While we didn’t have time for this, I have heard that you can camp here. Leaving no trace is super important! Required fields are marked *. 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. But, if there’s one trail I could recommend in Alaska, it’s Harding Icefield. Elevation Gain of the Harding Icefield 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. 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. 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. John and Katie’s Alaska RV Trip 2017: On Top of the World via the Harding Icefield Trail. Definitely one to add to your Alaska bucket list! Harding Ice Field Trail, Kenai Fjords National Park: Address, Harding Ice Field Trail Reviews: 5/5. Although I did see a few kids attempting the trail; I didn’t see any at the top though. The top of the summit is covered in dirt and rock and seems to carry on forever. Great hike. NPS Photo / F. North. Camping: Yes, along the Harding Icefield Trail corridor, though you must be a decent ways from the trail on bare rock or snow. I am passionate about finding unique, fun family experiences all over the world & creating lifelong memories for our family. 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. 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 One of which was hiking Harding Icefield Trail. *As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. Would you hike to the Harding Icefield? 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. 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 Harding Icefield in Kenai Fjords National Park is truly a wonder to behold! 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. View over Harding Icefield from end of trail. There are Ranger led Harding Icefield hikes from 9am on Saturdays in July to August. The forest slowly opens up as the trail steepens and you start some long switchbacks. Lush trees, bears, and vast icefields of Exit Glacier. 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. All while on a budget. Tag: Harding Icefield Trail elevation gain. Hiking conditions are best from June to September. Few scenes in the world compare to the view across the frozen expanse of the 700-square-mile Harding Icefield. ), 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. 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. It makes an incredible background for the rest of the hike, and yes it’s really that color blue. 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. The first quarter-mile (0.4 km) is through dense cottonwood and alder passing a few small cascades. 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). 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 … The 8.2-mile round trip Harding Icefield Trail is a spectacular day hike. Hikers gain approximately 1,000 feet of elevation with every mile. Basically you are walking/climbing up very steep rocks for a long time. Notify me of follow-up comments by email. Hikers gain approximately 1,000 feet of elevation with every mile. Harding Icefield Trail Hike. Alaska, hiking, National Parks, RVs, scenic byways, Travel, Uncategorized. Guests are in for a remarkable day hike on an 8.2 mile loop along the Harding Icefield Trail. 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! 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. I promise that the views will be worth it once you reach the top. Le sentier offre plusieurs activités et sa meilleure utilisation est de mai à octobre. 8.2miles or 13km return. View from the end of the Harding Icefield Trail. 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. We did spot a couple of mountain goat, which was neat. Allow at least 6-8 hours for the hike. Located atop Exit Glacier where it stretches for 700 square miles, the Harding Icefield is worth the climb. The day we started there were bear sightings along the trail, so make sure to buy bear spray ahead of time. I love being able to share our experiences along with tips and tricks to help other travel loving families do the same. 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 were excited about what our day would bring. For those looking for an easier outing, the Exit Glacier can be viewed from an accessible trail that is about one mile in length. 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. Early in the season, about half of the trail is covered in snow, but hikers with boots will… Hiking Tip. 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. Some of the more notable glaciers include the Tustumena Glacier, Exit Glacier, and McCarty Glacier. Be on the look out for mountain goats, black bear, and marmots--- they are common sightings up here. All-Day Hike: The Harding Icefield Trail is strenuous! Geography. If you are looking to complete some family friendly hikes I would suggest Byron Glacier Trail or even Carter Lake Trail. NPS Photo / F. North. The views are unbelievable. Hank Leukart is in Alaska. This trek climbs 3000 feet alongside Exit Glacier as it passes through several climatic zones. Harding Ice Field Trail: Harding Icefield - See 190 traveller reviews, 281 candid photos, and great deals for Kenai Fjords National Park, AK, at Tripadvisor. ⠀ — Effective Against All Types of Bears, THE ULTIMATE LIST OF THINGS TO DO IN OKINAWA. Look back in time, when viewing the expanse of the Harding Icefield. 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. Sharp nunataks (lone peaks) break the white horizon, glaciers spill from the ice field’s … 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. Elevation Gain: 3,812 feet. 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 took my ” target=”_blank”>WANDRD backpack which Matt & I took turns carrying. Your email address will not be published. 