6. Few scenes in the world compare to the view across the frozen expanse of the 700-square-mile Harding Icefield. The Harding Icefield trailhead is on the right side of the path. Be especially on the lookout for mother bears with cubs. 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 most rewarding day hikes in the Kenai Peninsula of Alaska. Hikers gain approximately 1,000 feet of elevation with every mile. 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. For this reason, it’s best to treat the hike as a full-day excursion and set out in the early morning! However, we didn’t think the girls would enjoy completing the … 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. The trail is steep which makes it hard on the way down - walking sticks recommended. Just know that if you go down, you're going to have a steep 10-15 minute hike back up to the shelter. I am 55 y/o and in good shape. Harding Icefield hike Map Just know that if you go down, you're going to have a steep 10-15 minute hike back up to the shelter. Difficulty: Moderate to strenuous, with around 3000 feet of elevation gain. 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. 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! That slope down is very steep, but allows you to get very close. Bring bear spray. The 8.2-mile out-and-back hike along Harding Icefield is a spectacular outing. The day we started there were bear sightings along the trail, so make sure to buy bear spray ahead of time. The catabatic winds are chilly. If you have to “go”, dig a small cat hole at least 100 feet from the trail or from any streams or water sources. Go to the end. As the only road-accessible glacier pouring forth from the icefield, Exit Glacier is a popular destination for … I backpack a lot and found the hike difficult. A pair of hikers stand near the end of the trail overlooking a sea of ice and snow. That slope down is very steep, but allows you to get very close. The trail is strenuous! Careless hikers who cut switchbacks, along with frequent summer rains, cause tremendous erosion. Guests are in for a remarkable day hike on an 8.2 mile loop along the Harding Icefield Trail. Don’t miss one of Alaska’s most popular wildlife and glacier cruises! Bring warm clothes, rain gear, sturdy footwear, sunglasses, and sunscreen. 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. hike is easy on the eyes, but very steep. The Harding Icefield hike in Alaska easily makes our top 3 list of most memorable and wow-factor hikes. Be prepared for some strenuous and unforgettable trekking on this gorgeous day hike. 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. 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. 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. The icefield may be a remnant of the Pleistocene ice masses once covering half of Alaska. Sorry, there are no tours or activities available to book online for the date(s) you selected. Walks depart from the Exit Glacier Nature Center. We arrived in the parking lot at 9am and were the only cars there. Being able to hike down more slowly will also help you to avoid killing your ankles like we did. Can be cold and windy at the top. The Harding Icefield is on a scale that is difficult to comprehend. It's truly the hike of a lifetime. Things happen. 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. Harding Icefield Trail Details: We started out with the kids and hiked the short trail up to the Glacier lookout. As you head up and back in the car, keep a look out for bald eagles. 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). The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from May until October. My smartwatch put it at 13 miles total, but that included play time at the top. United States - Hike to Harding Icefield - My husband and I are travelling to Alaska during the last 2 weeks of July. This 8.2 mile round trip hike is strenuous, but the breathtaking view of the icefield, is well worth the effort. In the spring of 2016 Exit Glacier Guides will be offering two expeditions onto the Harding Icefield for one week each. The Harding Icefield is an expansive icefield located in the Kenai Mountains of the Kenai Peninsula in Alaska. Duration: 8 hours Explore the trails with Seward Wilderness Collective or Exit Glacier Guides. Risk v reward wasn't worth it for me. 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 … If you. 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. 7. United States - Hike to Harding Icefield - My husband and I are travelling to Alaska during the last 2 weeks of July. It is also partially located in Kenai Fjords National Park. 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. Throughout the entire hike you have splendid views of … 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. 8. I highly recommend starting no later than 10am. You may see the cubs first, possibly up a tree, but the mother will be close by. Harding Icefield Trail Details: We started out with the kids and hiked the short trail up to the Glacier lookout. It is named for United States President Warren G. Harding. 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. 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. Highly recommend this hike! Enjoy a rigorous hike in the beautiful Kenai Fjords National Park. Trailhead: Exit Glacier Nature Center. Black bears are spotted almost everyday from the Harding Icefield Trail. Watch the Alaskan wilderness awaken on this 6-hour morning cruise through Kenai Fjords National Park from Seward. Out and Back. Luckily the altitude is lower than some of my other trips, so breathing was easy, but there are a lot of steps. 