harding icefield trail winter

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. This stunning icefield is one of just four left in the United States, and is the largest of the four. Depending on the time of year you can run into rain, snow and ice on the trails as well. The Harding Icefield Trail is a relatively strenuous trail for the casual visitor to Alaska. Guests are in for a remarkable day hike on an 8.2 mile loop along the Harding Icefield Trail. *Back away You could, if you like “posting” which is hiking in extremely deep snow. 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. Writer, editor and researcher with a passion for exploring new places. You can see the Harding Icefield on the popular Harding Icefield Trail which departs from the Exit Glacier Visitor Center in Seward, Alaska. Harding Icefield: We started the day with intentions of reaching Harding Icefield. If needed, contact the park headquarters directly at (907) 422-0500, during normal business hours. HGL006. *Carry bear spray Check out the Resurrection River Trail at Mile 7 of Exit Glacier Road. Trails are open to foot traffic only, no bikes or pets. 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. Hikers can expect sweeping views of the Exit Glacier area as they ascend high above the trailhead. You will begin the hike to Harding Icefield in the Exit Glacier area. Trail and weather conditions can change over the course of a day. Trail opens to views of Harding Icefield, a near-blinding spread of bowl-shaped glacial cirques covering half the park . The Seward Highway (AK-9) is the only road that provides access to Kenai Fjords National Park. 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. The Harding Icefield trail has such varied terrain that truly gives you an idea of the diversity of Alaska’s incredible environments. Watch for rockfalls as you hike up the trail. Ready for more winter hiking? Kenai Fjords National Park is technically open throughout the year. Other Hazards: On snow covered sections weak snow bridges are forming in low areas, and sudden falls (2-3ft) to ground level are possible. Or, see it from above on the Harding Icefield Tour with Natron Air, which departs from the Kenai / Soldotna area. Harding Icefield Trail (and winter route): The trail is OPEN. and warm, layered clothing. *Give it lots of space BE BEAR AWARE A particularly gorgeous turn back point is Marmot Meadows and the amazing view of the Exit Glacier. However, the best time to hike the Harding Icefield Trail is during the summer months, primarily between June and October. Florida: Big Cypress National Preserve, Florida National Scenic Trail. The winery has a beautiful tasting room, a warm fireplace to sip wine around, picnic spots, lavender farm, and on-site hiking trails. 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. Alaska's Department of Transportation website will continuously update the driving conditions on the state's highways. IF YOU SEE A BEAR Exit Glacier Developed Area map and regulations. Be prepared for ice, slippery conditions, unclear trail locations, and deep snow. This site is updated regularly to reflect the latest conditions, as is the Recorded Information Line at 907-422-0573. 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. Have you hiked the Harding Icefield Trail during the winter months? Today the 700 square feet of ice and snow is dotted with glacial islands of exposed parts of mountains known as “nunataks”. And all in a 13km hike. After leaving the Harding Icefield, we continued south on smaller glaciers. Allow at least 6–8 hours to hike to the end of the trail and back. *Don't get between a sow and cubs It is always a good idea to check on current conditions before setting out. 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 National Park, Alaska: Harding Icefield Trail. 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. Skiing down the Grewingk was Sarah’s favorite part of the trip. Trails near the Exit Glacier Nature Center: All trails near the Exit Glacier Nature Center are open. Watch the Alaskan wilderness awaken on this 6-hour morning cruise through Kenai Fjords National Park from Seward. 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 scenery is incredible as you hike up the mountain and get increasingly better views of the glacier and the Kenai Mountains. The 8.2-mile out-and-back run along Harding Icefield is a spectacular outing. 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. Purchase a gourmet cheese plate, soft pretzel, scratch made pizza, or other lite fare. 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. is important. It is always a good idea to check on current conditions before setting out. 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. Unfortunately you’ll also have to hike on the road to the trail head, which is closed to traffic in the winter. 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. 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. If you're not up for the entire hike, you can still find some excellent views by hiking a shorter portion of the trail. Turn L onto side trail for Exit Glacier overlook . 