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harding icefield hike

Starting on the valley floor, the trail meanders through alder … Sharp nunataks (lone peaks) break the white horizon, glaciers spill from the ice field’s … 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. Elevation wise its all uphill with no flats whatsoever. How to Hike the Harding Icefield Trail Getting to the Harding Icefield Trail To reach the beginning of the Harding Icefield trail. The terrain remained interesting throughout the route. Saw 3 black bears out today towards the last mile to the top, be careful. Even if you do not hike the entire length of the trail, simply experiencing part of it allows for stunning views of the valley and 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. A definite must hike if you are in the Seward area. Here you will be able to visit the nature center, fill your empty bottles and even use flush toilets. Hiking the Harding Icefield Trail in Kenai Fjords National Park, Alaska. People do hike up to the icefield, and a few adventures ones even continue across. It climbs 5000 feet … The Harding Icefield Trailhead is located on the right about 1/3 of mile along the Exit Glacier Paved Path. If you’re in decent shape you’ll be able to finish the hike. The trail was very crowded since it was a … Following the Glacier Overlook Trail for 0.4 miles (0.64 km), the Harding Icefield Trail branches off to the right (well-marked). 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? But, if there’s one trail I could recommend in Alaska, it’s Harding Icefield. Starting on the valley floor, the trail meanders through alder … We did see a black bear that was off the trail and uninterested in us. Guests are in for a remarkable day hike on an 8.2-mile loop along the Harding Icefield 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. Begins in the lush green forest, ascends to colorful meadow and ends in a mars like tundra. 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 adventurous Harding Icefield Trail is a spectacular day hike near Seward in Kenai Fjords National Park, Alaska. The trail is well developed but steep with nearly 3,000 feet of elevation gain. A particularly gorgeous turn back point is Marmot Meadows and the amazing view of the Exit Glacier. It was a warm, sunny July day when my wife and I hiked the Harding Icefield trail. The vast expanse of the Harding Ice Field is absolutely mind-boggling. The Harding Icefield hike is a must-do hike in Kenai Mountains. Dress in layers- very cold at the top if you go to the glacier. Along the way, enjoy wildlife, wildflowers, and waterfalls. Harding Icefield Trail. 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 hike starts from the foot of Exit Glacier just outside Seward and takes you to the top of the enormous Harding Icefield. We were blessed — such days are not common in this area. Loose trail is hard on the knees but the view from the top is amazing! Steep and damp but not really technical. Short, but steep this trail takes you to the top…, The hike up Hope Point Trail is a fun and challenging hike to the peak of Hope Point. The icefield itself receives over 400 inches of snow each year. Hard on the knees when you go down. This trek climbs 3000 feet alongside Exit Glacier as it passes through several climatic zones. Altogether the hike to and from Harding Icefield is 8.2 miles. Hike the Harding Icefield Trail in Kenai Fjords National Park. We hiked to the top of the Icefield in July 2013. Today the 700 square feet of ice and snow is dotted with glacial islands of exposed parts of mountains known as “nunataks”. Hikers can expect sweeping views of the Exit Glacier area as they ascend high above the trailhead. And then you get to the top where you will see the incredible Harding Icefield… The hike starts from the foot of Exit Glacier just outside Seward and takes you to the top of the enormous Harding Icefield. Strenuous. 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. We hit the trail head at 10am on an Oct Tue and had the whole trail to ourselves. History. Frequently Asked Guests are in for a remarkable day hike on an 8.2-mile loop along the Harding Icefield Trail. Difficulty of the Harding Icefield Trail The icefield is also one of four remaining icefields in the United States and is the largest contained entirely within the United States. 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. Went all the way down to stand on the icefield. 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. 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. Gorgeous hike. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from May until October. 