Topographical Map. 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. The best map of the trail route that I’ve seen can be found @ NPMaps.com. The Harding Icefield Trail starts off from the loop nature trail, about 0.4 miles from the nature center. 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. Be sure to include the dates of your hike! Hiking and travel guide to Alaska. Plan. 624 Reviews. Late July, I had to cross some snowfields, but the path was obvious and flagged with orange markers through the snow. Skiing down the Grewingk was Sarah’s favorite part of the trip. Help. 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. Kenai Fjords National Park was established as a national monument in 1978. 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. I highly recommend this trail for anyone that is suitably fit and has some experience hiking and navigating. An informational display outside of the Visitor’s Center at Exit provides a visual map of the glacier’s location, but because it was taken in 2005 and is thus already outdated, our guide Lane used his finger to show us the terminus at the present year of 2017. 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. You can’t camp 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. Kenai Fjords lodging map Depending on the time of year, you may be crossing some snowfields. As in all National Parks, and as we should everywhere, follow Leave No Trace principles. 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. The Harding Icefield Trail is easily one of the most stunning and photogenic hikes I’ve ever done. Harding Icefield (Seward) Distance: 8 miles round trip Difficulty: Challenging. Get the App. The Kenai Peninsula tends to be wet, so definitely be prepared to deal with rain (or snow). Be on the look out for mountain goats, black bear, and marmots--- they are common sightings up here. Often these crevasses are snowcovered, so there’s no indication of what you are walking over. Soon you step out of the alder, willow, and cottonwood and find yourself surrounded by flowers and other tall plants. For the more adventurous, the challenging Harding Icefield Trail is a must. If you have recently hiked the Harding Icefield Trail, please feel free to leave info about the conditions in the comments below. The Harding Icefield Trail near Seward is one of Alaska’s most memorable hikes. 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). hÞÌYkoÛ:ý+ü¸‹‹,ŗHònÚæ:Ýö¢È7Vß:Vj+mzýž¡Ä±üŒÛí>áX$çhxæhHieD&´²B[Ÿ£áÐ(`)N4N£ÐÔ§:§Ž#s‹ÎZ¡áÑY£ŸÏ`ÑHop_ã¶w¡1ÀL¦1E é5Œ`iÌâpô+2Œ¢‘YsZ˜Ìb”1¨£ŒÆÐpã„ñ„ÅäÂC=5‚°*~µõ±„Ç*á”ÃôVg2úÅg3ÀÀ#¹ÜP$œÈÁ„ãÜø@Ay|„7ž†Â[G±É„Ïj(²BQüDPÔÇLØ8+‚÷Ôp". Be sure you know what you are doing if venturing out on steep snow! History. In late July, I’ve had to cross about a half-mile in snowfields. Explore. Click the image to view a full size JPG (580 kb) or download the PDF (550 kb). This 8.2 mile round trip hike is strenuous, but the breathtaking view of the icefield, is well worth the effort. Harding Icefield Trail is one of the most rewarding day hikes in the Kenai Peninsula of Alaska. The expanse of ice and snow seems endless. There is a trail shelter high up for emergency use only. Tutorials on general and auorora photography. The terrain remained interesting throughout the route. Be prepared and know your skill level, the glacier is heavily crevassed and dangerous! The Harding Icefield Trail You can access this 8.2-mile trail near the Exit Glacier Nature Center – but beware, the trail is not for the faint of heart (literally). Camping is permitted along the trail only 1/8 mile from the trail on bare ground, not on vegetation! Few scenes in the world compare to the view across the frozen expanse of the 700-square-mile Harding Icefield. The Harding Icefield Trail is easily one of the most stunning and photogenic hikes I’ve ever done. Full FTC Disclosure. Get directions, reviews and information for Exit Glacier and Description for a few backcountry hikes possible near the Worthington Glacier starting at 2-miles and up. Sharp nunataks (lone peaks) break the white horizon, glaciers spill from the ice field’s … If you have time after returning, it’s well worth the quick jaunt out to see the terminus up close. Pack a warm coat or fleece, windbreaker and hat. Snow persists into mid-summer at the higher elevations. Early in the season, there may be avalanche risk.
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