Few scenes in the world compare to the view across the frozen expanse of the 700-square-mile Harding Icefield. Harding Icefield Trail is one of the best hikes in Alaska without a doubt. But, since it had been raining all day, I was already soaked. The 700-square-mile Harding Icefield, one of four major ice caps in the United States, crowns Kenai Fjords National Park. Harding Icefield Trail Hike. Land Website. These guides will remain free for reading. The Harding Icefield Trail is easily one of the most stunning and photogenic hikes I’ve ever done. There is a register to sign in at the trail head. Description for a few backcountry hikes possible near the Worthington Glacier starting at 2-miles and up. Hikers can expect ample wildflowers, wildlife and amazing views along this steep trail. Harding Icefield Trail. The trail ends overlooking the massive 700 square mile Harding Icefield, which is a leftover of the last major Ice Age. I do not recommend it as one of your first hikes without someone experienced. Watch the Alaskan wilderness awaken on this 6-hour morning cruise through Kenai Fjords National Park from Seward. The first quarter-mile (0.4 km) is through dense cottonwood and alder passing a few small cascades. Trails for all walkers and hikers. Snow persists into mid-summer at the higher elevations. If traveling in September, consider gloves and a hot thermos. There is a trail shelter high up for emergency use only. Even though I would allow for an entire day for the Harding Icefield Trail, it wasn’t difficult to add the Glacier Overlook Trail, which only added a mile out-and-back. 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.Runners can expect sweeping views of the Exit Glacier area â¦ NPS Photo / F. North. Sign Up. 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. Help Download the app. If you are particularly adventurous (and well-experienced), you can access the icefield from here. For physically fit hikers, a strenuous four-mile trail parallels the glacierâs north edge on a 3,000-foot ascent to the ice field, offering spectacular views of the glacier and surrounding mountains along the way. Alaska wildflower guide with many photos and galleries of photos with identifying information, nomenclature and taxonomy, uses, and links to more references. The Harding Icefield Trail is easily one of the most stunning and photogenic hikes Iâve ever done. Guests are in for a remarkable day hike on an 8.2 mile loop along the Harding Icefield Trail. Harding Icefield Trail - Hiking. Skiing down the Grewingk was Sarahâs favorite part of the trip. I may earn commissions if you shop through the affiliate links on this page. Trail Map: National Geographic Trails Illustrated - Kenai Fjords National Park Trail Map Maps & GPS; Download GPS Track; Description. Pack a warm coat or fleece, windbreaker and hat. The hike begins at the Exit Glacier Nature Center. It became a national park in 1980 to preserve the fjord and rainforest ecosystems, Harding Icefield, abundant wildlife and historical and archeological remains, and to provide visitor access. The Harding Icefield located in Kenai Fjords National Park is the largest icefield contained entirely within the United States, 300 square miles and if you included the glaciers which descends from the icefield it would be over 1,100 square miles. Mostly in the Fairbanks and interior region of Alaska, but always expanding to new areas! Back to Alaska Guide Alaska Guide – Hiking, If you like what I do please support me on Ko-fi. Sharp nunataks (lone peaks) break the white horizon, glaciers spill from the ice fieldâs â¦ These links help support this website and keeps the content free. The best map of the trail route that Iâve seen can be found @ NPMaps.com. All Rights Reserved - Copyright Lee Petersen 2020, Intro To Darktable 1 – My Lightable Workflow, Arctic sweet coltsfoot – Petasites frigidus, Review: Gregory Alpinisto Pack (35 and 50). Early in the season, there may be avalanche risk. Additionally, bears frequent this area, so you must know how to stay safe in bear country! Explore. From cottonwood forests on the lower trail, the trek takes you through some rocky terrain, to green alpine meadows overlooking the blue, crevassed Exit Glacier, past mountain cascades up to a vista of the endless sea of ice that is the Harding Icefield. All-Day Run: The Harding Icefield Trail is strenuous! Soon you step out of the alder, willow, and cottonwood and find yourself surrounded by flowers and other tall plants. This is a day hike only. Sign Up. Check out the Resurrection River Trail at Mile 7 of Exit Glacier Road. 5. This trek climbs 3000 feet alongside Exit Glacier as it passes through several climatic zones. The 8.2-mile round trip Harding Icefield Trail is a spectacular day hike leaving from 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. Full FTC Disclosure. The 8.2-mile out-and-back run along Harding Icefield is a spectacular outing. The icefield is the birthplace of nearly forty glaciers, and the Harding Icefield Trail climbs alongside one of the most famous and accessible of these, the Exit Glacier, for an out-of-this-world view of the icefield. (If you’re looking for something a little tamer, these are some great walks and may only take a few hours to explore). Harding Icefield Trail is one of the most rewarding day hikes in the Kenai Peninsula of Alaska. How to shoot the northern lights, how to edit photos in post-processing with a focus on FOSS software programs. For the more adventurous, the challenging Harding Icefield Trail is a must. The flora shrinks the higher you climb until there’s nothing but alpine meadows, towering mountains, waterfalls, and a behemoth of a blue and white glacier below you. The magnificent coastline of Kenai Fjords is steep valleys that were carved by glaciers in retreat. 