Harding Icefield
Harding Icefield

Harding Icefield hike

Around Anchorage
View Photos
Path along Exit Glacier to Harding Icefield in Kenai Peninsula AlaskaHiker resting on Harding Icefield Trail near Anchorage AlaskaHiker posing near Harding Icefield on trail from Exit Glacier in AlaskaWildflowers along Harding Ice Field Trail in Kenai Fjords National ParkHikers on Harding Icefield Trail in Kenai Fjords National Park AlaskaViews along the trail to Harding Icefield in Kenai Peninsula AlaskaLooking back on the valley from Harding Icefield Trail in AlaskaOne of the overlooks on Harding Icefield Trail in AlaskaViews from another world on Harding Icefield Trail in AlaskaHiker ascending on Harding Icefield Trail in AlaskaGlimpse to Exit Glacier on Harding Icefield Trail near AnchorageHarding Icefield on Harding Icefield Trail Kenai Fjords National ParkHarding Icefield view on Harding Icefield Trail in AlaskaSign warning about wasps on Exit Glacier trail near Harding IcefieldExit Glacier view on Harding Icefield Trail in AlaskaLooking down on Melting Ice Creek on Harding Icefield Trail in AlaskaHikers on a trail to Harding Icefield in AlaskaSigns about bear danger on Harding Icefield hike in AlaskaBeautiful mountain views on Harding Icefield Trail in AlaskaHiker near top of Exit Glacier on Harding Icefield Trail in AlaskaLooking down on the valley below on Harding Icefield Trail in AlaskaHiker near overlook to the top of Exit Glacier on Harding Icefield HikeHiking on Harding Icefield Trail in Kenai Fjord National Park Alaska

Harding Icefield hike

Distance: 10.6mi
Elevation: 3,812ft
Time: 6-8h

Difficulty Rating:

User Ratings:
No ratings yet

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!

Harding Icefield hike Map

Getting there

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.

I’ve done this 1 people have done this
I want to do this 1 want to do this route

About

When to do

June - October

Pets allowed

No

Family friendly

No

Route Signage

Good

Crowd Levels

High

Route Type

Out and back


Harding Icefield
Elevation Graph


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.

Insider Hints

  • 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

Comments

Prince Ng 9 months ago

Ice everywhere I look! It was a long and never-to-be-forgotten adventure! I enjoyed this hike so much!

10.0 Overall Rating
Technical Difficulty
Physical Difficulty
athena1985 10 months ago

Wow, this hike is so stunning! It was a long challenging hike, but the overlooking views were phenomenal!

10.0 Overall Rating
Technical Difficulty
Physical Difficulty
Athena H. 2 years ago

Trail was well maintained, perfect weather too. We only saw a few other hikers. Quiet, lovely aday!

10.0 Overall Rating
Technical Difficulty
Physical Difficulty
Abode SC 2 years ago

It's so beautiful. I can't help but admire the surroundings. The ice floor was stunning.

10.0 Overall Rating
Technical Difficulty
Physical Difficulty
Tyler Sledge 2 years ago

The hike itself was a great way to warm up! Sweat a lot on the way up. It requires a lot of stamina.

10.0 Overall Rating
Technical Difficulty
Physical Difficulty
Guy G. 2 years ago

Never been surrounded by as many glaciers before. Alaska is another world. Definitely not a part of America.

10.0 Overall Rating
Technical Difficulty
Physical Difficulty
6 Comments

Similar hikes to the Harding Icefield hike

Hope Point

Hope Point

Difficulty:
8.8mi
3448ft
4-6h

The hike up Hope Point Trail is a fun and challenging hike to the peak of Hope Point. This route…

Lost Lake

Lost Lake

Difficulty:
14mi
2651ft
6-8h

Lost Lake Trail is a wonderful day-hike in Alaska that leads to the secluded Lost Lake, surrounded by meadows full…

Flattop Mountain

Flattop Mountain

Difficulty:
3.8mi
1322ft
2.15 – 3.15h

The Flattop Mountain trail is a great day-hike near Anchorage. Short, but steep this trail takes you to the top…