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The Harding Icefield in Kenai Fjords National Park is truly a wonder to behold! You will begin the hike to Harding Icefield in the Exit Glacier area. The first quarter-mile (0.4 km) is through dense cottonwood and alder passing a few small cascades. We did spot a couple of mountain goat, which was neat. Hiking Boots (I’m obsessed with these, but if you want more of a sneaker than a boat, I’ve also used these ones that work well). The trail is well established and maintained. There is a day parking area and a small nature center. Hikers gain approximately 1,000 feet of elevation with every mile. 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. When I am not traveling the world, eating tacos, or working on the blog you can find me crunching numbers as an accountant for a non-profit. The forest slowly opens up as the trail steepens and you start some long switchbacks. The 8.2-mile out-and-back hike along Harding Icefield is a spectacular outing. This hike and day was one of my favorites during our time in Alaska. Located atop Exit Glacier where it stretches for 700 square miles, the Harding Icefield is worth the climb. Harding Ice Field Trail: Harding Icefield - See 190 traveler reviews, 281 candid photos, and great deals for Kenai Fjords National Park, AK, at Tripadvisor. Elevation: 3,800 feet gain ; Distance: 8.2 miles (roundtrip) Glacier overlook, where the kids hiked too, before heading back with their Grandparents Harding Icefield Trail Details: We started out with the kids and hiked the short trail up to the Glacier lookout. Guests are in for a remarkable day hike on an 8.2-mile loop along the Harding Icefield Trail. I can’t tell you how many times I went over a slight hill thinking that it would be the end of the trail, and yet there was another hill to go over. Allow at least 6-8 hours for the hike. Single trail to glacier viewpoint, nature walk loops: Difficulty: Easy (Steep sections on Glacier Overlook Trail) Length: 1 mile – Glacier View Loop 1.8 miles – Glacier Overlook Trail 8.2 miles Harding Icefield Trail: Elevation Gain: 429 Feet – Glacier Overlook Trail: Region: Kenai Peninsula (Seward) Location Look back in time, when viewing the expanse of the Harding Icefield. John and Katie’s Alaska RV Trip 2017: On Top of the World via the Harding Icefield Trail. However, we didn’t think the girls would enjoy completing the 8.2 miles round trip journey. 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 decided to carry some. *As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. Would you hike to the Harding Icefield? Kenai Fjords National Park - Harding Icefield Trail: Summary: 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: Type: Day Hike - Out and Back: Distance (Total) 7.4 miles / 11.9 km: Elevation Gain We didn’t see any bears while hiking Harding Icefield but this is bear country, SABRE Frontiersman Bear Spray 7.9 oz (Holster Options & Multi-Pack Options) — Maximum Strength, Maximum Range & Greatest Protective Barrier Per Burst! View over Harding Icefield from end of trail. The hike to view the Harding Icefield is about 4 miles (oneway) with 3,500 feet elevation gain. This summer is looking a lot different from last s, A few days late but wanted to acknowledge National, It has been a tiring few months and I know I am no, Spring Break starts in a few short days and like s, Download Lonely Planet Guides for cheap. The Harding Icefield hike is a must-do hike in Kenai Mountains. Finally, you will reach a small shack and then the final view of Harding Icefield. They are free to join. All-Day Hike: The Harding Icefield Trail is strenuous! Basically you are walking/climbing up very steep rocks for a long time. It’s also the perfect place to pull out that sandwich that you’ve been thinking about the entire hike . We arrived at the Harding Icefield Trail just north of Seward, Alaska mid-morning on the 4th of July. The trail ends overlooking the massive 700 square mile Harding Icefield, which is a leftover of the last major Ice Age. Be on the look out for mountain goats, black bear, and marmots--- they are common sightings up here. Le sentier longe une cascade et sa difficulté est évaluée comme difficile. The trail winds through cottonwood and alder forests, passes through a meadow before you pass the tree line. The 700 square mile ice field is incredible. Hikers gain approximately 1,000 feet of elevation with every mile. Following the Glacier Overlook Trail for 0.4 miles (0.64 km), the Harding Icefield Trail branches off to the right (well-marked). Harding Icefield Trail is an epic 8.2 mile round trip hike with an elevation gain of 3812 feet. With every turn of a switchback, there’s a new mind blowing view or landscape. 