[24], Under the provisions of ANILCA the park included 119,000 acres (185.9 sq mi; 481.6 km2) of "native selected lands," property that was taken out of federal ownership and conveyed to Alaskan native corporations. Pretty crazy. [65][66], Harsh conditions at higher altitudes limit tree growth above the tree line, creating an alpine ecosystem. The kites were SO MUCH FUN! Goode, Marcus Baker Tsina Glacier, Valdez It is only one of three national parks in Alaska that can be reached by road, via the Exit Glacier Nature Center. Spring exits on the Grewingk are only going to get harder. Kenai Fjords National Park is an American national park established in 1980 by the Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act. About 8 miles round trip, the trail gains a lot of elevation, and is described as strenuous. A network of trails from the Nature Center provide access to the glacier, and the 7.4-mile (11.9 km) Harding Icefield Trail. Length: 8-mile loop. Available to license for commercial, advertising broadcast and editorial use on Robert Harding.com [46][47] Smaller mammals include coyote, beaver and river otter. We arrived at the toe of the glacier to find several hundred meters of bedrock slabs between us and the trail. [57], Birds that nest in this park include bald eagle,[58] the Peale's subspecies of peregrine falcon,[59] black-billed magpie,[60] and Steller's jay. The Harding Icefield has never been high on my wish list, mostly because I think it gets a lot of traffic and I’d rather explore more remote areas. Hike the Harding Icefield Trail, a spectacular route alongside Exit Glacier in Kenai Fjords National Park Discover the charms and shops of Homer, one of Alaska's most beautiful seaside towns Witness jaw-dropping views of Cook Inlet, the volcanoes of the Alaska Range, Grewingk Glacier and Homer Spit Kenai Fjords National Monument was initially designated by President Jimmy Carter on December 1, 1978, using the Antiquities Act, pending final legislation to resolve the allotment of public lands in Alaska. Kiting might be one of the fastest ways to reach Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi‘s state of flow. After leaving the Harding Icefield, we continued south on smaller glaciers. [36] Predominant rock types include shale and graywacke, with greenstone, tuff and chert. The park lies just to the west of Seward, a cruise ship port. [35], Kenai Fjords is extensively glaciated, with 51% of the park covered by ice. Sarah and I spent the night in Homer, eating well and visiting friends. 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. The park is named for the numerous fjords carved by glaciers moving … Yep, April. Nearly 40 glaciers flow from the Harding Icefield, Kenai Fjords' crowning feature. But Sarah and I looked more like Josh in his clothes, and Mike just looked like Mike. Josh and Mike went to a gas station to fill jugs, and when Josh poured gas in the tank it ran right through to the ground. We were met at the beach by Caroline and Pat’s friends Eric and Beth, who brought us to Halibut Cove for the night. The Mumms patiently considered their options and did some shopping at NAPA. The park contains the Harding Icefield, one of the largest ice fields in the United States. [39] The park's largest glacier is Bear Glacier. I climbed an apron of ice-cored moraine to determine if we could sneak along talus at the lake’s edge. I felt the same way about Denali. Besides being strong athletes who plan creative routes with technical challenges, what sets them apart in my mind is that the’ve built boats for their trips. The remainder of the park is accessible by boat,[3] airplane,[4] and hiking. Kenai Fjords National Park is an American national park established in 1980 by the Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act. Receive emails with updates & training opportunities, Packraft-specific courses via the Swiftwater Safety Institute. A third site showed occupancy from 1850 to 1890. Secretary of the Interior Cecil D. Andrus proposed a 410,000-acre (640.6 sq mi; 1,659.2 km2) Kenai Fjords National Park. [17], Legislation stalled in Congress during the Watergate scandal, and was not pursued again until the Carter administration. We borrowed 4 kites for the trip, Pat and I were especially excited to learn how to kite (thank you Rachel James, Todd Kelsey, Lars Flora, Jason Kwiatkowski!). Joe Stock has a nicely documented discussion of this at https://www.stockalpine.com/posts/crevasse-rescue-haul-system. We also offer flights to an active volcano with landings at the top and/or the bottom. [26], Seward is a departure point and