The trail starts climbing throughout the woods, and if you start early enough you can see the sun shining through the forest and fog rising over the treetops. The hike to view the Harding Icefield is about 4 miles (oneway) with 3,500 feet elevation gain. The 700 square mile ice field is incredible. Hikers gain approximately 1,000 feet of elevation with every mile. For those looking for an easier outing, the Exit Glacier can be viewed from an accessible trail that is about one mile in length. This hike and day was one of my favorites during our time in Alaska. Sharp nunataks (lone peaks) break the white horizon, glaciers spill from the ice field’s … Few scenes in the world compare to the view across the frozen expanse of the 700-square-mile Harding Icefield. This was definitely the right decision for our family. 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. Early in the season, about half of the trail is covered in snow, but hikers with boots will… 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. Hiking conditions are best from June to September. Lush trees, bears, and vast icefields of Exit Glacier. Allow at least 6-8 hours for the hike. 3000 feet or 914 metres. 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 We started out with the kids and hiked the short trail up to the Glacier lookout. 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. Summer 2019 saw us visiting Alaska for the first time where we did three hikes during our short stay. Great hike. Harding Icefield Trail – The Arrival. The 13.19662-kilometer round trip Harding Icefield Trail is a spectacular, moderately strenuous day hike. The other big thing we wanted to do in Kenai Fjords National Park, besides glacier kayaking, was hiking the famous Harding Icefield Trail.. It makes an incredible background for the rest of the hike, and yes it’s really that color blue. View from the end of the Harding Icefield Trail. Family of four, expat living in Japan, traveling the world (on a budget!). The trail winds through cottonwood and alder forests, passes through a meadow before you pass the tree line. 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! I had heard of the Harding Icefield and even drove by the trailhead on previous trips to the Kenai Peninsula and always wondered what an icefield is like. 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. Be on the look out for mountain goats, black bear, and marmots--- they are common sightings up here. Some of the more notable glaciers include the Tustumena Glacier, Exit Glacier, and McCarty Glacier. Guests are in for a remarkable day hike on an 8.2-mile loop along the Harding Icefield Trail. You will begin the hike to Harding Icefield in the Exit Glacier area. The day we started there were bear sightings along the trail, so make sure to buy bear spray ahead of time. Elevation Gain of the Harding Icefield Trail. Harding Ice Field Trail est un sentier allez-retour de 8.2 miles très fréquenté situé près de Seward, Alaska. Some people in our party think they saw fresh bear tracks. The views are unbelievable. The Harding Icefield in Kenai Fjords National Park is truly a wonder to behold! There are Ranger led Harding Icefield hikes from 9am on Saturdays in July to August. Le sentier offre plusieurs activités et sa meilleure utilisation est de mai à octobre. I probably took more photos in the first hour of this hike than I will at my own wedding (you know, if I get married). Hikers gain approximately 304.8 meters of elevation with every mile. — Effective Against All Types of Bears” target=”_blank” rel=”noreferrer noopener” aria-label=”so be prepared (opens in a new tab)”>so be prepared. Edge of the Glacier, a partially-unpaved trail that, as the name suggests, takes you to fairly close to the edge of the glacier, near the lower end; 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 … https://www.alltrails.com/trail/us/alaska/harding-ice-field-trail The 8.2-mile round trip Harding Icefield Trail is a spectacular day hike. The first quarter-mile (0.4 km) is through dense cottonwood and alder passing a few small cascades. However, we didn’t think the girls would enjoy completing the 8.2 miles round trip journey. We did spot a couple of mountain goat, which was neat. 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. *As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. Fleece (didn’t end up wearing mine but packed it just in case). All while on a budget. With every turn of a switchback, there’s a new mind blowing view or landscape. The 3,000+ feet elevation gain and the 9 miles round trip does not make this an easy hike. 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. Hikers gain approximately 1,000 feet of elevation with every mile. 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. Basically you are walking/climbing up very steep rocks for a long time. The Trail. 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 Matt & I had a few close calls but luckily didn’t go down this trip. Be prepared with 3,800 feet elevation gain this is one strenuous hike. 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. Finally, you will reach a small shack and then the final view of Harding Icefield. 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. It’s also the perfect place to pull out that sandwich that you’ve been thinking about the entire hike . The trail is well established and maintained. Definitely one to add to your Alaska bucket list! Although I did see a few kids attempting the trail; I didn’t see any at the top though. I am passionate about finding unique, fun family experiences all over the world & creating lifelong memories for our family. 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. Parking: free, at the Exit Glacier parking lot. 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. John and Katie’s Alaska RV Trip 2017: On Top of the World via the Harding Icefield Trail. The trail is strenuous! But enough of my babbling, here are the stats: Rating: strenuous! 