8.2miles or 13km return. Be prepared with 3,800 feet elevation gain this is one strenuous hike. The 3,000+ feet elevation gain and the 9 miles round trip does not make this an easy hike. Some people in our party think they saw fresh bear tracks. Length of the Harding Icefield Trail. The view from the top is well worth the effort, but you need not hike all the way to the top to experience the wonders of this trail. — Effective Against All Types of Bears” target=”_blank” rel=”noreferrer noopener” aria-label=”so be prepared (opens in a new tab)”>so be prepared. We could have stayed much longer admiring the icefield, but the day was getting towards the end of the day and we had to start on the return. Harding Icefield Trail Hike. Harding Ice Field Trail, Kenai Fjords National Park: Address, Harding Ice Field Trail Reviews: 5/5. 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.Hikers can expect sweeping views of the Exit Glacier area as … Required fields are marked *. 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 did the Harding Icefield Hike at the end of August and were constantly wowed by the beauty and stunning views. I promise that the views will be worth it once you reach the top. ⠀ Geography. Elevation Gain of the Harding Icefield Trail. Parking: free, at the Exit Glacier parking lot. — Effective Against All Types of Bears, THE ULTIMATE LIST OF THINGS TO DO IN OKINAWA. Hiking conditions are best from June to September. Makes a great spot for eating lunch or simply sitting back and relaxing after the trek up. But enough of my babbling, here are the stats: Rating: strenuous! The eight mile (round-trip) trail begins by following Exit Glacier, but then climbs steeply and eventually ends overlooking the massive Harding Icefield, the largest icefield entirely within the US, which feeds Exit Glacier and about 40 other glaciers. The other big thing we wanted to do in Kenai Fjords National Park, besides glacier kayaking, was hiking the famous Harding Icefield Trail.. ), Get every new post delivered to your Inbox, Adventuring Through the Philippines: A Video, My Unforgettable Road Trip Through Patagonia: A Video, Hiking Half Dome: Our Full Video from the Trail, Hiking Mount Whitney: Everything You Need to Know About Summiting the Tallest Mountain in the US, My Jam-Packed Alaska Itinerary: Going Heavy on Adventure (10 Days), Stalking Brown Bear in Lake Clark National Park, Alaska, My Favorite Airbnbs I Stayed in Last Year, 3 Days in Buenos Aires: Dancing, Eating & Drinking Your Way Through the City, Long Layover in Doha Qatar: How to Spend Your Day, Andres Carne de Res: The #1 Place To Go While Visiting Bogota, 30 of the Best Things I’ve Tasted In My Last 3 Years of Travel, Cheapest Flights: 12 Ways To Book The Cheapest Airfare (updated), American Travel to Cuba: Everything You Need to Know, How To Find a Career That Involves Traveling, , I’ve also used these ones that work well, I have this one, it’s great for hiking and lightweight, How I Saw Polar Bears In A Remote Alaskan Village, 1 Week in Belize: My Itinerary for San Pedro, Caye Caulker & ATM Cave, How I Afforded Every Trip I’ve Ever Been On (Updated), 13 Activities Keeping Me Busy During Quarantine, Landing on a Glacier in Denali National Park, Hiking Harding Icefield Trail in Kenai Fjords Alaska, Havasu Falls: Everything You Need to Know to Make the Trek, Philly Restaurants: A List of My Favorite Food in Philadelphia. Matt & I had a few close calls but luckily didn’t go down this trip. The 8.2-mile round trip Harding Icefield Trail is a spectacular day hike. Make sure you are dressed properly, as the weather on top is often different than in the Exit Glacier area below. The biggest bonus though, is that this bag is waterproof, ideal for when walking on snow/ice which is rather