The hike starts from the foot of Exit Glacier just outside Seward and takes you to the top of the enormous Harding Icefield. End of the Trail … Hiking Tip. A short hike up the trail affords impressive views of the valley floor and Exit Glacier's terminus. Some of the more notable glaciers include the Tustumena Glacier, Exit Glacier, and McCarty Glacier. The trail ends overlooking the massive 700 square mile Harding Icefield, which is a leftover of the last major Ice Age. It is also partially located in Kenai Fjords National Park. OVERVIEW: The Harding Icefield Trail is an 8.2-mile, 5-hour hike round trip with a 3,150-foot elevation gain. 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 area generally enjoys a relatively temperate maritime climate, primarily due to the influence of the Japanese current that flows through the Gulf of Alaska. Hike it on your own or take this guided tour . Airborne surface elevation profiles of the Harding Ice field, south-central Alaska, were made in 1991 and 1996. Retrieved December 14, 2006", Kenai Fjords National Park - Exit Glacier (U.S. National Park Service). After securing a homestead, he returned to Seward, and in late July he hiked up the Lowell Creek drainage toward the icefield. The hike up to the Harding Icefield is a strenuous, 7.7 mile roundtrip, hike that gains 3000 feet. The trail had contoured along a hillside of tundra festooned with the nodding white flowers of bell heather. Elevation Gain of the Harding Icefield Trail. The Harding Icefield hike in Alaska easily makes our top 3 list of most memorable and wow-factor hikes. The Harding Icefield is located in the Kenai Mountains of the Kenai Peninsula in Alaska. Alaskan pilot, Bill Quirk tells me, “Make a visit to Alaska to enjoy the best in ski flying operations. The icefield spawns more than 38 glaciers some of which are tidewater, some of which terminate in lakes, and others terminate on land. Elevation wise its all uphill with no flats whatsoever. Camping is allowed along the Harding Icefield Trail, but you must travel at least 1/8 mile from the trail on bare rock or snow before setting up your camp. The core of the icefield covers 300 hundred square miles, with its glacial tentacles extending it out to 1,100 square miles, with much of it located in Kenai Fjords National Park. Be sure to follow Leave No Trace principles. Hikers gain approximately 1,000 feet of elevation with every mile. The Harding Icefield hike is a must-do hike in Kenai Mountains. Sea otter, Kenai Fjords. The Harding Icefield, pictured Saturday, July 2, 2016, spans 700 square miles and feeds over 30 glaciers, including Exit Glacier, according to the National Park Service. Hike it on your own or Leaves from the Exit Glacier parking lot. The 700-square-mile Harding Icefield, one of four major ice caps in the United States, crowns Kenai Fjords National Park. The surface can be muddy, slippery, rocky and include snow and ice depending on the time of year. Harding Icefield Trail at about 1 mile of the hike and 1000 ft elevation gain Above the treeline, thick wildflowers start to appear, and the combination of alpine glaciated peaks, the forest below, glaciers, river flowing across the valley floor and wildlflowers made it feel like almost hiking in heaven. Glaciers And Glory: The Harding Icefield Trail. October 4, 2020. They are free to join. I took my time and soaked it in. Harding Icefield Trail at about 1 mile of the hike and 1000 ft elevation gain Above the treeline, thick wildflowers start to appear, and the combination of alpine glaciated peaks, the forest below, glaciers, river flowing across the valley floor and wildlflowers made it feel like almost hiking in heaven. Harding Icefield is ~80 km long and 50 km wide, covering an area of ~1800 km2. The National Park entrance is located about 7 miles back the road. Harding Icefield. The day we started there were bear sightings along the trail, so make sure to buy bear spray ahead of time. Cresting the final ridge of bedrock and loose debris, I wasn’t sure what to expect. Answer 1 of 4: I understand that hiking out to the Harding Icefield is one of the best day hikes in Alaska. Harding Icefield Trail: 8.2 mile round-trip adventure with 3800 feet of elevation gain. Not surprisingly, this accelerating ice melt is due to rapidly … 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 8.2-mile round trip Harding Icefield Trail is a spectacular day hike. The park is bordered on the west by