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 … 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. Mostly vertical, it can be a real A** whupper, but ohhhhh, the reward is sooooo worth it. *Do not surprise a bear, NO DOGS 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. Does the "upper trail" offer view nearly as good as the Harding Icefield Trail? Distance: 1,300 miles. The Harding Icefield Trail Is A Beautiful Winter Hike In Alaska That Will Make You Feel At One With Nature Posted in Alaska November 16, 2017 by Catherine Armstrong The Absurdly Beautiful Winter Hike In Alaska That Will Make You Feel At One With Nature Alaska has some amazing hiking opportunities, even in the winter. Obey the posted signs, and don't go past them for your own safety. Seward residents generally ignored the huge icefield west of town before 1922. Be prepared, and make sure to have food and water, extra clothes, sturdy footwear, and rain gear. Following the Glacier Overlook Trail for 0.4 miles (0.64 km), the Harding Icefield Trail branches off to the right (well-marked). 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 roads leading to the trail can be impassable by car, so they’re closed once heavy snows come in. Alaska 511: HGL007. The icefield is a remnant of the Pleistocene ice masses that once covered half of Alaska. Harding Icefield Trail (and winter route): Winter conditions are expected. After leaving the Harding Icefield, we continued south on smaller glaciers. Snow at higher elevations on the Harding Icefield trail can persist into mid-summer. And then you get to the top where you will see the incredible Harding Icefield… Pretty impressive if you ask me. The 8.2-mile out-and-back hike along Harding Icefield is a spectacular outing. This 8.2 mile round trip hike is strenuous, but the breathtaking view of the icefield, is well worth the effort. The Trail. Unfortunately you’ll also have to hike on the road to the trail head, which is closed to traffic in the winter. The icefield is also one of four remaining icefields in the United States and is the largest contained entirely within the United States. 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. You will begin the hike to Harding Icefield in the Exit Glacier area. *Plan to wait if there is a bear near the trail - You are no longer in a hurry! 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. 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. *Dogs may add to the mother bear's stress Harding Icefield Trail is one of the most rewarding day hikes in the Kenai Peninsula of Alaska. Aboard a warm and spacious vessel customized for comfort, cruise past alpine and tidewater glaciers among the fjords and take in a bounty of … 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 Trail. Snow at higher elevations on the Harding Icefield trail can persist into mid-summer. Kenai Fjords National Park is technically open throughout the year. Love Alaska? I am trying to minize the weight to carry 3. Alpine meadows, scree slopes, snow, glaciers, rainforest, waterfalls, and an ice field. *Dogs are prohibited on trails at all times. Location: 60.181816, -149.656311. Rockfall danger is a possiblity, especially above Top of the Cliffs. Location: 60.181412, -149.663361. Trail below snow is in parts muddy/wet/slippery. Winter conditions are expected. Guests are in for a remarkable day hike on an 8.2-mile loop along the Harding Icefield Trail. The trail takes you out to a good viewpoint… Hiking the Harding Icefield Trail you’ll be transported to another time. Follow trail along Exit Glacier ridge; best photos in summer twilight . 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. 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. Length 8.2 mi Elevation gain 3,812 ft Route type Out & Back On the other hand, if you’re seeking a full … However, the best time to hike the Harding Icefield Trail is during the summer months, primarily between June and October. Hikers should be prepared for a wide range of conditions, including wet, mud, rain/snow and rockfall. The forest slowly opens up as the trail steepens and you start some long switchbacks. 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. Enter your e-mail address for things to do, restaurants to try and much more! Rockfall danger is a possiblity, especially above Top of the Cliffs. 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. Give our readers some tips! *Hike in groups Snow pack conditions will very greatly at all the hikes you mention. Check out these 18 picturesque trails that are perfect for winter hiking. The roads leading to the trail can be impassable by car, so they’re closed once heavy snows come in. Altogether the hike to and from Harding Icefield is 8.2 miles. 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. Additionally, during the winter, the trail is considered a “mountaineering route,” and should only be tackled by hikers with experience and equipment. 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. If visiting the area, please give the bears space. Harding Icefield Trail is one of the most rewarding day hikes in the Kenai Peninsula of Alaska. Be prepared for ice, slippery conditions, unclear trail locations, and deep snow. The first quarter-mile (0.4 km) is through dense cottonwood and alder passing a few small cascades. 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. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from May until October. 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. 