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. Kenai Fjords lodging map Camping is permitted along the trail only 1/8 mile from the trail on bare ground, not on vegetation! Be sure to check other restrictions with the National Park Service before your trip! Yet the trail is very well-traveled and flagged. 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. Fireweed and lupins blooming along the trail. An informational display outside of the Visitorâs Center at Exit provides a visual map of the glacierâs location, but because it was taken in 2005 and is thus already outdated, our guide Lane used his finger to show us the terminus at the present year of 2017. Be sure to include the dates of your hike! Be sure you know what you are doing if venturing out on steep snow! I usually don’t love out-and-back hikes, but I can say I looked forward to the return trip, not just because it was downhill. Starting at milepost 3 on the Seward Highway, the steep trail makes it way above tree line for dramatic views of Exit Glacier and the vast Harding Icefield. A "can't believe I'm here" moment: top of Harding Icefield Trail. Plan. The construction of the Spruce Creek trail that year, however, made it possible to view the upper portions of the icecap, and President Harding's promise to visit the territory was sufficient to bestow his name on the feature. You'll gain approximately 1,000 feet of elevation with every mile so be sure to allow at least 6-8 hours for this trip. Hiking and travel guide to Alaska. National Park Service Ranger-led walks are available as well as a guiding service through Exit Glacier Guides. Log In. The trail is strenuous â youâll gain about 1,000 feet of elevation each mile â and it will take you most of the day to complete it. Late July, I had to cross some snowfields, but the path was obvious and flagged with orange markers through the snow. Following the Glacier Overlook Trail for 0.4 miles (0.64 km), the Harding Icefield Trail branches off to the right (well-marked). endstream endobj 11 0 obj <> endobj 12 0 obj <> endobj 13 0 obj <>stream A trail shelter sits atop an outcropping. Tutorials on general and auorora photography. hÞÌYkoÛ:ý+ü¸,ÅHònÚæ:Ýö¢È7Vß:Vj+mzý¡Ä±üÛí>áX$çhxæhHieD&´²B[£áÐ(`)N4N£ÐÔ§:§#sÎZ¡áÑY£Ï`ÑHop_ã¶w¡1ÀL¦1E é5`iÌâpô+2¢YsZÌb1Â¨£ÆÐpãñÅäÂC=5°*~µõ±Ç*áÃôVg2úÅg3ÀÀ#¹ÜP$ÈÁãÜø@Ay|7Â[G±ÉÏj(²BQüDPÔÇLØ8+÷Ôp". Make sure to keep an eye on the time! The Kenai Peninsula tends to be wet, so definitely be prepared to deal with rain (or snow). You can check out my other photos and galleries here! Harding Icefield (Seward) Distance: 8 miles round trip Difficulty: Challenging. Kenai Fjords National Park was established as a national monument in 1978. In late July, I’ve had to cross about a half-mile in snowfields. Topographical Map. Overview. 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 â¦ Click the image to view a full size JPG (580 kb) or download the PDF (550 kb). The forest slowly opens up as the trail steepens and you start some long switchbacks. Often these crevasses are snowcovered, so there’s no indication of what you are walking over. There are numerous hiking trails in the area. A link to the trail map: Harding Icefield Trail Map The Harding Icefield trail is located about 9 miles down Exit Glacier Road, just outside of Seward, Alaska. While it helps to be in shape and have strong legs and endurance, I rate the trail moderate in difficulty because it’s only 3.7 miles (6 km) of climbing and is very well maintained. I highly recommend this trail for anyone that is suitably fit and has some experience hiking and navigating. You are not allowed to camp up there. Winding through the valley floor, the trail passes through a forest of alder and cottonwood, over meadows abundant in heather with a climactic ascent above the tree line to a stunning vista of the Harding Icefield. Harding Icefield Trail in Kenai Fjords is a tough hike near Seward Alaska and features tremendous scenery. As in all National Parks, and as we should everywhere, follow Leave No Trace principles. If you have recently hiked the Harding Icefield Trail, please feel free to leave info about the conditions in the comments below. Guests are in for a remarkable day hike on an 8.2 mile loop along the Harding Icefield Trail. I spend quite a bit of time hiking in the backcountry of Alaska to find gorgeous sights that few people ever see. Help. Be prepared and know your skill level, the glacier is heavily crevassed and dangerous! This is the turn-around. 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. Showing results 1 - 90 of 744. Keep your eyes peeled for Mountain Goats that frequent the areas along this hike. Maps, photos, and information. There are no trash receptacles or outhouses along the trail, so be prepared to pack everything out or dig a cat hole at least 100 feet from the trail or water source for human waste. Favorites Lists Maps Create Map. Looking back, you can see the enormous glacial outflow plain where this past piedmont glacier once sprawled across 200 years ago. Thank you for your support! Because of the heavy traffic in this area, walking or camping on vegetation is devastating. Harding Iceï¬eld Trail Exit Glacier Trails Map photo taken July 2003 North 0 0.5 Miles 0 0.5 Kilometers Kenai Fjords National Park National Park Service U.S. Department of the Interior 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. 