4. Florida: Big Cypress National Preserve, Florida National Scenic Trail. Pretty impressive if you ask me. Love Alaska? Road to Exit Glacier (Herman Leirer Road): During the winter, Herman Leirer Road is unmaintained and inaccessible to automobile traffic due to a state road closure. The terrain remained interesting throughout the route. Traveling beyond the state gate (first gate) to the Exit Glacier Area is another 7 miles (11.5 km), and an additional 1 mile to the Exit Glacier overlook. Check out the Resurrection River Trail at Mile 7 of Exit Glacier Road. Purchase a gourmet cheese plate, soft pretzel, scratch made pizza, or other lite fare. History. However, the best time to hike the Harding Icefield Trail is during the summer months, primarily between June and October. The roads leading to the trail can be impassable by car, so they’re closed once heavy snows come in. HGL006. This 8.2 mile round trip hike is strenuous, but the breathtaking view of the icefield, is well worth the effort. While we continue to feature destinations that make our state wonderful, please take proper precautions or add them to your bucket list to see at a later date. 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 Trail. Location: 60.181816, -149.656311. Harding Icefield Trail (and winter route): The trail is OPEN. Hikers should be prepared for a wide range of conditions, including wet, mud, rain/snow and rockfall. For physically fit hikers, a strenuous four-mile trail parallels the glacier’s north edge on a 3,000-foot ascent to the ice field, offering spectacular views of the glacier and surrounding mountains along the way. 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. Hikers can expect sweeping views of the Exit Glacier area as they ascend high above the trailhead. Allow at least 6–8 hours to hike to the end of the trail and back. This 8.2 mile round trip hike is strenuous, but the breathtaking view of the icefield, is well worth the effort. Snow at higher elevations on the Harding Icefield trail can persist into mid-summer. Guests are in for a remarkable day hike on an 8.2 mile loop along the Harding Icefield Trail. 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. This popular hike takes is busy during summer months, but if you have the skills to tackle it in the winter, you’ll find a much more solitary trek and some killer views. Harding Icefield Trail is one of the most rewarding day hikes in the Kenai Peninsula of Alaska. The icefield is also one of four remaining icefields in the United States and is the largest contained entirely within the United States. Harding Icefiled is the one I w have the most knowledge of and I think you will find the approach makes the hike more than a day hike. 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. *Dogs may add to the mother bear's stress Writer, editor and researcher with a passion for exploring new places. There is currently an ice fall hazard warning for the toe and sides of Exit Glacier. Harding Icefield Trail For physically fit hikers, a strenuous four-mile trail parallels the glacier’s north edge on a 3,000-foot ascent to the ice field, offering spectacular views of the glacier and surrounding mountains along the way. Hiking in Alaska: Harding Icefield Trail Hiking in Alaska can be trying; mosquitoes, grizzly bear and our old foe, moose are always a possibility. The roads leading to the trail can be impassable by car, so they’re closed once heavy snows come in. Guests are in for a remarkable day hike on an 8.2-mile loop along the Harding Icefield Trail. Today the 700 square feet of ice and snow is dotted with glacial islands of exposed parts of mountains known as “nunataks”. Watch for rockfalls as you hike up the trail. Mostly vertical, it can be a real A** whupper, but ohhhhh, the reward is sooooo worth it. Skiing down the Grewingk was Sarah’s favorite part of the trip. There are several places on the trail where the view was worth the hike and those who need less challenge can turn back for the welcome center. According to the National Park service, the Harding Icefield trail is a strenuous 8.2-mile hike in which “hikers gain approximately 1,000 feet of elevation with every mile. Check out these 18 picturesque trails that are perfect for winter hiking. You should also be prepared for avalanche conditions, with a beacon, ice axe, probe and shovel. 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. We thought at the end of our hike (the end of Exit Glacier Road) we would arrive at the Harding Icefield viewpoint and see the beautiful, snow-covered expanse that goes as far as the eye can see. Alpine meadows, scree slopes, snow, glaciers, rainforest, waterfalls, and an ice field. 