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adds to the overall distance.Hikers can expect sweeping views of the Exit Glacier area as … Your email address will not be published.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