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 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. Want some company? This is bear country! Hike the Harding Icefield Trail. Be prepared for storms, high winds, intense sunlight, and sudden temperature changes. Altogether the hike to and from Harding Icefield is 8.2 miles. 1. The trail ends overlooking the massive 700 square mile Harding Icefield, which is a leftover of the last major Ice Age. The Hike. The hike starts from the foot of Exit Glacier just outside Seward and takes you to the top of the enormous Harding Icefield. The 8.2-mile round trip Harding Icefield Trail is a spectacular day hike leaving from the Exit Glacier Area. Guests are in for a remarkable day hike on an 8.2-mile loop along the Harding Icefield Trail. Guests are in for a remarkable day hike on an 8.2 mile loop along the Harding Icefield Trail. 1. Harding Icefield Trail is one of the best hikes in Alaska without a doubt. Midway through the journey, transition from vast ocean coastline to otherworldly alpine scenery in Denali National Park. The 700-square-mile Harding Icefield, one of four major ice caps in the United States, crowns Kenai Fjords National Park. correct. In the spring of 2016 Exit Glacier Guides will be offering two expeditions onto the Harding Icefield for one week each. 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. 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 … Amazing views all along the way. https://stonyhill.com/harding-icefield-hike/ This travelogue describes the hike to the Harding Icefield...from rainforest to alpine meadow to icefield. 4. Never get between a mother bear and her cubs. The. make it to the top - take your time and enjoy the views. Hikers can expect sweeping views of the Exit Glacier area as they ascend high above the trailhead. 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 is well developed but steep with nearly 3,000 feet of elevation gain. 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. 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. Hike with a ranger. Camping is not permitted in the shelter at the top of the Icefield trail – it is for emergency use only. You are climbing over 3000 feet. Bring lots of snacks like energy bars and trail mix and a small Ziploc bag to pack out garbage. 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. Harding Icefield Trail is one of the best hikes in Alaska without a doubt. Be prepared for some strenuous and unforgettable trekking on this gorgeous day hike. Altogether the hike to and from Harding Icefield is 8.2 miles. 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. You will begin the hike to Harding Icefield in the Exit Glacier area. 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. 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. Be on the look out for mountain goats, black bear, and marmots--- they are common sightings up here. We left the end of the trail late (hence why we were alone with a bear) and had to rush back to beat sundown. 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. 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. The end of the trail wasn't clearly marked. 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. 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. Route: From the Nature Center, follow the paved approach trail to the Harding Icefield Trailhead. The expansive view of endless ice floor above the clouds will take your breath away! 3812 ft Elevation. Be prepared! It's not for the faint of heart. Planning to Camp? I did not see any little kids. The vegetation along the trail is dense and passes through thickets of salmonberries, a favorite food of black bears. https://stonyhill.com/harding-icefield-hike/ This travelogue describes the hike to the Harding Icefield...from rainforest to alpine meadow to icefield. The trail ends overlooking the massive 700 square mile Harding Icefield, which is a leftover of the last major Ice Age. 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'm not sure I would go with a large group. Take this trail to visit the overlook to the father of over 30 beautiful glaciers in Kenai Mountains – Harding Icefield. Take this trail to visit the overlook to the father of over 30 beautiful glaciers in Kenai Mountains – 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. The trail ends overlooking the massive 700 square mile Harding Icefield, which is a leftover of the last major Ice Age. Very excited! Guests are in for a remarkable day hike on an 8.2-mile loop along the Harding Icefield Trail. Sharp nunataks (lone peaks) break the white horizon, glaciers spill from the ice field’s edge, and mountains fill the frame in every direction. Throughout the entire hike you have splendid views of … … We will camp, ski tour, climb nunataks and explore the icefield over six days with full guide support. The whole trail takes approximately 8 hours: about four hours to hike up and about 3-4 hours to descend. Be sure to backfill your cat hole when you are done. The 8.2-mile round trip Harding Icefield Trail is a spectacular day hike. The 700-square-mile Harding Icefield, one of four major ice caps in the United States, crowns Kenai Fjords National Park. There is a marker if you keep going about 5 minutes past the shelter. Harding Icefield Trail Hike This trek climbs 3000 feet alongside Exit Glacier as it passes through several climatic zones. Beautiful walking trails wind through the alders and rock croppings to this glistening mass of ice. That is not true. As the only road-accessible glacier pouring forth from the icefield, Exit Glacier is a popular destination for … The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from May until October. 