Harding Icefield hike
Harding Icefield Trail is one of the best hikes in Alaska without a doubt. Take this trail to visit the overlook to the father of over 30 beautiful glaciers in Kenai Mountains – Harding Icefield. The expansive view of endless ice floor above the clouds will take your breath away!
Reach Seward Village by heading south on AK-1, then State Highway 9. Take a turn on your right to Herman Leirer Rd. and drive 7.1mi until you reach a big Exit Glacier car park.
|When to do|
June - October
Out and back
Route Description for Harding Icefield
The Harding Icefield hike is a must-do hike in Kenai Mountains. The amazing views require some effort – the hike is strenuous with a lot of elevation gain.
Make sure you are dressed properly, as the weather on top is often different than in the Exit Glacier area below. Strong winds, snow and storm are not uncommon here even after the sunniest mornings! Also, resist the urge to step on the icefield or glacier as it can be extremely dangerous.
Your adventure will begin at Exit Glacier car park. Here you will be able to visit the nature center, fill your empty bottles and even use flush toilets. You will find the Exit Glacier trailhead at the western part of the carpark, near the nature center.
Go towards Exit Glacier for around 0.3mi until you find the Harding Icefield Trailhead on your right. You will start ascending through bushy terrain. Soon you will emerge above the treeline with the first overlook to Harding Icefield. Enjoy the view and carry on towards the glacier.
Hike a bit further and in rocky alpine meadow you will reach another overlook – this time even closer.
Lastly, you will traverse along the hillside and descend to get right next to the Harding Icefield itself. The endless icefield scene will take your breath away. If you decide to spend some time here, you might even notice the very slow movement of ice, slowly approaching the edges of the icefield and pouring from one of over 30 glaciers.
Return the same way you came.
Visit Exit Glacier overlook, which is easily accessible by the trail from the Exit Glacier carpark
Spend a night at Exit Glacier Campground to beat the crowds
Visit Exit Glacier Nature Centre to check the weather conditions before the hike.
Visit Alaska SeaLife Center at Seward to learn about Alaskan marine fauna
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