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