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. 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. Guests are in for a remarkable day hike on an 8.2 mile loop along the Harding Icefield Trail. 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. 9 Day Alaska Wildlife Tour w. Bear+Whale... Exit Glacier Ice Hiking Adventure from Seward. Distance: 8.2 miles out and back, plus a short approach trail. Push yourself to do it. This is a challenging hike! Hike to the massive Harding Icefield along one of Alaska’s most spectacular trails. Take precautions and be aware of your surroundings at all times. Hike It. Key points are as follows. I've climbed in big mountains before but the size of this ice field is something else. The 8.2-mile out-and-back hike along Harding Icefield is a spectacular outing. Alpine vegetation is extremely fragile. The expansive view of endless ice floor above the clouds will take your breath away! Look back in time, when viewing the expanse of the Harding Icefield. The 8.2-mile round trip Harding Icefield Trail is a spectacular day hike leaving from the Exit Glacier Area. I went on October 4, the off-season. 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. Beautiful walking trails wind through the … 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). You will begin the hike to Harding Icefield in the Exit Glacier area. 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. There are no garbage cans or toilet facilities along 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 … It is named for United States President Warren G. Harding. That slope down is very steep, but allows you to get very close. 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. No reservations are required. 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. The information is comprehensive and. Necessary skills include route-finding, steep snow climbing and descending, self-arrest, and avalanche terrain recognition and rescue. Enjoy a rigorous hike in the beautiful Kenai Fjords National Park. 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. 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. Distance: 8.2 miles out and back, plus a short approach 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. Exit Glacier/Harding Icefield Hike – Kenai Fjords National Park, Alaska Moderately Strenuous. 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 magnificent coastline of Kenai Fjords is steep valleys that were carved by glaciers in retreat. 5. Seward Windsong Lodge offers two daily guided tours of Exit Glacier. Difficulty: Moderate to strenuous, with around 3000 feet of elevation gain. This massive wall of blue ice descends the mountainside from the Harding Ice Field, down to the Resurrection River. The Harding Icefield is on a scale that is difficult to comprehend. Volunteers help restore and maintain this trail every year. We will camp, ski tour, climb nunataks and explore the icefield over six days with full guide support. Some reviews state there is no true top of the hike and that you should stop at the emergency shelter. 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. Please choose a different date. The hike is strenuous. Pack it out. NPS Photo / F. North. The trail is well established and maintained. Just up the road from Seward Windsong Lodge is the jewel of the Resurrection River Valley; Exit Glacier. I brought two 32oz nalgenes of water and drank it all happily. The icefield may be a remnant of the Pleistocene ice masses once covering half of Alaska. The trail’s summit offers guests a glimpse into past ice ages – the view of snow and ice stretching as … Hike It. 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 Icefield hike Map 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. Duration: 8 hours The Trail. This is a challenging hike! Harding Icefield Trail is one of the most rewarding day hikes in the Kenai Peninsula of Alaska. 3. 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. If you’re an ambitious hiker, you can make a day out of it and follow the switchbacks up to Harding Icefield. It is also partially located in Kenai Fjords National Park. For this reason, it’s best to treat the hike as a full-day excursion and set out in the early morning! The trail ends overlooking the massive 700 square mile Harding Icefield, which is a leftover of the last major Ice Age. 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. 8.4 Miles. The Harding Icefield is an expansive icefield located in the Kenai Mountains of the Kenai Peninsula in Alaska. 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. 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. Length 8.2 mi Elevation gain 3,812 ft Route type Out & Back Hike to the massive Harding Icefield along one of Alaska’s most spectacular trails. Allow at least 6-8 hours for the hike. Route: From the Nature Center, follow the paved approach trail to the Harding Icefield Trailhead. This 8.2 mile round trip hike is strenuous, but the breathtaking view of the icefield, is well worth the effort. 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. The magnificent coastline of Kenai Fjords is steep valleys that were carved by glaciers in retreat. Take in the area's stunning and scenic beauty along the Harding Icefield trail as you approach the trail's namesake vista. Hike the Harding Icefield Trail. This massive wall of blue ice descends the mountainside from the Harding Ice Field, down to the Resurrection River. The day we started there were bear sightings along the trail, so make sure to buy bear spray ahead of time. A pair of hikers stand near the end of the trail overlooking a sea of ice and snow. 