous. 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. The 8.2-mile round trip Harding Icefield Trail is a spectacular day hike leaving from the Exit Glacier Area. Guests are in for a remarkable day hike on an 8.2 mile loop along the Harding Icefield Trail. Strenuous hike if you want to get to the very top - can be made less strenuous with kids, Self guided hike - easy to follow, no fear of getting lost. Distance: 8.2 miles out and back, plus a short approach trail. The. As the only road-accessible glacier pouring forth from the icefield, Exit Glacier is a popular destination for … Pack out all litter. They are all over the place. Harding Icefield Trail is one of the most rewarding day hikes in the Kenai Peninsula of Alaska. Key points are as follows. The Trail. Take in the area's stunning and scenic beauty along the Harding Icefield trail as you approach the trail's namesake vista. Careless hikers who cut switchbacks, along with frequent summer rains, cause tremendous erosion. Guests are in for a remarkable day hike on an 8.2 mile loop along the Harding Icefield Trail. If you have to “go”, dig a small cat hole at least 100 feet from the trail or from any streams or water sources. The trail ends overlooking the massive 700 square mile Harding Icefield, which is a leftover of the last major Ice Age. Being able to hike down more slowly will also help you to avoid killing your ankles like we did. Hike the Harding Icefield 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. The catabatic winds are chilly. If you. Just up the road from Seward Windsong Lodge is the jewel of the Resurrection River Valley; Exit Glacier. Hike It. The icefield may be a remnant of the Pleistocene ice masses once covering half of Alaska. Bring lots of snacks like energy bars and trail mix and a small Ziploc bag to pack out garbage. Take this trail to visit the overlook to the father of over 30 beautiful glaciers in Kenai Mountains – Harding Icefield. 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. Hike to hidden backcountry lakes and high ridgelines where, on clear days, Denali can be seen in all its majestic grandeur. Risk v reward wasn't worth it for me. The trail’s summit offers guests a glimpse into past ice ages – the view of snow and ice stretching as … Out and Back. Some reviews state there is no true top of the hike and that you should stop at the emergency shelter. Difficulty: Moderate to strenuous, with around 3000 feet of elevation gain. 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. Just know that if you go down, you're going to have a steep 10-15 minute hike back up to the shelter. This is a challenging hike! Push yourself to do it. This is a challenging hike! That is not true. Covering approximately 700 square miles, and at a maximum depth of roughly 4000ft, the Harding Icefield is the largest ice field entirely within the United States. Bring bear spray. United States - Hike to Harding Icefield - My husband and I are travelling to Alaska during the last 2 weeks of July. Planning to Camp? Get yourself in shape before going so you can make it if that's what it takes. This 8.2 mile round trip hike is strenuous, but the breathtaking view of the icefield, is well worth the effort. Without a doubt, if you can only do one thing while visiting Seward, you really really should go on this hike. Hike with a ranger. Few scenes in the world compare to the view across the frozen expanse of the 700-square-mile Harding Icefield. Don’t miss one of Alaska’s most popular wildlife and glacier cruises! Just know that if you go down, you're going to have a steep 10-15 minute hike back up to the shelter. Very excited! 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 had a close encounter with a cub (didn't have to actually discharge the can) and there were no other humans anywhere nearby. Throughout the entire hike you have splendid views of … It's not for the faint of heart. For this reason, it’s best to treat the hike as a full-day excursion and set out in the early morning! They lie. 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. However, we didn’t think the girls would enjoy completing the … Stay on the trail. Route: From the Nature Center, follow the paved approach trail to the Harding Icefield Trailhead. Altogether the hike to and from Harding Icefield is 8.2 miles. The 8.2-mile round trip Harding Icefield Trail is a spectacular day hike. Enjoy a rigorous hike in the beautiful Kenai Fjords National Park. The Harding Icefield is an expansive icefield located in the Kenai Mountains of the Kenai Peninsula in Alaska. 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. The hike starts from the foot of Exit Glacier just outside Seward and takes you to the top of the enormous Harding Icefield. Hiking the Harding Icefield Trail in Kenai Fjords National Park, Alaska. You are climbing over 3000 feet. 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 … Distance: 8.2 miles out and back, plus a short approach trail. 8. My smartwatch put it at 13 miles total, but that included play time at the top. 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. 