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.Runners can expect sweeping views of the Exit Glacier area … The Harding Icefield Trail is a relatively strenuous trail for the casual visitor to Alaska. Unfortunately you’ll also have to hike on the road to the trail head, which is closed to traffic in the winter. Enter your e-mail address for things to do, restaurants to try and much more! Harding Icefield: We started the day with intentions of reaching Harding Icefield. *Plan to wait if there is a bear near the trail - You are no longer in a hurry! 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. You could, if you like “posting” which is hiking in extremely deep snow. 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 … Harding Icefield Trail is one of the most rewarding day hikes in the Kenai Peninsula of Alaska. The NPS closes the road so you have to walk 8 miles or more to get to the trail head before you start the ascent. On the other hand, if you’re seeking a full … The Trail. The day we started there were bear sightings along the trail, so make sure to buy bear spray ahead of time. The big payoff comes at the end of a bruising four-mile ascent that gains nearly 1,000 feet of elevation each mile: the Harding Icefield. 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. Catherine loves local bookstores, independent films, and spending time with her family, including Gus the golden retriever, who is a very good boy. Or, see it from above on the Harding Icefield Tour with Natron Air, which departs from the Kenai / Soldotna area. The 8.2-mile out-and-back hike along Harding Icefield is a spectacular outing. The Seward Highway (AK-9) is the only road that provides access to Kenai Fjords National Park. Distance: 1,300 miles. Length 8.2 mi Elevation gain 3,812 ft Route type Out & Back Kenai Fjords National Park is technically open throughout the year. *Give it lots of space Watch the Alaskan wilderness awaken on this 6-hour morning cruise through Kenai Fjords National Park from Seward. The Harding Icefield Trail is a great ambassador for the changing environment because of how easy it is accessed by people from all over the world. Rockfall danger is a possiblity, especially above Top of the Cliffs. Snow pack conditions will very greatly at all the hikes you mention. You will begin the hike to Harding Icefield in the Exit Glacier area. And then you get to the top where you will see the incredible Harding Icefield… The 8.2-mile roundtrip hike to the Harding Icefield overlook is strenuous—you’ll gain about 1,000 feet of elevation with each of the four miles to the top. End of the TrailAbout 3,500 feet above the valley, the trail ends at the edge of Harding Icefield, a vast expanse of snow and ice stretching as far as the eye can see. *Carry bear spray Alaska 511: *Do not surprise a bear, NO DOGS Kenai Fjords National Park, Alaska: Harding Icefield Trail. If needed, contact the park headquarters directly at (907) 422-0500, during normal business hours. 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 first quarter-mile (0.4 km) is through dense cottonwood and alder passing a few small cascades. Trails near the Exit Glacier Nature Center: All trails near the Exit Glacier Nature Center are open. Harding Icefield Trail. Hiking the Harding Icefield Trail you’ll be transported to another time. Snow at higher elevations on the Harding Icefield trail can persist into mid-summer. The winery has a beautiful tasting room, a warm fireplace to sip wine around, picnic spots, lavender farm, and on-site hiking trails. Have you hiked the Harding Icefield Trail during the winter months? The 8.2-mile out-and-back run along Harding Icefield is a spectacular outing. You can see the Harding Icefield on the popular Harding Icefield Trail which departs from the Exit Glacier Visitor Center in Seward, Alaska. 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. Harding Icefield Trail (and winter route): Winter conditions are expected. Get more stories delivered right to your email. Give our readers some tips! Be prepared for ice, slippery conditions, unclear trail locations, and deep snow. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from May until October. After leaving the Harding Icefield, we continued south on smaller glaciers. The trail takes you out to a good viewpoint… It is always a good idea to check on current conditions before setting out. Altogether the hike to and from Harding Icefield is 8.2 miles. Hiking the Harding Icefield Trail of the Kenai Fjords National Park in Alaska is one of the best adventures in the Kenai Peninsula and in Alaska. It is always a good idea to check on current conditions before setting out. HGL007. Obey the posted signs, and don't go past them for your own safety. BE BEAR AWARE The forest slowly opens up as the trail steepens and you start some long switchbacks. We planned to join a ranger-led hike of Harding Icefield Trail, an 8.2-mile roundtrip hike up a mountain and back down, much of it alongside Exit Glacier. Alaska's Department of Transportation website will continuously update the driving conditions on the state's highways. Aboard a warm and spacious vessel customized for comfort, cruise past alpine and tidewater glaciers among the fjords and take in a bounty of … Do we need to carry winter jacket? This stunning icefield is one of just four left in the United States, and is the largest of the four. Following the Glacier Overlook Trail for 0.4 miles (0.64 km), the Harding Icefield Trail branches off to the right (well-marked). 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. Other Hazards: On snow covered sections weak snow bridges are forming in low areas, and sudden falls (2-3ft) to ground level are possible. Trail and weather conditions can change over the course of a day. Depending on the time of year you can run into rain, snow and ice on the trails as well. Harding Icefield Trail, an 8.2 mile round-trip with a significant elevation gain, that provides views of Exit Glacier and eventually the Harding Icefield I started with Edge of the Glacier… … which doesn’t take long, and is fairly easy to hike. If continuing to the Exit Glacier Area, it is important to be prepared for minimal daylight and winter weather conditions. 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. Winter conditions are expected. 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. … However, the best time to hike the Harding Icefield Trail is during the summer months, primarily between June and October. *Hike in groups The icefield is a remnant of the Pleistocene ice masses that once covered half of Alaska. Stay with us while exploring Seward After a day of hiking in the alpine tundra, stay with us at one of 3 conveniently located downtown Seward hotels. Make Your Winter Magical By Staying In Downtown Talkeetna In This Historic Alaskan Roadhouse, Walk Through A Snowy Alaskan Wonderland To Get To A Frozen Waterfall On The Thunderbird Falls Trail, Peek Out At The Northern Lights From The Most Wished For Airbnb In Alaska, These 9 Jaw Dropping Places In Alaska Are Some Of The Most Beautiful On Earth, Most People Will Never See These Gorgeous Lakes Hiding In Alaska, This Easy Hike Proves That Alaska Is Home To Unrivaled Beauty, The Alaska Hike That Leads To The Most Unforgettable Destination, The Glacier Hike In Alaska That’s Everything You’ve Ever Dreamed Of, 18 picturesque trails that are perfect for winter hiking. and warm, layered clothing. Seward residents generally ignored the huge icefield west of town before 1922. I am trying to minize the weight to carry 3. At the top, the Harding Icefield itself can be viewed, its 700-square-mile expanse stretching as far as the eye can see*. Trails are open to foot traffic only, no bikes or pets. *Talk loudly Location: 60.181412, -149.663361. Rockfall danger is a possiblity, especially above Top of the Cliffs. *Dogs are prohibited on trails at all times. IF YOU SEE A BEAR Additionally, during the winter, the trail is considered a “mountaineering route,” and should only be tackled by hikers with experience and equipment. Sharp nunataks (lone peaks) break the white horizon, glaciers spill from the ice field’s edge, and mountains fill the frame in every direction. The icefield itself receives over 400 inches of snow each year. Exit Glacier Developed Area map and regulations. The terrain remained interesting throughout the route. You'll receive your first newsletter soon! And all in a 13km hike. Thank you! 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. We’re aware that these uncertain times are limiting many aspects of life. If visiting the area, please give the bears space. Views from the Harding Icefield trail. If you know of a local business that could use some extra support during these times, please nominate them here: You'll want to be properly equipped for a mountaineering adventure, with waterproof hiking boots, trekking poles, communication devices (there's no cell coverage up here!) Of the 37,684 offenders currently imprisoned by the state, 4,348 — 11.54 percent — remain eligible for parole under the old law. 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. Follow trail along Exit Glacier ridge; best photos in summer twilight . Want some knowledgeable company?
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