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. Your email address will not be published. We were blessed with great weather, breathtaking views and the best company. It is not an easy walk in terms of elevation gain but anyone with moderate level of fitness can do it. The amazing views require some effort – the hike is strenuous with a lot of elevation gain. 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. There is a day parking area and a small nature center. Finally, you will reach a small shack and then the final view of Harding Icefield. Guests are in for a remarkable day hike on an 8.2-mile loop along the Harding Icefield Trail. 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! The 13.19662-kilometer round trip Harding Icefield Trail is a spectacular, moderately strenuous day hike. Make sure you are dressed properly, as the weather on top is often different than in the Exit Glacier area below. The Trail. Some people in our party think they saw fresh bear tracks. We started out with the kids and hiked the short trail up to the Glacier lookout. Makes a great spot for eating lunch or simply sitting back and relaxing after the trek up. ⠀ With every turn of a switchback, there’s a new mind blowing view or landscape. We arrived at the Harding Icefield Trail just north of Seward, Alaska mid-morning on the 4th of July. 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 day we started there were bear sightings along the trail, so make sure to buy bear spray ahead of time. You will begin the hike to Harding Icefield in the Exit Glacier area. You will begin the hike to Harding Icefield in the Exit Glacier area. We like to attach bag so we can pick up trash as well. Family of four, expat living in Japan, traveling the world (on a budget!). The hike to view the Harding Icefield is about 4 miles (oneway) with 3,500 feet elevation gain. 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. 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. 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. 1 Reviews of Harding Ice Field Trail "About 9 miles RT from the parking lot, and about 3000' elevation gain. Be prepared with 3,800 feet elevation gain this is one strenuous hike. 3000 feet or 914 metres. This was definitely the right decision for our family. Once you get above the tree line, the enormous icefield comes into view. 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. Length of the Harding Icefield Trail. Harding Icefield Trail is an epic 8.2 mile round trip hike with an elevation gain of 3812 feet. 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! 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 hiked this in September, so you may need to wear more or less layers depending on the season you’re hiking in. The 700 square mile ice field is incredible. Be sure to follow Leave No Trace principles. Harding Ice Field Trail est un sentier allez-retour de 8.2 miles très fréquenté situé près de Seward, Alaska. https://www.alltrails.com/trail/us/alaska/harding-ice-field-trail The 3,000+ feet elevation gain and the 9 miles round trip does not make this an easy hike. It’s also the perfect place to pull out that sandwich that you’ve been thinking about the entire hike . The trail is strenuous! Following the Glacier Overlook Trail for 0.4 miles (0.64 km), the Harding Icefield Trail branches off to the right (well-marked). But enough of my babbling, here are the stats: Rating: strenuous! Fleece (didn’t end up wearing mine but packed it just in case). Parking: free, at the Exit Glacier parking lot. The trail winds through cottonwood and alder forests, passes through a meadow before you pass the tree line. However, we didn’t think the girls would enjoy completing the 8.2 miles round trip journey. Hikers gain approximately 1,000 feet of elevation with every mile. Harding Icefield Trail – The Arrival. They are free to join. Matt & I had a few close calls but luckily didn’t go down this trip. Hikers gain approximately 304.8 meters of elevation with every mile. The other big thing we wanted to do in Kenai Fjords National Park, besides glacier kayaking, was hiking the famous Harding Icefield Trail.. The biggest bonus though, is that this bag is waterproof, ideal for when walking on snow/ice which is rather slippery. 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. It also has a couple of spots that we carry water for easy access. 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. We did the Harding Icefield Hike at the end of August and were constantly wowed by the beauty and stunning views. The one I bought in Alaska was 70 bucks (pricey, but if it saves your life…. The 8.2-mile out-and-back hike along Harding Icefield is a spectacular outing. Elevation: 3800 feet of gain (be prepared, this is a steep one!) 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. Le sentier longe une cascade et sa difficulté est évaluée comme difficile. Allow at least 6-8 hours for the hike. The trail is well established and maintained. 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. This hike and day was one of my favorites during our time in Alaska. I've climbed in big mountains before but the size of this ice field is something else. 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 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. 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 The Harding Icefield hike is a must-do hike in Kenai Mountains. Summer 2019 saw us visiting Alaska for the first time where we did three hikes during our short stay. The trail ends overlooking the massive 700 square mile Harding Icefield, which is a leftover of the last major Ice Age. — Effective Against All Types of Bears” target=”_blank” rel=”noreferrer noopener” aria-label=”so be prepared (opens in a new tab)”>so be prepared. Hike the Harding Icefield Trail in Kenai Fjords National Park.
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