This trip runs as soon as the snow safely melts (usually late June) to September 9th. 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. • Explore the history of how this massive frozen river shaped the landscape, • We often see large fauna like bears and goats on this hike, • Know yourself! Harding Icefield Trail is an epic 8.2 mile round trip hike with an elevation gain of 3812 feet. It is said that imitation is the greatest form of flattery, and we tend to set the bar for new adventures here in town. This is bear country! And though this ice field is but a tiny remnant of a time that passed long before humans settled into cities, this vast sheet of ice is a monument to the forces that shaped our world. Words cannot describe it. Planning to Camp? and following the accessible, Glacier View Loop Trail through the cottonwood forest to the Glacier View, a panoramic vista of Exit Glacier spilling down from the Harding Icefield. The hike itself was fairly easy and the trail is well marked. This trail is easy, mostly paved and very popular, and once you reach an amazing viewpoint overlooking the Exit Glacier, you will understand why. Liquid Adventures has an excellent reputation running small-group, boutique kayaking trips out of Seward. It is one of the most accessible valley glaciers in Alaska and is a visible indicator of glacial recession due to climate change. Walks depart from the Exit Glacier Nature Center. Long before I reached the last marker post, the Harding Icefield Trail at Exit Glacier had earned a place as one of my top 5-day hikes ever. The 8-day traverse occurred in the spring of 1968, beginning in Homer and ending in Seward. Solo Harding Icefield Expedition July 2017- Exit to Tustumena and back - Duration: 5:36. The drive to Exit Glacier and the Harding Icefield Trail is one of the most beautiful drives in the world. 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 day we started there were bear sightings along the trail, so make sure to buy bear spray ahead of time. Lush trees, bears, and vast icefields of Exit Glacier. Directions to Exit Glacier Turn on to Herman Leirer Road, commonly called "Exit Glacier Road," at mile 3 of the Seward Highway (AK-9). Even a short hike up the trail affords impressive views of the valley floor and Exit Glacier's terminus. Alpine vegetation is extremely fragile. 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. Hiking Exit Glacier via the Harding Icefield Trail - Duration: 6:48. Make sure to consider a stop at Alyeska Ski Resort, Portage Glacier, the Alaska Wildlife … The trail begins as a flat easy stroll through the trees, then climbs up a slope which gives a spectacular view of the valley below and the surround Be sure to backfill your cat hole when you are done. 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 8.2-mile round trip Harding Icefield Trail is a spectacular day hike leaving from the Exit Glacier Area. The trail is strenuous! Exit Glacier earned its name when the first group of mountaineers to officially cross the Harding Icefield “exited” the ice at Exit Glacier. Follow the Exit Glacier Paved Path for roughly 1/3 of a mile and look for the Harding Icefield Trailhead on the right. The trail ends overlooking the massive 700 square mile Harding Icefield, which is a leftover of the last … In the spring of 2016 Exit Glacier Guides will be offering two expeditions onto the Harding Icefield for one week each. Save Money by Booking a Package! Stay on the trail. Show more Show less. Camping is not permitted in the shelter at the top of the Icefield trail – it is for emergency use only. No reservations are required. The road will end at the parking lot for the nature center. 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. Our two main playgrounds are Exit Glacier and Godwin Glacier, where we either hike in or approach by helicopter. Head East from Anchorag along the Seward Highway (AK Hwy 1). It is said that imitation is the greatest form of flattery, and we tend to set the bar for new adventures here in town. (If you’re looking for something a little tamer, these are some great walks and may only take a few hours to explore). Liquid Adventures has an excellent reputation running small-group, boutique kayaking trips out of Seward. 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. Exit Glacier Area Trails Exit Glacier. The amazing views require some effort – the hike is strenuous with a lot of elevation gain. They are accessed from the Herman Leirer Road (also called Exit Glacier Road) off of the Seward Highway about four miles north of town. Watch the Alaskan wilderness awaken on this 6-hour morning cruise through Kenai Fjords National Park from Seward. Words cannot describe it. Take precautions and be aware of your surroundings at all times. Views from the Harding Icefield trail 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. to see how you can save money on multiple adventures. 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. 