harding icefield guided hike

December 2, 2020

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

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