Kenai National Wildlife Refuge and on the south by Kachemak Bay State Park. I’d learned to identify those same flowers weeks ago at a lower elevation. Kenai Fjords National Park is dominated by a glaciated landscape. Harding Icefield Trail Hike. U.S. Geological Survey Geographic Names Information System: Harding Icefield, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Harding_Icefield&oldid=942295482, Bodies of ice of Kenai Peninsula Borough, Alaska, Short description is different from Wikidata, Articles lacking in-text citations from November 2009, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License, This page was last edited on 23 February 2020, at 20:33. Some of the more notable glaciers include the Tustumena Glacier, Exit Glacier, and McCarty Glacier. The snow covered unnamed mountain peak in the background is 5,900 feet on the western side of the icefield. This 300 square-mile Harding Ice Field covers a mountain range under ice several thousand feet thick, and flows out into 38 glaciers. Such a fun and beautiful trail. The Harding Icefield in Kenai Fjords National Park is truly a wonder to behold! The other big thing we wanted to do in Kenai Fjords National Park, besides glacier kayaking, was hiking the famous Harding Icefield Trail.. It's probably 9 miles round trip, a little longer than the sign says, with plenty of elevation gain, but it is well worth it. 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. There are Ranger led Harding Icefield hikes from 9am on Saturdays in July to August. The trail ascends steeply over the 4.1 miles, gaining around 3500' of elevation. As noted above, Yule Kilcher, Dave Johnston, Vin Hoeman, and Grace Hoeman were veterans of previous attempts; of the ten, only four–Bill Babcock, Dave Johnston, Yule Kilcher, and Vin Hoeman–hiked all the way across the icefield. Travelers gain nearly 1,000 feet of elevation with each mile, putting this day hike firmly into the “strenuous” category. The trail is well developed but steep with nearly 3,000 feet of elevation gain. It is named for United States President Warren G. Harding. There are Ranger led Harding Icefield hikes from 9am on Saturdays in July to August. Camping is not permitted in the emergency hut at the end of the trail. Their trip remained a virtual secret for more than twenty years after they completed it. The Harding Icefield Trail is an 8.2 mile round trip trail in Kenai Fjords National Park outside of Seward, Alaska. Description; Photos; Details; Frequently Asked ; Guests are in for a remarkable day hike on an 8.2-mile loop along the Harding Icefield Trail. View over Harding Icefield from end of trail. Harding Icefield is in the Glaciers category for Kenai Peninsula County in the state of Alaska. The latitude and longitude coordinates of Harding Icefield are 60.0180556, -149.9861111 and the approximate elevation is 4,488 feet (1,368 meters) above sea level. Be on the look out for mountain goats, black bear, and marmots--- they are common sightings up here. The Harding Icefield collects more than 400 inches of new snow each winter to replenish what evaporation and the glaciers take away. 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. After I had such an awesome time at Exit Glacier with mom, dad, and Matt (photos to come...sometime), I couldn't wait to get back to Seward with Daniel to hike the Harding Icefield trail, a 7.8 mile round-trip, 3000 ft. elevation gain trail of wonders. For the Harding Icefield on the Kenai Peninsula in southcentral Alaska, United States Geological Survey (USGS) DEMs from the 1950s were differenced with Shuttle Radar Topographic … Can someone who has done it estimate the time it takes ? I’d learned to identify those same flowers weeks ago at a lower elevation. Thirteen glaciers were profiled, along with the tipper region of the icefield. Much of the interior is covered by the Harding Icefield. Retrieved December 14, 2006. He was headed for Kachemak Bay, where he intended to take up residence, but was so intrigued by the icefield he had seen from the steamship that he vowed to cross it before long. 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. Suba sa yelo ang Harding Icefield sa Tinipong Bansa. Both attempts were unsuccessful. 