destination for large cruise ships from Celebrity Cruises, Holland America Line, Royal Caribbean International and others. I claimed we were The Three Mumms; Mike felt left out. I want to update that as of now (May 2020) the Grewingk Glacier has receded to a point that the bank of the lake is inaccessible from the glacier (without a cold swim). [6] It is the only Alaska national park that did not originally allow subsistence use by Native Americans, but native village corporations continue to have interests in inholdings within the park,[7] and have since established subsistence rights on those properties. The park is bordered on the west by Kenai National Wildlife Refuge and on the south by Kachemak Bay State Park. Wildlife thrives in icy waters and lush forests around this vast expanse of ice. These pioneers are followed by other plants as the moss and lichen break rock down into soil. The Halemaumau Crater is the center part of the Kilauea Caldera, an active volcano near Hilo on the Big Island of Hawaii. Sarah and I were joined by Caroline and Pat, who had set the week aside months in advance, thanks to Caroline’s mom watching their two kids. The survey also found evidence that an earthquake dating to about 1170 AD lowered the shoreline by at least 1.8 metres (5.9 ft), potentially inundating earlier sites. Herbaceous plants can grow in areas with better soils, supporting grasses, Nootka lupine, fireweed and other perennial plants. Google Earth, GaiaGPS, topo maps and more, Sat comm options, principles of self-rescue, Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window), Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window), Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window), Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window), https://www.stockalpine.com/posts/crevasse-rescue-haul-system, http://www.groundtruthtrekking.org/grewingk-lake-landslide-tsunami-hazards/. The nearest large town is Seward, immediately to the east of the park on Resurrection Bay. The site proved to be particularly challenging to clean up without disturbing the area. Our warm winter is very likely a necessary ingredient for such an unusual winter retreat, but I think there’s a fair dose of coincidence – the ice was declining in stability all summer and it happened to cross a threshold in the fall when it separated from a bit of north shore where it was pressed against cliffs. We considered skiing back up the glacier so that we could take a known ridge exit, but it would make for a long day ( 20-miles?) Enter your email address to subscribe and receive notifications of new posts by email. The trail to Harding Icefield is a 6-8 hour trek through the Alaskan wilderness. It was a great traverse! It shouldn’t be, the volcano has been slumbering for as long as anyone can remember. Image of road, park, green - 139148369 30,295 acres (47.3 sq mi; 122.6 km2) were repurchased by the Park Service in the 1990s, retaining subsistence rights on about 9,000 acres (14.1 sq mi; 36.4 km2). [5] It is a relatively small and accessible park by Alaskan national park standards, about 88% as big as Yosemite National Park. Some sites had been active into the 1980s. [10] A 1993 Park Service survey documented several village sites dated between 1200 AD and 1920. Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, Hawaii Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, Hawaii. See Homer and multiple glaciers, as well as getting a look at some remote Alaskan communities. Josh’s truck started up, then died. I also experimented with focussing on my skis, and trusting the kite, which resulted in accidentally getting airborne twice. [25] Most of the lands claimed were on the coastline. Harding Icefield Trail, Kenai Fjords National Park. My favorite Caroline and Pat story is from their trip to Mount Fairweather. Email: uwapress@uw.edu . Katmai and Lake Clark Harding Icefield: Seward to Homer Katmai NP Traverse Haines to Juneau Traverse Chugach Traverse Aniak to Dillingham Fairweather, Yakutat to Haines IRS Volcanoes Traverse Kuskulana Glacier, Mt. Eleven mine sites have been documented and two of the mine sites have been determined to be eligible for the National Register of Historic Places. Kenai Fjords National Park was established in 1980 by the Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act (ANILCA). Martin area. The tours provide views of land and marine wildlife, particularly Steller sea lions, puffins, Dall's porpoises, American black bear, snowshoe hares, Mountain goats, and humpback and orca whales, as well as natural sights such as the fjords and tidewater glaciers. The