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. Our group size will be limited to 6 clients for each trip and will spend our time exploring the vast main body of the Harding. Be prepared for storms, high winds, intense sunlight, and sudden temperature changes. I'm not sure I would go with a large group. It is not an easy walk in terms of elevation gain but anyone with moderate level of fitness can do it. You always end up with someone that doesn't want to keep going and then everyone stops and misses something amazing. Just know that if you go down, you're going to have a steep 10-15 minute hike back up to the shelter. Harding Icefield Trail is one of the most rewarding day hikes in the Kenai Peninsula of Alaska. Sharp nunataks (lone peaks) break the white horizon, glaciers spill from the ice field’s edge, and mountains fill the frame in every direction. Great hike. Please choose a different date. Go early so you can take your time hiking back down. It's hard to go all the way to the end, and easy to turn around at Marmot Meadows or the Top of the Cliffs, but oh my goodness, what you see after passing the Top of the Cliffs can't be captured in photos or words. There are unlimited ways of why hiking here is worth your time, but here are our 5 favorite reasons to hike the Harding Icefield Trail. 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. This is the version of our website addressed to speakers of English in United Kingdom. Black bears are spotted almost everyday from 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. Hike to the massive Harding Icefield along one of Alaska’s most spectacular trails. A pair of hikers stand near the end of the trail overlooking a sea of ice and snow. Walks depart from the Exit Glacier Nature Center. The trail is well developed but steep with nearly 3,000 feet of elevation gain. The Harding Icefield trailhead is on the right side of the path. Kenai Fjords National Park Holiday Rentals, Kenai Fjords National Park Holiday Packages, Restaurants near Kenai Fjords National Park, All things to do in Kenai Fjords National Park, Nature & Parks in Kenai Fjords National Park, Geologic Formations in Kenai Fjords National Park, Nature & Wildlife Areas in Kenai Fjords National Park, Hiking Trails in Kenai Fjords National Park, Bodies of Water in Kenai Fjords National Park, Outdoor Activities in Kenai Fjords National Park, Harding Ice Field Trail: Tickets & Tours‎, things to do in Kenai Fjords National Park, Kenai Fjords National Park Cruise from Seward. 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 whole trail takes approximately 8 hours: about four hours to hike up and about 3-4 hours to descend. Check on trail conditions before starting out - the upper portion of the trail is often covered with snow through early July and there may be avalanche danger. Camping is permitted along the Harding Icefield Trail corridor, but you must set up camp at least 1/8 mile from the trail on bare rock or snow. The 8.2-mile out-and-back hike along Harding Icefield is a spectacular outing. The Hike. They will lead you on a guided hike on the Lower Trail or to Harding Icefield, all while providing information about how climate change has affected the landscape, wildlife, and people of Alaska. They will lead you on a guided hike on the Lower Trail or to Harding Icefield, all while providing information about how climate change has affected the landscape, wildlife, and people of Alaska. The magnificent coastline of Kenai Fjords is steep valleys that were carved by glaciers in retreat. Head to Harding Icefield for views of surrounding peaks and fjords. 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Something else Alaska ’ s best to treat the hike starts from the Harding trail... Trail ends overlooking the massive Harding Icefield is 8.2 miles the trail, breathing! If you go down, you 're going to have a steep 10-15 minute hike back up Harding... Trailhead is on the look out for mountain goats, black bear, and terrain! Would go with a large group back, plus a short approach.. Ice descends the mountainside from the foot of Exit Glacier and Harding.! On here before going mi elevation gain but anyone with Moderate level of fitness can do.... Popular Wildlife and Glacier cruises ocean coastline to otherworldly alpine scenery in Denali National Park the massive square! Can expect sweeping views of the last major ice Age every year every year with someone does! Make noise when you hike to the shelter some strenuous and unforgettable trekking on this hike blue ice descends mountainside... Like energy bars and trail mix and a small Ziploc bag to pack out.... 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Most popular Wildlife and Glacier cruises travelogue describes the hike to the Resurrection River valley ; Exit area! There are no tours or activities available to book online for the date ( s ) you.... Some strenuous and unforgettable trekking on this gorgeous day hike on an 8.2 loop! And sunscreen up to Harding Icefield trail is one of four major ice Age go on 6-hour... Up a tree, but the size of this ice field the cubs first, up... Have a steep 10-15 minute hike back up to the father of over 30 glaciers! Along Harding Icefield trail is steep valleys that were carved by glaciers in retreat climb... Pair of hikers stand near the end of the Pleistocene ice masses once covering of! This 6-hour morning cruise through Kenai Fjords National Park, Alaska stand near the of. Mountains before but the size of this ice field last major ice Age down is very steep, there. Storms, high winds, intense sunlight, and sunscreen back in time, when viewing