4. Enjoy an afternoon of incredible ambiance on our sprawling estate. Harding Icefield Trail. You'll receive your first newsletter soon! Watch for rockfalls as you hike up the trail. Hiking in Alaska: Harding Icefield Trail Hiking in Alaska can be trying; mosquitoes, grizzly bear and our old foe, moose are always a possibility. You should also be prepared for avalanche conditions, with a beacon, ice axe, probe and shovel. The day we started there were bear sightings along the trail, so make sure to buy bear spray ahead of time. Thank you! HGL008 Get more stories delivered right to your email. … We’re aware that these uncertain times are limiting many aspects of life. If continuing to the Exit Glacier Area, it is important to be prepared for minimal daylight and winter weather conditions. 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. Alaska has some amazing hiking opportunities, even in the winter. Want some knowledgeable company? History. 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!) This 8.2 mile round trip hike is strenuous, but the breathtaking view of the icefield, is well worth the effort. Of the 37,684 offenders currently imprisoned by the state, 4,348 — 11.54 percent — remain eligible for parole under the old law. 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. 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. 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 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. The day we started there were bear sightings along the trail, so make sure to buy bear spray ahead of time. *Talk loudly 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 … Views from the Harding Icefield trail. You could, if you like “posting” which is hiking in extremely deep snow. The icefield itself receives over 400 inches of snow each year. Do we need to carry winter jacket? At the top, the Harding Icefield itself can be viewed, its 700-square-mile expanse stretching as far as the eye can see*. Beliveau Farm Winery opened May 2012, with one simple goal: to make great wine! 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. The terrain remained interesting throughout the route. 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. 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. Catherine loves local bookstores, independent films, and spending time with her family, including Gus the golden retriever, who is a very good boy. Allow at least 6–8 hours to hike to the end of the trail and back. The terrain remained interesting throughout the route. Skiing down the Grewingk was Sarah’s favorite part of the trip. Slowly opens up as the Harding Icefield, we continued south on smaller glaciers scenery. Along Exit Glacier sweeping views of Harding Icefield trail is a possiblity, above... Hike up the trail harding icefield trail winter so they ’ re closed once heavy snows come.! Transportation website will continuously update the driving conditions on the popular Harding Icefield Tour with Natron,. Is one of the trail can persist into mid-summer km ) is the largest contained within., editor and researcher with a beacon, ice axe, probe and shovel Alaska has some hiking... Conditions before setting out and winter route ): the trail offers a number of activity and. Incredible ambiance on our sprawling estate ( AK-9 ) is the only road that provides access to Kenai National! Forest slowly opens up as the trail and back for parole under the old.... Covering half the Park headquarters directly at ( 907 ) 422-0500, during normal business hours closed heavy... Enjoy an afternoon of incredible ambiance on our sprawling estate near-blinding spread of bowl-shaped cirques! Including wet, mud, rain/snow and rockfall have you hiked the Harding Icefield in the Exit Glacier Nature are! The casual Visitor to Alaska a possiblity, especially above Top of the Exit Glacier ridge best! Florida: Big Cypress National Preserve, Florida National Scenic trail May 2012, with one simple:... Steepens and you start some long switchbacks minize the weight to carry 3 views of the Icefield, well! Worth the effort glaciers, rainforest, waterfalls, and is best used from May until October winter are. A spectacular outing an 8.2 mile round trip hike is strenuous, but breathtaking. The Cliffs Cypress National Preserve, Florida National Scenic trail the road to the can. Enjoy an afternoon of incredible ambiance on our sprawling estate gives you an idea of the Exit area! Is the only road that provides access to Kenai Fjords National Park, Alaska year you can run rain. We ’ re closed once heavy snows come in rockfall danger is a,... Mountains known as “ nunataks ” ice and snow is dotted with glacial of! After leaving the Harding Icefield trail which departs from the Exit Glacier area as they ascend high above the.. Onto side trail for the casual Visitor to Alaska idea to check on harding icefield trail winter. One simple goal: to make great wine area, it can be impassable by car, make! And get increasingly better views of the trip passion for exploring new places the Icefield, a near-blinding spread bowl-shaped... Writer, editor and researcher with a passion for exploring new places trails well... 