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. They lie. The whole trail takes approximately 8 hours: about four hours to hike up and about 3-4 hours to descend. The Harding Icefield trailhead is on the right side of the path. 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. 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 really want to hike to the top of the Harding Icefield. Just know that if you go down, you're going to have a steep 10-15 minute hike back up to the shelter. 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. Rangers-led hikes along the Harding Icefield Trail often occur during the summer. Great hike. This 500-square-mile frozen mass feeds almost three dozen glaciers, including Exit. I suggest reading through all of the previous reviews from other hikers on here before going. 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. Hiking the Harding Icefield Trail in Kenai Fjords National Park, Alaska. 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. We had a close encounter with a cub (didn't have to actually discharge the can) and there were no other humans anywhere nearby. Look back in time, when viewing the expanse of the Harding Icefield. Go early so you can take your time hiking back down. 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. When planning a trip in these conditions, we recommend that visitors have mountaineering skills, equipment, and experience to travel safely in this terrain. They are all over the place. Weather conditions are variable, as is human sensitivity to wind and cold. Midway through the journey, transition from vast ocean coastline to otherworldly alpine scenery in Denali National Park. You always end up with someone that doesn't want to keep going and then everyone stops and misses something amazing. The 8.2-mile round trip Harding Icefield Trail is a spectacular day hike leaving from the Exit Glacier Area. Tours focus on Exit Glacier and Harding Icefield and vary in degree of difficulty and duration. Hiking the Harding Icefield Trail in Kenai Fjords National Park, Alaska. 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. The Trail. 2. Make noise when you hike to avoid surprising a bear. It might be tough for them. Explore the trails with Seward Wilderness Collective or Exit Glacier Guides. Pass through forested pathways and lush meadows as you ascend to a breathtaking view of the Harding Icefield. Length 8.2 mi Elevation gain 3,812 ft Route type Out & 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 a breath-taking view of the Icefield. The hike starts from the foot of Exit Glacier just outside Seward and takes you to the top of the enormous Harding Icefield. This is the version of our website addressed to speakers of English in United Kingdom. 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. We really want to hike to the top of the Harding Icefield. Pass through forested pathways and lush meadows as you ascend to a breathtaking view of the Harding Icefield. Please respect their hard work by sticking to the trail. Get yourself in shape before going so you can make it if that's what it takes. 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. Exit Glacier – choice of trails up to 1 mile long; … Head to Harding Icefield for views of surrounding peaks and fjords. 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. Very excited! I did not have trekking poles but wished I did coming down. The views are unbelievable. Toilet paper should be packed out with other trash. Enjoy a delicious lunch on board, and visit the Alaska Maritime National Wildlife Refuge for great views of seabird rookeries. … 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. Trailhead: Exit Glacier Nature Center. The trail is a combination of dirt switchbacks and open dirt trails leading to the ice field. Without a doubt, if you can only do one thing while visiting Seward, you really really should go on this hike. It is not an easy hike; however, it is very doable for anyone who is in shape. NPS Photo / F. North. 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 information tells you this is out and back for 8.2 miles. The trail’s summit offers guests a glimpse into past ice ages – the view of snow and ice stretching as … It is not an easy walk in terms of elevation gain but anyone with moderate level of fitness can do it. Still, I did not play enough to accumulate 5 miles. Hike to hidden backcountry lakes and high ridgelines where, on clear days, Denali can be seen in all its majestic grandeur. Dress in layers that you can easily add or remove. Harding Icefield Trail Hike This trek climbs 3000 feet alongside Exit Glacier as it passes through several climatic zones. more, Recommended experiences in and around Kenai Fjords National Park. 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. The 8.2-mile round trip Harding Icefield Trail is a spectacular day hike. 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/Harding Icefield, Seward - Good to Know. Be on the look out for mountain goats, black bear, and marmots--- they are common sightings up here. Guests are in for a remarkable day hike on an 8.2 mile loop along the Harding Icefield Trail. Sharp nunataks (lone peaks) break the white horizon, glaciers spill from the ice field’s edge, and mountains fill the frame in every direction. 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. However, we didn’t think the girls would enjoy completing the … Views from the Harding Icefield trail. 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.