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. One of the hardest yet most rewarding hikes I’ve EVER done. Skiing down the Grewingk was Sarah’s favorite part of the trip. First, I didn’t know this trail was rated difficult when we were on 99% of the trail! Harding Icefield Trail is one of the best hikes in Alaska without a doubt. The icefield is a remnant of the Pleistocene ice masses that once covered half of Alaska. Throughout the entire hike you have splendid views of … The route is 8.2 miles long and takes six to eight hours. 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. Your adventure will begin at Exit Glacier car park. This 500-square-mile frozen mass feeds almost three dozen glaciers, including Exit. 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.Hikers can expect sweeping views of the Exit Glacier area as … Very beautiful, a must do if it fits your activity level. Few scenes in the world compare to the view across the frozen expanse of the 700-square-mile Harding Icefield. Make sure you are dressed properly, as the weather on top is often different than in the Exit Glacier area below. However, we didn’t think the girls would enjoy completing the 8.2 miles round trip journey. The elevation gain is never very steep or too hard. 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 … The ice field was incredible (and freezing) make sure you bring gloves and a warm hat. Want some knowledgeable company? The whole trail takes approximately 8 hours: about four hours to hike up and about 3-4 hours to descend. This 8.2 mile round trip hike is strenuous, but the breathtaking view of the icefield, is well worth the effort. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from May until October. The construction of the Spruce Creek trail that year, however, made it possible to view the upper portions of the icecap, and … Guests are in for a remarkable day hike on an 8.2 mile loop along the Harding Icefield Trail. The hike is challenging. Three different climates to pass through and insane views all over the place. Please do not pass this one up. The scenery is incredible as you hike up the mountain and get increasingly better views of the glacier and the Kenai Mountains. Harding Icefield Trail is one of the most rewarding day hikes in the Kenai Peninsula of Alaska. The first quarter-mile (0.4 km) is through dense cottonwood and alder passing a few small cascades. For this reason, it’s best to treat the hike as a full-day excursion and set out in the early morning! Didn’t see any cool animals, but other hikers saw bears. The trail is easy to follow all the way to the cabin, snow ankle deep for about the last 30 min or so but the trail is still easy to follow! Harding Ice Field Trail, Kenai Fjords National Park: Address, Harding Ice Field Trail Reviews: 5/5 Also, resist the urge to step on the icefield or glacier as it can be extremely dangerous. The hike up to the Harding Icefield is a strenuous, 7.7 mile roundtrip, hike that gains 3000 feet. 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 Harding Icefield Trail is easily one of the most stunning and photogenic hikes I’ve ever done. We saw a baby moose which was so beautiful. This was one of our first hikes on our trip to Alaska, and it was definitely worth it. The forest slowly opens up as the trail steepens and you start some long switchbacks. 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. If you’re interested in a longer day hike to add to the Exit Glacier Trail, consider the Harding Icefield Trail. 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. Started around 9:30am and finished at 4:45pm with a long photo break at the top. This trail is a tough day hike, gaining 3,000 feet of … harding icefield hike - kenai fjords national park - june 2016. Happy hiking. Go towards Exit Glacier for around 0.5km until you find the Harding Icefield Trailhead on your right. Would have loved to see a bear but maybe next time. 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 Harding Icefield Trail by Exit Glacier. The Harding Icefield Trailhead is located on the right about 1/3 of mile along the Exit Glacier Paved Path. The trail is well maintained and easy to follow. The icefield may be a remnant of the Pleistocene ice masses once covering half of Alaska. This 8.2 mile round trip hike is strenuous, but the breathtaking view of the icefield, is well worth the effort. 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. Harding Icefield Trail at about 1 mile of the hike and 1000 ft elevation gain Above the treeline, thick wildflowers start to appear, and the combination of alpine glaciated peaks, the forest below, glaciers, river flowing across the valley floor and wildlflowers made it feel like almost hiking in heaven. It felt like going through two different worlds in one afternoon. We had decent boots with no covers and our feet stayed dry. 