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 Harding Icefield Trail is a great ambassador for the changing environment because of how easy it is accessed by people from all over the world. The expanse of ice and snow seems endless. The 7.4-mile round trip Harding Icefield Trail is a spectacular day hike. *×¶ ... âº Harding Ice Field Trail âº Photos Photos of Harding Ice Field Trail Harding Ice Field Trail. Get the App. You can’t camp there. The expansive view of endless ice floor above the clouds will take your breath away! However, the walk down to get a closer look at the ice is worth it. ~ËkW¸zaÍÓ? Starting on the valley floor, the trail meanders through alder and cottonwood forest as well as heather-filled meadows. Dogs are not allowed on the trail. It can snow any time of the year, and the local climate is typically very wet. If you have time after returning, it’s well worth the quick jaunt out to see the terminus up close. This 8.2 mile round trip hike is strenuous, but the breathtaking view of the icefield, is well worth the effort. The 8.2-mile round trip Harding Icefield Trail is a spectacular day hike. Recordings Completed Stats. This is one of the most stunning sections of trail I’ve ever seen. 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. Popular Charitable Galleries Abstract Landscapes Wildlife Glaciers Aurora Forest Water, All material Copyright Lee Petersen 2010-2020 For usage please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org 603-748-1057, As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. Take this trail to visit the overlook to the father of over 30 beautiful glaciers in Kenai Mountains â Harding Icefield. Eventually, you come to the end of the maintained trail. Description: This map shows Harding Icefield Trail in Kenai Fjords National Park. The Harding Icefield Trail You can access this 8.2-mile trail near the Exit Glacier Nature Center â but beware, the trail is not for the faint of heart (literally). Stay with us while exploring Seward After a day of hiking in the alpine tundra, stay with us at one of 3 conveniently located downtown Seward hotels. The Harding Icefield Trail starts off from the loop nature trail, about 0.4 miles from the nature center. History. Kenai Fjords National Park - Harding Icefield Trail is a hiking trail near Seward, Alaska, United States - Edit The Harding Icefield Trail near Seward is one of Alaskaâs most memorable hikes. Show more photos. Depending on the time of year, you may be crossing some snowfields. 624 Reviews. The vista is difficult to soak in. Seward residents generally ignored the huge icefield west of town before 1922. The terrain remained interesting throughout the route. Aboard a warm and spacious vessel customized for comfort, cruise past alpine and tidewater glaciers among the fjords and take in a bounty of â¦ My income comes partly from affiliate links on these pages and from photographic print sales. History. To avoid hypothermia, change into dryer and/or warmer clothes at the emergency hut located 1/4 mile before the edge of the Icefield. It was worth a pause to get out of the rain. From cottonwood forests on the lower trail, the trek takes you through some rocky terrain, to green alpine meadows overlooking the blue, crevassed Exit Glacier, past mountain cascades up to a vista of the endless sea of ice that is the Harding Icefield. This is a Harding Icefield Trail map, showing the route up to the Harding Icefield from the Exit Glacier area and visitor center. The 8.2-mile round trip Harding Icefield Trail is a spectacular day hike. My foot punched through into water a few times. Keystone Canyon is a gorgeous 3-mile long canyon with enormous waterfalls and cliffsides near Valdez, Alaska. Alpine flora takes a very long time to grow, so please stick to the trails. The 8.2-mile out-and-back hike along Harding Icefield is a spectacular outing. Hiking to the Exit Glacier View at the Bottom of the Cliffs. Get directions, reviews and information for Exit Glacier and After leaving the Harding Icefield, we continued south on smaller glaciers. Starting on the Glacier Overlook Trail. My focus in photography is mainly landscape and wildlife. Green meadows give way to rocky alpine terrain. The Harding Icefield Trailhead is located on the right about 1/3 of mile along the Exit Glacier Paved Path. You can go inside, but it is not permitted to camp here as it is an emergency-only shelter. 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. There are also trails to the toe of the glacier and to the edge of the glacier that are shorter and less steep than the Harding Icefield Trail. Hike the Harding Icefield Trail in Kenai Fjords National Park. 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. This physically demanding hike climbs about 1000 ft per mile (190 m/km). Map of Harding Icefield Trail (red) and Exit Glacier trails (blue) – map disclaimer and information. Map and descriptions for numerous trails near the entrance and Visitor Center to Denali National Park. Look back in time, when viewing the expanse of the Harding Icefield. Be on the look out for mountain goats, black bear, and marmots--- they are common sightings up here.