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. Starting on the valley floor, the trail meanders through alder … Sharp nunataks (lone peaks) break the white horizon, glaciers spill from the ice field’s … It's probably 9 miles round trip, a little longer than the sign says, with plenty of elevation gain, but it is well worth it. However, there are no glacial channels at the middle of the icefield so the new ice has nowhere to go. Up there, just out of sight, sprawled the Harding Icefield. The trail ends overlooking the massive 700 square mile Harding Icefield, which is a leftover of the last major Ice Age. In about 1000 ft elevation the forest disappears to allow a hike that overlooks the Harding Icefield. There is a day parking area and a small nature center. The hike to view the Harding Icefield is about 4 miles (oneway) with 3,500 feet elevation gain. The Harding Icefield Trail is easily one of the most stunning and photogenic hikes I’ve ever done. A recent paper published in Geophysical Research Letters, however, estimated the Harding Icefield lost 0.72 meters in elevation per year in the 1990s, a 50 percent increase in thinning rate. Hike the Harding Icefield Trail in Kenai Fjords National Park. Comparison of the changes for the different glaciers shows no significant correlation … This report comes from the National Park Service. Early in the season, about half of the trail is covered in snow, but hikers with boots will have little problem walking through it. 4.2 Miles – End of Trail and Breathtaking Overlook of Harding Icefield (3512 ft elevation) Weather. 8.2miles or 13km return. Anyone who is interested in visiting Harding Icefield can print the free topographic map and street map using the link above. With a mixture of longing and trepidation I studied the patterns of crevasses that wrinkled the surface of … The trail is strenuous! All-Day Hike: The Harding Icefield Trail is strenuous! Elevation Gain: 3,812 feet. Be on the look out for mountain goats, black bear, and marmots--- they are common sightings up here. I read online that the Harding Icefield Trail is the most beautiful trail in the National Park system, and it very well may be. Copyright © Locality, LLC | Privacy Policy | Terms of Use | About. Hiking Tip. Coordinates: 60.0180556°N, -149.9861111°W The park's highest point is an unnamed peak of 6,450 feet (1,970 m) in the Kenai Mountains. Elevation Gain: 3,070 ft (936 m) Location: Seward – Exit Glacier Nature Center: Map of Harding Icefield Trail (red) and Exit Glacier trails (blue) – map disclaimer and information. The profiles were compared to U.S. Geological Survey topographie maps made in the 1950s, to obtain elevation and volume changes. The weather at Kenai Fjords is difficult to predict and can change rapidly. Between the mid-1920s and the early 1930s, the increasing popularity of aviation had given a lucky few the opportunity to soar over the icefield. 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 Harding Ice Field is a bit more boring in its uniformity, in that most of its glaciers are retreating, he said. 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. ... (141 m) elevation is 4b with an average annual extreme minimum temperature of -20.3 °F (-29.1 °C). 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. You will begin the hike to Harding Icefield in the Exit Glacier area. 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. If you have visited Harding Icefield before, please tell us about it with a comment below. Harding Icefield. Harding Icefield is ~80 km long and 50 km wide, covering an area of ~1800 km2. This trail is a tough day hike, gaining 3,000 feet of elevation in only 4 miles. Three years later, J. Vin Hoeman, Dave Johnston, and Dr. Grace Jansen made an eastbound attempt. Elevation Gain of the Harding Icefield Trail. Some of it melts but a lot of it does not, and it’s compressed into dark blue ice over the next three or four decades. Expedition members included Bill Babcock, Eric Barnes, Bill Fox, Dave Johnston, Yule Kilcher and his son Otto, Dave Spencer, Helmut Tschaffert, and Vin and Grace (Jansen) Hoeman. Anyone who is interested in visiting Harding Icefield can print the free topographic map and street map using the link above. Hiking. This trek climbs 3000 feet alongside Exit Glacier as it passes through several climatic zones. Few scenes in the world compare to the view across the frozen expanse of the 700-square-mile Harding Icefield. Conditions on the icefield overwhelmed him however, and a week later he was back in Seward. The Harding Icefield Trail is an 8.2 mile round trip trail in Kenai Fjords National Park outside of Seward, Alaska. They are free to