book is about their incredible 4,000 mile journey from Bellingham to Kotzebue. It is believed that coastal subsidence and rising water levels have inundated many sites, as the shoreline was the place richest in resources for early peoples. Sounds like this has happened several times at Seward trail heads. The most accessible glacier, and the only portion of the park accessible by road, is Exit Glacier. [20], On December 2, 1980, the ANILCA bill was signed into law by Jimmy Carter, converting Kenai Fjords to a national park. Eventually we ran out of snow and worked our way left to hike down the ice. Flow is a state where a high skill level is used in a high challenge activity. Mike Mumm drove with us to Seward to recover our two vehicles. At the edge of the Kenai Peninsula lies a land where the ice age lingers. Find high quality stock photos of alaska, people, cultures and places from around the world from popular tourist destinations to remote regions. Photo about Halim park Jeju island South Korea Jejudo the main road view on the stairs from the volcano caves. ( Log Out /  Visiting these glaciers in the Gulf of Alaska is hard in the winter, as weather can be extreme in the ocean. The crown jewel of this Alaskan park is the 735-square-mile Harding Icefield. Headlands were the most affected areas. Change ). It’s also beautiful, with a … We set up camp on a flat slab of ice at the water’s edge. Forested portions of the park are dominated by conifers, with deciduous forests confined to areas recently vacated by glaciers. An ice field (also spelled icefield) is a large area of interconnected glaciers, usually found in a mountainous region. Storm systems today continue to feed 600-800 inches of snow each winter to the icefield. The park is named for the numerous fjords carved by glaciers moving down the mountains from the ice field. Credit: bigstock.com Link Copied to Clipboard. Bus tours from Seward visit Exit Glacier and boat tours visit other parts of the park[29], The park maintains public-use cabins and shelters in coastal areas and at the edge of the Harding Icefield. Within the park is the huge Harding Icefield, claiming 300 square miles in its entirety. A similar succession pattern is seen at the park's nunataks, exposed rock outcroppings in the Harding Icefield. You can see the enormous Harding Icefield here, as well as many spectacular icebergs that carved out wondrous fjords. 2. by Nathanael | Alaska, Destinations. Fax: (206) 543-3932. As of last September, Josh said that the Grewingk Glacier terminated below the end of a summer hiking trail. The field is the source of at least 38 glaciers, the largest of which is Bear Glacier. A beach site near MacArthur Pass was discovered during cleanup operations. Although the proposal had support in Congress and from the US Forest Service and the Bureau of Land Management, it was overcome by difficulties with native land claims. The Outlet Glacier ­ Alaska ​­  ​Exit Glacier is a glacier derived from the Harding Icefield in the Kenai Mountains of Alaska and one of Kenai Fjords National Park's major attractions. Sanford, Twice Portage Triple Crown Iliamna Volcano Knik: Mt. Caroline and Pat flew to town so that Caroline could prepare for a book promotion event that evening. Negotiations between the Park Service, Forest Service, Fish and Wildlife Service and the Chugach Alaska Corporation resulted in a decision by the Department of the Interior to make the Park Service the lead agency for the Kenai Fjords area. Caroline and Pat are probably my favorite adventurers. The park's glaciers have retreated through the twentieth century, exposing new lands to colonization by plant and animal life. Eric and Beth brought us to Homer the next morning and we worked our way back to Anchorage from there. In this case, focussing on the kite, I trusted my skis to do the right thing on their own. We could not. The park's highest point is an unnamed peak of 6,450 feet (1,970 m) in the Kenai Mountains. Change ), You are commenting using your Twitter account. Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. In both cases, I was very impressed with the destination, and left with an, “Oh, right, that’s why this is a major destination.”