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. This was definitely the right decision for our family. Mostly vertical, it can be a real A** whupper, but ohhhhh, the reward is sooooo worth it. The Harding Icefield trailhead is on the right side of the path. Did this hike on Aug 16. Enjoy the view and carry on towards the glacier. Even a This trail is a tough day hike, gaining 3,000 feet of … The 8.2-mile round trip Harding Icefield Trail is a spectacular day hike. It’s not technical and very safe. Definitely would recommend this one. The Harding Icefield hike starts just a bit above sea level--so hopefully that will make a huge difference. 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. 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. Come prepared to hike the Harding Icefield Trail with layers, water, and trekking poles. I say this first because I read the reviews of this climb thinking it was going to be very difficult. Trail was amazing! Hike a bit further and in rocky alpine meadow you will reach another overlook – this time even closer. Enjoy a rigorous hike in the beautiful Kenai Fjords National Park. We saw 3 black bears on the way up. 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 … It just will take some people longer. You will start ascending through bushy terrain. The magnificent coastline of Kenai Fjords is steep valleys that were carved by glaciers in retreat. 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. 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! How to Hike the Harding Icefield Trail Getting to the Harding Icefield Trail. This strenuous trail leaves from the same trailhead as the Exit Glacier Trail. To reach the beginning of the Harding Icefield trail. The Harding Icefield, pictured Saturday, July 2, 2016, spans 700 square miles and feeds over 30 glaciers, including Exit Glacier, according to the National Park Service. Easily one of the best hikes we've ever done and could probably list it in the top 10 day hikes in the US. We had great weather and clear skies! The amazing views require some effort – the hike is strenuous with a lot of elevation gain. 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. The last 20-30 mins was through snow, at times knee deep, but just follow the tracks and the flags. 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 started out at 7:45am and had the trail all to myself the entire way up even going slow for all the picture taking. I took my time and soaked it in. The 700-square-mile Harding Icefield, one of four major ice caps in the United States, crowns Kenai Fjords National Park. Adding the Harding Icefield Trail. It is moderately inclined, but no difficult scrambling. Hiking the Harding Icefield Trail you’ll be transported to another time. Sharp nunataks (lone peaks) break the white horizon, glaciers spill from the ice field’s edge, and mountains fill the frame in every direction. attilio pregnolato/Shutterstock At Kenai Fjords National Park in Alaska, you can go for a scenic day hike on the Harding Icefield Trail. 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. Harding Icefield Trail is one of the most rewarding day hikes in the Kenai Peninsula of Alaska. The day we started there were bear sightings along the trail, so make sure to buy bear spray ahead of time. The trail ends overlooking the massive 700 square mile Harding Icefield, which is a leftover of the last major Ice Age. The icefield may be a remnant of the Pleistocene ice masses once covering half of Alaska. The ice field itself looks like something from another planet. Hikes Oct 16th. Head to Harding Icefield for views of surrounding peaks and fjords. Hiking the Harding Icefield Trail in Kenai Fjords National Park, Alaska. Take this trail to visit the overlook to the father of over 30 beautiful glaciers in Kenai Mountains – Harding Icefield. The adventurous Harding Icefield Trail is a spectacular day hike near Seward in Kenai Fjords National Park, Alaska. Killed my knees on the way down. If you’re an ambitious hiker, you can make a day out of it and follow the switchbacks up to Harding Icefield. Soon you will emerge above the treeline with the first overlook to Harding Icefield. The view is sooo awesome and 100% worth it! They minded their own business and so did we. Even a and drive 11.4km until you reach a big Exit Glacier car park. 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. 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 hike in Alaska easily makes our top 3 list of most memorable and wow-factor hikes. 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. Be on the look out for mountain goats, black bear, and marmots--- they are common sightings up here. That is just a little over 1000ft per mile, making the trail very steep and suitable only for hikers in good condition. After leaving the Harding Icefield, we continued south on smaller glaciers. You will begin the hike to Harding Icefield in the Exit Glacier area. Probably ranks as my favorite hike so far! The trail climbs up four miles from the valley floor, ending above the tree line at the stunning lookout over the Harding Icefield. I enjoyed this hike so much! Seward residents generally ignored the huge icefield west of town before 1922. 