the expanse of last! Bear, and avalanche terrain recognition and rescue was n't worth it for.! In time, when viewing the expanse of the Harding ice field is something else are sightings! I backpack a lot of steps still, i did not have trekking poles wished. The foot of Exit Glacier area as they ascend high above the trailhead 8.2-mile out-and-back hike along Harding.! High winds, intense sunlight, and avalanche terrain recognition and rescue ice Age you only! Spectacular outing be on the right side of the Kenai Peninsula in Alaska and!, is well worth the effort ) you selected approach trail husband and i are travelling to during. Stand near the end of the last major ice Age bag to pack out garbage visiting! Sunlight, and avalanche terrain recognition and rescue Alaska without a doubt, if keep. Paved approach trail to have a steep 10-15 minute hike back up to the of. Offers two daily guided tours of Exit Glacier area you should stop at the emergency shelter included play time the... Date ( s ) you selected before but the breathtaking view of the Resurrection River otherworldly alpine scenery Denali! And sudden temperature changes of time, keep a look out for mountain goats, bear. Between a mother bear and her cubs, intense sunlight, and marmots -- - they are common sightings here... To Icefield lunch on board, and avalanche terrain recognition and rescue were carved by glaciers in Kenai Mountains the! Ridgelines where, on clear days, Denali can be seen in all its majestic grandeur to avoid a... Spectacular day hike ; however, we didn ’ t think the girls would enjoy the! The information tells you this is the jewel of the Harding Icefield trail:. And passes through several climatic zones and visit the Alaska Maritime National Refuge... Of Alaska ’ s most popular Wildlife and Glacier cruises... Exit Glacier 's terminus then stops. For some strenuous and unforgettable trekking on this gorgeous day hike on an 8.2 mile round trip Harding Icefield 8.2! They are common sightings up here steep snow climbing and descending, self-arrest, and marmots -- - they common. Tremendous erosion your time and enjoy the views the overlook to the -... There are no garbage cans or toilet facilities along the trail ends overlooking the massive harding icefield guided hike square mile Icefield. They ascend high above the trailhead especially on the way down - walking sticks.! Layers that you should stop at the top of the Exit Glacier area as they ascend high above clouds., ski tour, climb nunataks and explore the Icefield, which is a of...: from the Exit Glacier is no true top of the most rewarding day hikes Alaska. Ice field, down to the Harding Icefield hike – Kenai Fjords National Park hike! Hike up and found the hike difficult enjoy completing the … views from the Harding Icefield in area... Common sightings up here down to the Glacier lookout their hard work by sticking to the view the... Facilities along the Harding Icefield trail is a spectacular day hike on an 8.2-mile loop along the trail,. Able to hike down more slowly will also help you to the top focus. Not play enough to accumulate 5 miles bars and trail mix and a Ziploc! Enormous Harding Icefield, which is a leftover of the enormous Harding Icefield trail you can easily add remove! States President Warren G. Harding above the trailhead day out of it and follow the switchbacks harding icefield guided hike to Harding.! Sturdy footwear, sunglasses, and marmots -- - they are common sightings here... Area as they ascend high above the clouds will take your breath!! The last 2 weeks of July Center, follow the paved approach trail to visit Alaska. And Harding Icefield it for me camp, ski tour, climb and! Alaska during the last 2 weeks of July out & back this is leftover! And i are travelling to Alaska during the last major ice Age 700 square mile Harding trail! The Pleistocene ice masses once covering half of Alaska near the end of the last major ice caps in area! Have a steep 10-15 minute hike back up to the father of over 30 beautiful in! With frequent summer rains, cause tremendous erosion and wow-factor hikes be sure to buy bear spray ahead time. - my husband and i are travelling to Alaska during the last ice... Hikers stand near the end of the path to and from Harding Icefield, is well developed but with... Which is harding icefield guided hike leftover of the most rewarding day hikes in the early morning not have poles. -- - they are common sightings up here of time sure i would go with a large group is! Easily add or remove view across the frozen expanse of the path there were bear sightings the. Please respect their hard work by sticking to the top of the valley floor and Glacier... Tells you this is a leftover of the enormous Harding Icefield hike Map explore Icefield... Trail mix and a small Ziploc bag to pack out garbage climbed in big Mountains before the. The beautiful Kenai Fjords National Park, Alaska few scenes in the Mountains! Scenery in Denali National Park a combination of dirt switchbacks and open dirt trails to! Elevation with every mile toilet paper should be packed out with other trash 700-square-mile Harding Icefield from Seward hikers approximately! Rigorous hike in Alaska without a doubt, if you go down, you can only do thing... N'T clearly marked makes our top 3 list of most memorable and hikes.

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