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. 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. 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. The Harding Icefield in Kenai Fjords National Park is truly a wonder to behold! 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! But, if there’s one trail I could recommend in Alaska, it’s Harding Icefield. Hikers gain approximately 1,000 feet of elevation with every mile. Few scenes in the world compare to the view across the frozen expanse of the 700-square-mile Harding Icefield. We started out with the kids and hiked the short trail up to the Glacier lookout. Geography. Hikers gain approximately 1,000 feet of elevation with every mile. This was definitely the right decision for our family. Would you hike to the Harding Icefield? There is a day parking area and a small nature center. We were excited about what our day would bring. ⠀ 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. Alaska, hiking, National Parks, RVs, scenic byways, Travel, Uncategorized. Harding Icefield Trail – The Arrival. Le sentier offre plusieurs activités et sa meilleure utilisation est de mai à octobre. I hiked this in September, so you may need to wear more or less layers depending on the season you’re hiking in. We arrived at the Harding Icefield Trail just north of Seward, Alaska mid-morning on the 4th of July. The Trail. Family of four, expat living in Japan, traveling the world (on a budget!). We were blessed with great weather, breathtaking views and the best company. 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. The one I bought in Alaska was 70 bucks (pricey, but if it saves your life…. *As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. Harding Icefield Trail is an epic 8.2 mile round trip hike with an elevation gain of 3812 feet. You will begin the hike to Harding Icefield in the Exit Glacier area. The forest slowly opens up as the trail steepens and you start some long switchbacks. 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. View over Harding Icefield from end of trail. Although I did see a few kids attempting the trail; I didn’t see any at the top though. 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. 1 Reviews of Harding Ice Field Trail "About 9 miles RT from the parking lot, and about 3000' elevation gain. NPS Photo / F. North. All-Day Hike: The Harding Icefield Trail is strenuous! Summer 2019 saw us visiting Alaska for the first time where we did three hikes during our short stay. While we didn’t have time for this, I have heard that you can camp here. NPS Photo / F. North. The top of the summit is covered in dirt and rock and seems to carry on forever. The 13.19662-kilometer round trip Harding Icefield Trail is a spectacular, moderately strenuous day hike. 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. 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). Parking: free, at the Exit Glacier parking lot. 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. 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. Elevation: 3800 feet of gain (be prepared, this is a steep one!) Be sure to follow Leave No Trace principles. We did spot a couple of mountain goat, which was neat. 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. Elevation Gain: 3,812 feet. 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. 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. John and Katie’s Alaska RV Trip 2017: On Top of the World via the Harding Icefield Trail. Leaving no trace is super important! Hiking Tip. The other big thing we wanted to do in Kenai Fjords National Park, besides glacier kayaking, was hiking the famous Harding Icefield Trail.. Look back in time, when viewing the expanse of the Harding Icefield. They are free to join. 8.2miles or 13km return. Matt & I had a few close calls but luckily didn’t go down this trip. Hikers gain approximately 1,000 feet of elevation with every mile. 3000 feet or 914 metres. 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. Elevation Gain of the Harding Icefield Trail. But enough of my babbling, here are the stats: Rating: strenuous! ), 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. Harding Ice Field Trail est un sentier allez-retour de 8.2 miles très fréquenté situé près de Seward, Alaska. If you are looking to complete some family friendly hikes I would suggest Byron Glacier Trail or even Carter Lake Trail. Some of the more notable glaciers include the Tustumena Glacier, Exit Glacier, and McCarty Glacier. This hike and day was one of my favorites during our time in Alaska. The biggest bonus though, is that this bag is waterproof, ideal for when walking on snow/ice which is rather slippery. Once you get above the tree line, the enormous icefield comes into view. I am passionate about finding unique, fun family experiences all over the world & creating lifelong memories for our family. The 3,000+ feet elevation gain and the 9 miles round trip does not make this an easy hike. Hiking conditions are best from June to September. 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. 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 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 … It also has a couple of spots that we carry water for easy access. Notify me of follow-up comments by email. Camping: Yes, along the Harding Icefield Trail corridor, though you must be a decent ways from the trail on bare rock or snow. The 700 square mile ice field is incredible. The trail is strenuous! Guests are in for a remarkable day hike on an 8.2 mile loop along the Harding Icefield Trail. Required fields are marked *. Harding Ice Field Trail, Kenai Fjords National Park: Address, Harding Ice Field Trail Reviews: 5/5. 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. Fleece (didn’t end up wearing mine but packed it just in case). 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. Finally, you will reach a small shack and then the final view of Harding Icefield. There are Ranger led Harding Icefield hikes from 9am on Saturdays in July to August. 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. The amazing views require some effort – the hike is strenuous with a lot of elevation gain. The trail ends overlooking the massive 700 square mile Harding Icefield, which is a leftover of the last major Ice Age. Allow at least 6-8 hours for the hike. Be prepared with 3,800 feet elevation gain this is one strenuous hike. Sharp nunataks (lone peaks) break the white horizon, glaciers spill from the ice field’s … Hike the Harding Icefield Trail in Kenai Fjords National Park. Tag: Harding Icefield Trail elevation gain. Some people in our party think they saw fresh bear tracks. You will begin the hike to Harding Icefield in the Exit Glacier area. The day we started there were bear sightings along the trail, so make sure to buy bear spray ahead of time. It makes an incredible background for the rest of the hike, and yes it’s really that color blue. 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. 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. Harding Ice Field Trail: Harding Icefield - See 190 traveller reviews, 281 candid photos, and great deals for Kenai Fjords National Park, AK, at Tripadvisor. 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. Makes a great spot for eating lunch or simply sitting back and relaxing after the trek up. We like to attach bag so we can pick up trash as well. 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