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. This strenuous trail climbs approximately 1,000 feet every mile, but spectacular views along the way make it well worth the effort. Took us 6ish hrs roundtrip at a leisurely pace. 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. The 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 nearby town of Seward averages 72 inches of rain per year. 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. 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. Peer into the Pleistocene on the Harding Icefield Trail, high in the Kenai Mountains. The endless icefield scene will take your breath away. The expansive view of endless ice floor above the clouds will take your breath away! It looks so gentle and lightly sloping with a … The 8.2-mile out-and-back hike along Harding Icefield is a spectacular outing. Also saw two black bears, very non-aggressive, on the trail! We will camp, ski tour, climb nunataks and explore the icefield over six days with full guide support. Enjoy a rigorous hike in the beautiful Kenai Fjords National Park. Visit Alaska SeaLife Center at Seward to learn about Alaskan marine fauna. Harding Icefield Trail Details: We started out with the kids and hiked the short trail up to the Glacier lookout. We had some difficulty navigating the trail under the snow as the orange flag trail markers seemed to have been covered for the most part. Glaciers And Glory: The Harding Icefield Trail. Lastly, you will traverse along the hillside and descend to get right next to the Harding Icefield itself. The hike up to the Harding Icefield is a strenuous, 7.7 mile roundtrip, hike that gains 3000 feet. The Harding Icefield Trail is a relatively strenuous trail for the casual visitor to Alaska. Bring tons of water and snacks. 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. you can either drive and park at Exit Glacier Car Park or take the Exit Glacier Shuttle that costs $10 return with a few different times to choose from. The views are beautiful. The Harding Icefield Trail is a relatively strenuous trail for the casual visitor to Alaska. Above the Harding Icefield. The nearby town of Seward averages 72 inches of rain per year. The Harding Ice Field is a fairly popular tourist destination, though those people typically come in July or August when the cruise ships make the rounds of the Alaskan coast. The 700-square-mile Harding Icefield, one of four major ice caps in the United States, crowns Kenai Fjords National Park. We will camp, ski tour, climb nunataks and explore the icefield over six days with full guide support. It was a warm, sunny July day when my wife and I hiked the Harding Icefield trail. The rest of us can only begin to appreciate the magnitude of this immense geographic feature by air. Visit Exit Glacier Nature Centre to check the weather conditions before the 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. It was a long and never-to-be-forgotten adventure! The scenery is incredible as you hike up the mountain and get increasingly better views of the glacier and the Kenai Mountains. Glaciers And Glory: The Harding Icefield Trail. Pretty cold and breezy at the top as well so layers are definitely needed. Altogether the hike to and from Harding Icefield is 8.2 miles. This strenuous trail climbs approximately 1,000 feet every mile, but spectacular views along the way make it well worth the effort. The amazing views require some effort – the hike is strenuous with a lot of elevation gain. The 8.2-mile out-and-back hike along Harding Icefield is a spectacular outing. We ended up with 10.5 miles and just under 4000’ of elevation. This 8.2-mile roundtrip hike is sure to not disappoint if you are ready mentally and physically. We hiked to the top and hit the offshoot on the way back. That is just a little over 1000ft per mile, making the trail very steep and suitable only for hikers in good condition. Harding Icefield Trail Hike. This climb is not difficult if you are prepared and have hiked before. To Harding Icefield Fjords is steep valleys that were carved by glaciers harding icefield hike.. Ones even continue harding icefield hike Paved Path the way back a doubt beginning of Pleistocene... Trail steepens and you start some long switchbacks near Anchorage uphill with no flats whatsoever closed... Insane views all over the Harding Icefield, we continued south on AK-1, then State Highway 9 Seward takes. 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