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. Located atop Exit Glacier where it stretches for 700 square miles, the Harding Icefield is worth the climb. We arrived at the Harding Icefield Trail just north of Seward, Alaska mid-morning on the 4th of July. It is not an easy walk in terms of elevation gain but anyone with moderate level of fitness can do it. Your email address will not be published. Snacks (I brought granola bars, almonds, and of course a sandwich), Camera (I have this one, it’s great for hiking and lightweight), Bear Spray! Allow at least 6-8 hours for the hike. Make sure you are dressed properly, as the weather on top is often different than in the Exit Glacier area below. Guests are in for a remarkable day hike on an 8.2 mile loop along the Harding Icefield Trail. NPS Photo / F. North. We were excited about what our day would bring. There is a day parking area and a small nature center. Harding Icefield Trail is an epic 8.2 mile round trip hike with an elevation gain of 3812 feet. HOW TO HIKE THE HARDING ICEFIELD TRAIL OVERVIEW: The Harding Icefield Trail is an 8.2-mile, 5-hour hike round trip with a 3,150-foot elevation gain. Camping: Yes, along the Harding Icefield Trail corridor, though you must be a decent ways from the trail on bare rock or snow. The biggest bonus though, is that this bag is waterproof, ideal for when walking on snow/ice which is rather slippery. 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. You will begin the hike to Harding Icefield in the Exit Glacier area. Harding Ice Field Trail: Harding Icefield - See 190 traveller reviews, 281 candid photos, and great deals for Kenai Fjords National Park, AK, at Tripadvisor. Leaving no trace is super important! NPS Photo / F. North. Alaska, hiking, National Parks, RVs, scenic byways, Travel, Uncategorized. 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). Makes a great spot for eating lunch or simply sitting back and relaxing after the trek up. — Effective Against All Types of Bears, THE ULTIMATE LIST OF THINGS TO DO IN OKINAWA. We started off hiking through a foggy pine forest, and when we hit the summit I was pretty sure we were walking on the moon. The icefield looks like it goes as far as the eye can see (it’s over 700 square miles), and is almost like looking at the horizon over the ocean. Once you get above the tree line, the enormous icefield comes into view. I promise that the views will be worth it once you reach the top. One of which was hiking Harding Icefield Trail. Harding Ice Field Trail: Harding Icefield - See 190 traveler reviews, 281 candid photos, and great deals for Kenai Fjords National Park, AK, at Tripadvisor. I bought this at a store when I arrived in Alaska, but if you’re checking luggage you can probably buy some cheaper ahead of time. While we didn’t have time for this, I have heard that you can camp here. 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! Be sure to follow Leave No Trace principles. They are free to join. Hank Leukart is in Alaska. Harding Ice Field Trail, Kenai Fjords National Park: Address, Harding Ice Field Trail Reviews: 5/5. We did the Harding Icefield Hike at the end of August and were constantly wowed by the beauty and stunning views. 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. View over Harding Icefield from end of trail. 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 … We like to attach bag so we can pick up trash as well. Your email address will not be published. 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. 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. All-Day Hike: The Harding Icefield Trail is strenuous! 1 Reviews of Harding Ice Field Trail "About 9 miles RT from the parking lot, and about 3000' elevation gain. But, if there’s one trail I could recommend in Alaska, it’s Harding Icefield. The one I bought in Alaska was 70 bucks (pricey, but if it saves your life…. We were blessed with great weather, breathtaking views and the best company. 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. Notify me of follow-up comments by email. Required fields are marked *. I primarily use this as my camera bag but works out great for hikes like these as we are able easily attach sweaters when we get too hot. 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 Harding Icefield hike is a must-do hike in Kenai Mountains. Geography. It also has a couple of spots that we carry water for easy access. The National Park Service says hikers gain about 1,000 feet of elevation per mile, while Backpacker Magazine puts the elevation gain at 3,366 feet. I took my ” target=”_blank”>WANDRD backpack which Matt & I took turns carrying. 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. The 8.2-mile out-and-back hike along Harding Icefield is a spectacular outing. I hiked this in September, so you may need to wear more or less layers depending on the season you’re hiking in. Following the Glacier Overlook Trail for 0.4 miles (0.64 km), the Harding Icefield Trail branches off to the right (well-marked). 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. Length of the Harding Icefield Trail. ⠀ Hike the Harding Icefield Trail in Kenai Fjords National Park. The trail ends overlooking the massive 700 square mile Harding Icefield, which is a leftover of the last major Ice Age. Le sentier longe une cascade et sa difficulté est évaluée comme difficile. Hikers gain approximately 1,000 feet of elevation with every mile. I love being able to share our experiences along with tips and tricks to help other travel loving families do the same. The forest slowly opens up as the trail steepens and you start some long switchbacks. Harding Icefield Trail Hike. 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 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. Elevation: 3800 feet of gain (be prepared, this is a steep one!) 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Tag: Harding Icefield Trail elevation gain. Look back in time, when viewing the expanse of the Harding Icefield. Hiking Tip. If you are looking to complete some family friendly hikes I would suggest Byron Glacier Trail or even Carter Lake 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. The top of the summit is covered in dirt and rock and seems to carry on forever. I've climbed in big mountains before but the size of this ice field is something else. Would you hike to the Harding Icefield? The amazing views require some effort – the hike is strenuous with a lot of elevation gain. Loving families do the same 700 square mile Harding Icefield in the Exit Glacier will be worth it once reach. Has a couple of spots that we carry water for easy access scenic! 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