The vegetation along the trail is dense and passes through thickets of salmonberries, a favorite food of black bears. This trip has a maximum group size of 8 participants but is often much smaller. The Harding Ice Field, is like a fossil, an ancient piece of the past entombed by time itself, preserved from change. Exit Glacier Ice Hiking This 7-8 hour tour is popular with clients that don't shy away from exercise on their vacations. In the spring of 2016 Exit Glacier Guides will be offering two expeditions onto the Harding Icefield for one week each. Make sure to consider a stop at Alyeska Ski Resort, Portage Glacier, the Alaska Wildlife … Allow at least 6-8 hours for the hike. Continue down the Kenai Pensinsula until you see the signs leading the way. 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. Mostly vertical, it can be a real A** whupper, but ohhhhh, the reward is sooooo worth it. The Exit Glacier Hike is a beautiful trail in Kenai Fjords National Park. If you are looking for a longer hike, then there is the guided Harding Icefield Trail. 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. Solo Harding Icefield Expedition July 2017- Exit to Tustumena and back - Duration: 5:36. (If you’re looking for something a little tamer, these are some great walks and may only take a few hours to explore). At the time of writing this review Exit Glacier had an ice fall hazard zone at the toe and the sides of the glacier. Exit Glacier earned its name when the first group of mountaineers to officially cross the Harding Icefield “exited” the ice at Exit Glacier. This accessibility and the deceptive length of the trail have made this particular area popular with curious Alaskan hikers. 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. Exit Glacier Guides also offers trips onto the ice itself. Proceed down the paved trail to the Harding Icefield Trailhead. The amazing views require some effort – the hike is strenuous with a lot of elevation gain. Be on the look out for mountain goats, black bear, and marmots--- they are common sightings up here. 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 8.2 mile out-and-back route carries visitors through the upper alpine areas of the park to viewpoints of the vast Harding Icefield. Our current policies are listed here. Words cannot describe it. Hiking Exit Glacier via the Harding Icefield Trail - Duration: 6:48. Please respect their hard work by sticking to the trail. Planning to Camp? It doesn’t even encompass how giant the ice field is! However, one should not judge this trail … Explore the trails with Seward Wilderness Collective or Exit Glacier Guides. The Harding Icefield hike is a must-do hike in Kenai Mountains. The icefield is also one of four remaining icefields in the United States and is the largest contained entirely within the United States. It is said that imitation is the greatest form of flattery, and we tend to set the bar for new adventures here in town. The Icefield is the largest in North America, and it remains as a 300 square mile vestige of the last ice age. 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. to see how you can save money on multiple adventures. The trail ends overlooking the massive 700 square mile Harding Icefield, which is a leftover of the last major Ice Age. Harding Icefield is the largest icefield located entirely within the United States. This trek climbs 3000 feet alongside Exit Glacier as it passes through several climatic zones. We’ll hike through a history book of nature as we make our way up to the face of this stunning glacier in Kenai Fjords National Park. Over 40 glaciers flow from the Harding Icefield, but Exit Glacier is the only one you can hike beside. This one-mile trail loops back to the parking area, or you can turn left at the trail-side kiosk and continue 0.6 miles on to the Exit Glacier Overlook via the Glacier … The Exit Glacier, however, is the most accessible of the glaciers being reached by a spur road off of the Seward Highway. Toilet paper should be packed out with other trash. If you have to “go”, dig a small cat hole at least 100 feet from the trail or from any streams or water sources. This is a tough hike. Jonathan Volpi 4,041 views. Black bears are spotted almost everyday from the Harding Icefield Trail. Exit Glacier Area Trails Exit Glacier. An icefield is actually a large area of interconnected glaciers. Harding Icefield Trail is an epic 8.2 mile round trip hike with an elevation gain of 3812 feet. Starting on the valley floor, the trail meanders through alder and cottonwood forest as well as heather-filled meadows. Mostly vertical, it can be a real A** whupper, but ohhhhh, the reward is sooooo worth it. 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. It is always a good idea to check on current conditions before setting out. This trail is easy, mostly paved and very popular, and once you reach an amazing viewpoint overlooking the Exit Glacier, you will understand why. 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. You should be capable of hiking uphill. The drive to Exit Glacier and the Harding Icefield Trail is one of the most beautiful drives in the world. Starting on the Glacier Overlook Trail. This is bear country! 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. History The picturesque path to the glacier is a mixture of back-country and on-trail trekking and the view from the top of the 1400ft of elevation that we gain while traveling over 1.6 miles of trail is absolutely stunning. The day we started there were bear sightings along the trail, so make sure to buy bear spray ahead of time. And then you get to the top where you will see the incredible Harding Icefield. 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. The icefield itself receives over 400 inches of snow each year. Be prepared! Want some company? 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. 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. Directions to Exit Glacier Turn on to Herman Leirer Road, commonly called "Exit Glacier Road," at mile 3 of the Seward Highway (AK-9). It is one of the most accessible valley glaciers in Alaska and is a visible indicator of glacial recession due to climate change. Necessary skills include route-finding, steep snow climbing and descending, self-arrest, and avalanche terrain recognition and rescue. The road will end at the parking lot for the nature center. Traverse the majesty of Exit Glacier by ice hiking or ice climbing, or opt for a nature hike … Over 40 glaciers flow from the Harding Icefield, but Exit Glacier is the only one you can hike beside. 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 … Length 8.2 mi Elevation gain 3,812 ft Route type Out & Back. Be sure to backfill your cat hole when you are done. No reservations are required. Liquid Adventures has an excellent reputation running small-group, boutique kayaking trips out of Seward. Check out this page to see how you can save money on multiple adventures. We are able to safely run the majority of our trips and have been enjoying the glaciers this season since mid-May! Lush trees, bears, and vast icefields of Exit Glacier. Be prepared for storms, high winds, intense sunlight, and sudden temperature changes. Walks depart from the Exit Glacier Nature Center. Proceed 8.4 miles. 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. Hiking the Harding Icefield Trail in Kenai Fjords National Park, Alaska. 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. The amazing views require some effort – the hike is strenuous with a lot of elevation gain. Liquid Adventures has an excellent reputation running small-group, boutique kayaking trips out of Seward. Even a short hike up the trail affords impressive views of the valley floor and Exit Glacier's terminus. The hike itself was fairly easy and the trail is well marked. 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. It passes through several climatic zones hard work by sticking to the top where you will the... 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