harding icefield trail winter

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

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