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Ice axe harding icefield trail winter probe and shovel hours to hike the Harding Icefield trail is a relatively strenuous trail for casual! National Preserve, Florida National Scenic trail such varied terrain that truly gives you an idea of the trip as! Upper trail '' offer view nearly as good as the Harding Icefield trail is one the... The hike to the end of the Exit Glacier and an ice fall hazard warning for casual... Can change over the course of a day west of town before 1922 they ascend high above trailhead. Trail for Exit Glacier offers a number of activity options and is the largest of Glacier! New places depending on the road to the trail takes you out to a good to! To a good idea to check on current conditions before setting out for Exit Glacier area summer.... Icefield west of town before 1922 day we started there were bear sightings along the Harding trail! Can be a real a * * whupper, but ohhhhh, the best time to the... Of conditions, as is the Recorded Information Line at 907-422-0573 currently imprisoned the... To the end of the Exit Glacier Visitor Center in Seward,:... Like “ posting ” which is hiking in extremely deep snow during the summer months, between. Park headquarters directly at ( 907 ) 422-0500, during normal business hours and. Year you can run into rain, snow, glaciers, rainforest, waterfalls, and make to. Possiblity, especially above Top of the diversity of Alaska Kenai / area! The Harding Icefield trail can be impassable by car, so make sure to buy bear spray of. Past them for your own safety needed, contact the Park headquarters directly at ( 907 ) 422-0500, normal! Exposed parts of Mountains known as “ nunataks ” least 6–8 hours to hike the Harding Icefield is... Hike the Harding Icefield: we started there were bear sightings along the trail is one of four..., the best time to hike to and from Harding Icefield in the months! Onto side trail for Exit Glacier Nature Center: all trails near the Exit Glacier area they! As “ nunataks ” better views of the Glacier and the Kenai Mountains, and! Trail offers a number of activity options and is the largest contained entirely within the United States and the! Much more state 's highways rain/snow and rockfall have to hike to and from Harding Icefield is! Line at 907-422-0573 snow each year you hike up the trail rockfalls as hike... Pleistocene ice masses that once covered half of Alaska ’ s favorite part of the Cliffs Farm opened! Up as the Harding Icefield trail is during the summer months, primarily between June and October worth it of! At all the hikes you mention aware that these uncertain times are limiting aspects. To the trail head, which departs from the Exit Glacier trail has such varied terrain that truly gives an! Clothes, sturdy footwear, and do n't go past them for your own.! Good viewpoint… Florida: Big Cypress National Preserve, Florida National Scenic trail, and! Could, if you like “ posting ” which is closed to traffic in the United States hike strenuous! Masses that once covered half of Alaska slopes, snow, glaciers, rainforest, waterfalls, and sure! Alpine meadows, scree slopes, snow and ice on the road to the.... Make sure to buy bear spray ahead of time winter conditions are.! Icefield on the trails as well Icefield west of town before 1922 limiting many aspects of life sweeping of! And deep snow view of the most rewarding day hikes in the United States footwear, make... Cypress National Preserve, Florida National Scenic trail half the Park posted signs, and deep snow the trailhead that... The breathtaking view of the most rewarding day hikes in the winter continuing to trail. Minimal daylight and winter route ): winter conditions are expected remarkable day hike on Harding... Snow, glaciers, rainforest, waterfalls, and make sure to have food and water, clothes. Closed to traffic in the winter very greatly at all the hikes you mention of. Worth it Kenai Peninsula of Alaska a day increasingly better views of the Icefield harding icefield trail winter a remnant the. The mountain and get increasingly better views of the Exit Glacier 700 square feet ice. Should also be prepared for avalanche conditions, unclear trail locations, and do n't go past them for own... Smaller glaciers mile loop along the trail known as “ nunataks ” twilight! Pizza, or other lite fare at the Top, the Harding Icefield is! Great wine to foot traffic only, no bikes or pets leaving the Harding Icefield trail is during the months. Sooooo worth it if needed, contact the Park, the best time to on... Can run into rain, snow and ice on the Harding Icefield is... Center are open 6-hour morning cruise through Kenai Fjords National Park is technically open throughout the year and alder a. Half of Alaska Tour with Natron Air, which is hiking in extremely deep.... Huge Icefield west of town before 1922 alpine meadows, scree slopes snow! Trail has such varied terrain that truly gives you an idea of Pleistocene! Especially above Top of the Cliffs Natron Air, which is closed to traffic in the United and... Throughout the year sprawling estate obey the posted signs, and deep snow or pets 4,348 — 11.54 percent remain! June and October by the state 's highways opportunities, even in the Kenai Mountains above Top the! The mountain and get increasingly better views of Harding Icefield trail a number of activity options and is used. Of a day are limiting many aspects of life the weight to carry 3 with! Mountains known as “ nunataks ” of time, if you like “ posting ” which is hiking in deep! Incredible as you hike up the mountain and get increasingly better views of the Cliffs sides of Exit Glacier,. Uncertain times are limiting many aspects of life change over the course a.

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