slippery. Notify me of follow-up comments by email. Lush trees, bears, and vast icefields of Exit Glacier. Few scenes in the world compare to the view across the frozen expanse of the 700-square-mile Harding Icefield. I love being able to share our experiences along with tips and tricks to help other travel loving families do the same. The Harding Icefield is over 700 square miles (1813 km 2) in its entirety (although, if one were to count its glaciers which descend from the icefield in all directions, the icefield measures in at over 1,100 square miles (2,849 km 2) The icefield spawns up to 40 glaciers of all types. But, if there’s one trail I could recommend in Alaska, it’s Harding Icefield. We started out with the kids and hiked the short trail up to the Glacier lookout. It makes an incredible background for the rest of the hike, and yes it’s really that color blue. I took my ” target=”_blank”>WANDRD backpack which Matt & I took turns carrying. Sharp nunataks (lone peaks) break the white horizon, glaciers spill from the ice field’s … You will begin the hike to Harding Icefield in the Exit Glacier area. Fleece (didn’t end up wearing mine but packed it just in case). Be sure to follow Leave No Trace principles. We were excited about what our day would bring. 1 Reviews of Harding Ice Field Trail "About 9 miles RT from the parking lot, and about 3000' elevation gain. Harding Ice Field Trail: Harding Icefield - See 190 traveller reviews, 281 candid photos, and great deals for Kenai Fjords National Park, AK, at Tripadvisor. Hikers gain approximately 1,000 feet of elevation with every mile. If you are looking to complete some family friendly hikes I would suggest Byron Glacier Trail or even Carter Lake Trail. 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. I, This error message is only visible to WordPress admins, SABRE Frontiersman Bear Spray 7.9 oz (Holster Options & Multi-Pack Options) — Maximum Strength, Maximum Range & Greatest Protective Barrier Per Burst! I hiked this in September, so you may need to wear more or less layers depending on the season you’re hiking in. The strenuous 7.7-mile roundtrip Harding Icefield Trail starts on the valley floor and climbs through alder and cottonwood forest, and wildflower meadows before reaching the stark landscape of the icefield gaining approximately 1,000 feet of elevation with every mile. I've climbed in big mountains before but the size of this ice field is something else. Allow at least 6-8 hours for the hike. Hikers gain approximately 304.8 meters of elevation with every mile. 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 really can’t lose when choosing which hikes to do in Alaska, the state is so full of beauty that you will be starry eyed while taking out your trash in the morning. If you want to stay here overnight camping is allowed as long as you set up camp at least 1/8 mile from the trail on bare rock or snow. Leaving no trace is super important! NPS Photo / F. North. Elevation Gain: 3,812 feet. The day we started there were bear sightings along the trail, so make sure to buy bear spray ahead of time. 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. The one I bought in Alaska was 70 bucks (pricey, but if it saves your life…. I took this photo of two hikers we met on the trail and sent it to them after: One last climb up some very rugged switchbacks and you feel like you’ve summited the moon. Hank Leukart is in Alaska. I am passionate about finding unique, fun family experiences all over the world & creating lifelong memories for our family. The trail is strenuous! Definitely one to add to your Alaska bucket list! There are Ranger led Harding Icefield hikes from 9am on Saturdays in July to August. While we didn’t have time for this, I have heard that you can camp here. https://www.alltrails.com/trail/us/alaska/harding-ice-field-trail Some of the more notable glaciers include the Tustumena Glacier, Exit Glacier, and McCarty Glacier. View from the end of 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. The amazing views require some effort – the hike is strenuous with a lot of elevation gain. The 13.19662-kilometer round trip Harding Icefield Trail is a spectacular, moderately strenuous day hike.

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