. As the surface elevation of the ice field decreases due to climate change, the receding ice exposes bare rock and essentially increases the size of the nunataks, providing new habitat for alpine vegetation. [32], The park can be reached from Seward, 130 mi (210 km) south of Anchorage at the southern terminus of the Seward Highway. The park covers an area of 669,984 acres on the Kenai Peninsula in south-central Alaska, near the town of Seward. [16] The same day the National Park Service formed an Alaska Task Force to study proposed park lands. The pilot thought the peas were a strange request, and bought organic because, “you seemed like that kind of people” (probably not meant as a compliment). Icefield coverage has declined, with a 3% reduction in coverage over a 16-year study period. And of course, on this Alaskan “major destination,” we didn’t see anyone else, just some snow buntings, a wolverine, and a handful of sheep. In 1971 the Seward National Recreation Area was proposed for the area between the head of Resurrection Bay and Turnagain Arm, extending east to Whittier and west to Exit Glacier. Katmai area, and the Mt. Mount Rainier, Washington’s own active volcano. Wildlife thrives in icy waters and lush forests around this vast expanse of ice. The AMS glacier travel courses are a good way to learn as well. The oil did not reach the fjords, repelled by heavy spring water flows from the land. The Harding Icefield is an expansive icefield located in the Kenai Mountains of the Kenai Peninsula in Alaska. The alpine regions support shrubby grown to alders, devil's club, elderberry, lady fern, cow parsnip and other plants. However, the Harding is pretty benign in terms of crevasse hazards. as far as glacier travel goes… How much experience should one have while exploring Harding Ice Field? With Josh’s guidance, all four of us were able to fly right away. Another site was used from 1785 to 1820. The route was excellent, and it was a huge relief not to have to add a 20-mile day. Harding Icefield, Kenai National Wildlife Refuge. On March the 24th 2018 took a little local flight. The wildlife is equally as impressive here, featuring beautiful falcons and black bears. That’s a tough question to answer, it depends on the group and time of year. (I’ve presented some explanation of this reward vs. challenge space, audio file here). Exit Glacier, and Harding Icefield, are two beautiful and slightly more accessible areas during the winter season inside Kenai Fjords National Park. If you visit in person in the future, you can trek from Exit Glacier to Harding Icefield and watch for some incredible wildlife like bald eagles and whales. Sarah and I borrowed clothes from Josh Mumm and shoes from Mike Mumm. [8] A lodge was developed by the Port Graham community on Aialik Bay. In particular, Sitka alder is capable of fixing nitrogen, supporting itself and enriching the soil. [30], The park has established a cooperative relationship with the Alaska SeaLife Center, exchanging interpretive services. The gas tank had been drilled from below while parked at the trailhead. The right thing to do is have a ton of crevasse experience already. I loved carving turns on the flat valley floor, using the kite to get air off of little bumps, and learning how to control the kite. [61] Marine birds include tufted and horned puffin,[62] common and thick-billed murre,[63] and marbled murrelets. The park covers an area of 669,984 acres (1,046.9 sq mi; 2,711.3 km2)[1] on the Kenai Peninsula in south-central Alaska, near the town of Seward. Or, you could hire a guide for the trip. We were able to use the kites three times. The first study, entitled Alaska - Its Resources and Development was centered on the development of tourism, despite a dissent from co-author Bob Marshall, who advocated strict preservation. We were wondering how long it would take for the ice to retreat beyond where we were able to scramble out… it didn’t take long! Beth cooked fresh gingerbread cookies. This is an important part of the process that Higher alpine regions support a dwarf shrub community less than 1 foot (30 cm) high, at a very slow rate of growth. Blackburn Haines Loop Alsek Traverse: Haines - Gl. We were a group of five with significant experience and no sleds. Katmai area and the Mt. At a minimum, I’d practice crevasse rescue (setting an anchor, using pruskis to climb, etc.) 11 Underrated and Unique Vacation Ideas in the U.S. 4 Holistic Healing Therapies That Will Heal Your Soul What Is an Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP) and Is It Right for Me? It is also partially located in Kenai Fjords National Park. After our trip, I saw a post from Hig about the rapid retreat of Grewingk: There has been rapid retreat of Grewingk Glacier this winter – almost half a kilometer. Is Bear glacier Settlement Act ( ANCSA ) ended up threading a bolt into the Territory! The tree line, creating an alpine ecosystem in former glacier beds are at stony! 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