join. This strenuous trail climbs approximately 1,000 feet every mile, but spectacular views along the way make it well worth the effort. At only 4 miles to the end of the trail, hikers might assume that it is an easy hike; it’s not. The latitude and longitude coordinates of Harding Icefield are 60.0180556, -149.9861111 and the approximate elevation is 4,488 feet (1,368 meters) above sea level. If you have visited Harding Icefield … The amazing views require some effort – the hike is strenuous with a lot of elevation gain. 4.2 Miles – End of Trail and Breathtaking Overlook of Harding Icefield (3512 ft elevation) Weather. Dense clouds hung low and fingers of fog crept up the valleys. We summited in two hours--and there were NO breaks for breathers anywhere on the almost four mile … For those looking for an easier outing, the Exit Glacier can be viewed from an accessible trail that is about one mile in length. In the spring of 1968, the first documented mountaineering party succeeded in crossing the icefield. Leaves from the Exit Glacier parking lot. My Arctic Tern at 4,000 feet elevation ASL on the Harding Icefield. Harding Icefield Trail A hike to the top of the Harding Icefield Trail gives you a glimpse of what much of south-central Alaska looked like during the last ice age. 3000 feet or 914 metres. The meadows about halfway up are amazing and then at the top its otherworldly. About 1940, two Kenai Peninsula residents, Eugene "Coho" Smith and Don Rising, apparently were successful in their attempt to cross the icefield. Harding Icefield, named for former U.S. President Warren Harding, is located in the mountains of the Kenai Peninsula, Alaska. The icefield is also one of four remaining icefields in the United States and is the largest contained entirely within the United States. … You will begin the hike to Harding Icefield in the Exit Glacier area. The construction of the Spruce Creek trail that year, however, made it possible to view the upper portions of the icecap, and President Harding's promise to visit the territory was sufficient to bestow his name on the feature. View from the end of the Harding Icefield Trail. The ice is so thick that it extends up to 6,000 feet of elevation. Along the way, the party made a first-ever ascent of Truuli Peak, a 6,612—foot eminence that protrudes from the northwestern edge of the icefield near Truuli Glacier. The nearby town of Seward averages 72 inches of rain per year. Harding Icefield, named for former U.S. President Warren Harding, is located in the mountains of the Kenai Peninsula, Alaska. USGS Topo Map Quad: Seward A-8 Covering approximately 700 square miles, and at a maximum depth … Elevation: 4,488 feet (1,368 meters) Unwilling to wait two weeks for a coastal steamer, Kilcher walked to the Homer area, probably by way of the Resurrection River valley. Details: The magnificent Harding Icefield is the jewel of Kenai Fjords National Park (at least in my opinion!) The still air was heavy with moisture as I hiked up the Harding Icefield Trail in Kenai Fjords National Park outside Seward, Alaska. The Harding Icefield, pictured Saturday, July 2, 2016, spans 700 square miles and feeds over 30 glaciers, including Exit Glacier, according to the National Park Service. Fin whale in Kenai Fjords. 3000 feet or 914 metres. The Trail. From cottonwood forests on the lower trail, the trek takes you through some rocky terrain, to green alpine meadows overlooking the blue, crevassed Exit Glacier, past mountain cascades up to a vista of the endless sea of ice that is the Harding Icefield. … Feature Type: Glacier. Take the Seward Highway … A definite must hike if you are in the Seward area. If you’re an ambitious hiker, you can make a day out of it and follow the switchbacks up to Harding Icefield. The weather at Kenai Fjords is difficult to predict and can change rapidly. Though pets are prohibited on this trail, service animals are able to accompany visitors. It accumulates high enough to cover … The Harding Icefield is an expansive icefield located in the Kenai Mountains of the Kenai Peninsula in Alaska. The National Park entrance is located about 7 miles back the road. 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. Length of the Harding Icefield Trail. Hiking conditions are best from June to September. We did the Harding Icefield Hike at the end of August and were constantly wowed by the beauty and stunning views.
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