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 Exit Glacier is one of the thirty-five glaciers that flow through the extensive Harding Ice Field and the only area of Kenai Fjords National Park that is accessible by car. Exit Glacier and Harding Icefield are both viewable from this trail in Kenai Fjords National Park. The icefield is also one of four remaining icefields in the United States and is the largest contained entirely within the United States. The amazing views require some effort – the hike is strenuous with a lot of elevation gain. That may not mean much if this is your first time visiting my blog but after climbing glacier filled slopes on Mount Rainier, exploring the floor of the Grand Canyon, and ascending the cables to the … Traverse the majesty of Exit Glacier by ice hiking or ice climbing, or opt for a nature hike … Be prepared for storms, high winds, intense sunlight, and sudden temperature changes. Exit Glacier We hiked to Exit Glacier with a group while staying in Seward. 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 warm clothes, rain gear, sturdy footwear, sunglasses, and sunscreen. You may see the cubs first, possibly up a tree, but the mother will be close by. Kenai Fjords National Park is open year-round; however, the road to Exit Glacier is closed to cars for the winter months and much of the spring. Looking over a corner of the ice field is a humbling experience, one that leaves behind a sense of magnitude and awe that stays with visitors for a long time after they leave Alaska. This trek climbs 3000 feet alongside Exit Glacier as it passes through several climatic zones. It is always a good idea to check on current conditions before setting out. Starting on the valley floor, the trail meanders through alder and cottonwood forest as well as heather-filled meadows. Lush trees, bears, and vast icefields of Exit Glacier. Be prepared! Please respect their hard work by sticking to the trail. Harding Icefield Glacier Ski Plane Adventure, Alaska Camping Trip In the Unlikely Glacier Valley, MOUNTAINEERING AND PRISTINE SUMMITS COURSE - 3 DAY, Total Length: 8.2 Miles RT 3000 ft Elevation Gain. Be especially on the lookout for mother bears with cubs. Liquid Adventures has blazed its own path in the kayaking industry by building our own water taxis, pioneering new trips in new locations, and re-investing heavily in our equipment and guide training. Want some company? 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. 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. However, one should not judge this trail … Make noise when you hike to avoid surprising a bear. Hike with a ranger. Rangers-led hikes along the Harding Icefield Trail often occur during the summer. 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. And then you get to the top where you will see the incredible Harding Icefield. The Icefield is the largest in North America, and it remains as a 300 square mile vestige of the last ice age. Make sure you are dressed properly, as the weather on top is often different than in the Exit Glacier … Although, an Alaskan local did tell me that bear spray wouldn’t do anything if you encounter a grizzly and that I should be carrying a fire arm, I still … Minimum Age: 15, Price is per person and does not include the 7% city sales tax. The trail rises through the forest and ultimately ends up well above tree line to an awe-inspiring vantage point of the icefield. The Harding Ice Field, is like a fossil, an ancient piece of the past entombed by time itself, preserved from change. Starting on the Glacier Overlook Trail. Snow at higher elevations on the Harding Icefield trail can persist into mid-summer. Never get between a mother bear and her cubs. The Harding Icefield hike is a must-do hike in Kenai Mountains. If you’re interested in a longer day hike to add to the Exit Glacier Trail, consider the Harding Icefield Trail. The Exit Glacier, however, is the most accessible of the glaciers being reached by a spur road off of the Seward Highway. Hikers gain approximately 1,000 feet of elevation with every mile. The icefield itself receives over 400 inches of snow each year. Exit Glacier and Harding Icefield Kenai Fjords National Park, AK Exit Glacier, the only area of Kenai Fjords National Park accessible by car, is one of thirty-five glaciers that flow off the vast Harding Icefield. You will begin the hike to Harding Icefield in the Exit Glacier area. Harding Icefield Trail is an epic 8.2 mile round trip hike with an elevation gain of 3812 feet. To hike all the trails, start by turning left at the nature center and following the accessible, Glacier View Loop Trail through the cottonwood forest to the Glacier View, a panoramic vista of Exit Glacier spilling down from the Harding Icefield. You should be capable of hiking uphill. Exit Glacier Trail is a 2.3 mile heavily trafficked loop trail located near Seward, Alaska that features a river and is good for all skill levels. Mostly vertical, it can be a real A** whupper, but ohhhhh, the reward is sooooo worth it. Exit Glacier Ice Hiking This 7-8 hour tour is popular with clients that don't shy away from exercise on their vacations. Start at Exit Glacier Nature Center parking lot. If you are looking for a longer hike, then there is the guided Harding Icefield Trail. Over 40 glaciers flow from the Harding Icefield, but Exit Glacier is the only one you can hike beside. Pack it out. Back at the nature centre there is a book store and rangers on hand if you have any questions, rest rooms and a picnic pavilion.