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harding icefield camping

Boy, am I glad we did! If you're ready to share your ideas, stories, and adventures with others, check out my post on how to start a blog. I really started to slow down here, partly because of the views but mostly because my body was exhausted. You may be thinking “a paved part of a hiking trail?”. Every time we would approach the top of a hill, I would think “this must be the top!”, but nope, another hill to go. Views from the Harding Icefield trail. Review trail conditions and the weather before starting your hike. (You can see the view from the main area of the lodge in the photo above.). And t. A bear canister is required and absolutely necessary. When we woke up, Seward was actually 33F, and it is much colder when you are in a higher elevation. The views along this stretch of the hike are way better since trees are no longer in your way. The hikes are also way easier compared to the Harding Icefield Trail. The roads leading to the trail can be impassable by car, so they’re closed once heavy snows come in. The hole should also be 100 feet from the trail. If time is a factor, set aside at least two days to explore the massive Kenai Fjords National Park, Resurrection Bay (pictured above), and Seward. And trust me, your legs will feel it (unless you’re some sort of Olympic athlete, which I most definitely am not!). It is easy to lose the trail here, as we did a couple times, especially when crossing streams. The Harding Icefield Trail from the junction with the main paved trail near Exit Glacier to the emergency hut near the terminus is closed to - (a) Camping within 1/8 mile of the trail from March 1 through November 1; and (b) Bicycles or other wheeled devices. Follow the signs to Harding Icefield. COPYRIGHT © 2020 | PRIVACY POLICY | Website designed by Alley Digital | Exclusive Member of Mediavine Travel. Thank you!! We cracked open our hand warmers and crawled into our sleeping bags. Download this stock image: Backpacking on the Harding Icefield Trail, Kenai Fjords National Park, Alaska. We had gotten a backpackers’ meal (dehydrated beef stroganoff that you add hot water to) at REI while we were in Anchorage. We saw a black bear way off in the distance while we were at the Cliffs area (more on The Cliffs in a bit. Once you’re in the parking lot your hiking adventure will begin right by the Exit Glacier Nature Center. Be on the look out for mountain goats, black bear, and marmots--- they are common sightings up here. The whole trail takes approximately 8 hours: about four hours to hike up and about 3-4 hours to descend. We will camp, ski tour, climb nunataks and explore the icefield over six days with full guide support. Marathon Bowl: Joshua Tree National Park. I’ve quit my 9-5 to become a travel blogger, and my goal is to show others how they can too! How long did the round trip hike take you? Anything that may have a human scent on it. In the spring of 2016 Exit Glacier Guides will be offering two expeditions onto the Harding Icefield for one week each. There are no toilets on the trail. We had clear skies the entire time. Link, Seeing wildlife when I travel is one thing that tr, The skies were clear and we were lucky to get view, Homer, Alaska is unlike any place I’ve ever been, Two pairs of socks did not cut it for this overnig, The biggest icefield entirely in the US! You should follow the ‘leave no trace’ principals to a tee. Over 40 glaciers flow from the Harding Icefield, but Exit Glacier is the only one you can hike beside. It is possible to complete this hike in a day, or camp at the top like we did. There are many amazing views to come, so don’t feel like a stop at Marmot Meadows is necessary. The steep elevation made the entire hike feel longer in distance than it was. https://stonyhill.com/harding-icefield-hike/ This travelogue describes the hike to the Harding Icefield...from rainforest to alpine meadow to icefield. Camping Near Harding Icefield.jpg. 🥰 What's yo, Weekend vibes ✌️ Anyone else wish they were in. No wonder boat tours are a common way to explore the Park- especially with visitors who are eager to come up close with glaciers. 33 Crucial Things to Know Before Visiting Alaska, Guide to Seward: The 18 Best Things to Do in Seward, 12 Things Alaska is Famous For (Don’t Miss These on Your Alaska Trip! The Harding Icefield located in Kenai Fjords National Park is the largest icefield contained entirely within the United States, 300 square miles and if you included the glaciers which descends from the icefield it would be over 1,100 square miles. 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. Throughout the entire … All rights reserved. We were blessed — such days are not common in this area. We did the Harding Icefield Hike at the end of August and were constantly wowed by the beauty and stunning views. Very excited! 1. And if you love your full time job, stick around for travel tips and inspiration! I’m glad we got up! I thought coming down would go quicker, but with the steepness of the trail, we had to take it a little slower to make it easier on our knees. You’ll find intertwined trails which means you can do multiple routes without starting over. Camping is not permitted in the emergency hut at the end of the trail. After dinner, we made some tea and watched the sunset over the mountains west of the glacier. The strenuous 4-mile Harding Icefield Trail has stunning views of Exit Glacier and the mile Harding Icefield. With a boat ride, you also enjoy wildlife and marine life spotting opportunities! Exit glacier is one of the most visited places in Kenai Fjords National Park thanks to its accessibility. United States - Hike to Harding Icefield - My husband and I are travelling to Alaska during the last 2 weeks of July. There are three main ways to experience the Kenai Fjords National Park: by foot, boat, or a helicopter ride. Proceed for another 8.4 miles and the road will lead you straight to the parking lot of the Exit Glacier Nature Center. And you’ll definitely want to keep your eyes open the whole time for wildlife! Another benefit of visiting in summer is the mild, temperate weather. I got up to join him and we had oatmeal for breakfast. Once the sun set around 8:30, the temperature dropped and we decided to go to bed, since there wasn’t really anything else to do. It has all of the logistics on how exactly to create your own website! And if you’re heading to Alaska, here are a few posts you might find helpful: Your email address will not be published. We didn’t have cell service on most of the hike, but got full LTE service at the top. 5. Kenai Backcountry Adventures: Harding Icefield Hiking Adventure - See 86 traveler reviews, 87 candid photos, and great deals for Seward, AK, at Tripadvisor. With the shuttle, you’ll have to be careful not to miss the return time, and there is barely any cell service around the Exit Glacier area. Description Follow the Exit Glacier Paved Path for roughly 1/3 of a mile and look for the Harding Icefield Trailhead on the right. The trail extends upward through different ecosystems. You don’t want anything in your tent to smell like food in case a curious bear wanders by. The first you’ll reach is Marmot Meadows. It’s one of about 40 glaciers that descend out of the massive Harding Icefield. There is no parking fee and camping is also free. We got one that was two servings, but wished we had gotten two because we were still hungry after sharing it! Although the distance from the parking lot to the top of the trail is roughly 10 miles round trip, the trail itself is 8.2 miles round trip. My new video is live on my YouTube channel!! Subscribe to my monthly newsletter for all of my travel updates and blogging/influencer tips! The next is a seriously steep hike up through the forest. This is the first spot where you get a good look at the Icefield, and not just the one glacier. Check out the best things to do in Seward here! There is a free ‘tent only’ campground close to the Exit Glacier Nature Center. This icefield is so large that it feeds 40 (yes, 40) glaciers on its sides. Answer 1 of 3: We'll be in Seward just after the first week of June. There’s a reason why it’s considered the best hike in the Kenai Peninsula! There is a day parking area and a small nature center. This is the part of the hike that really gets good! Harding Icefield. What you see in the photo is Exit Glacier as it stretches down from the Harding Icefield. I was very glad I brought my hiking poles. (More on that later.). Take the left fork and you’ll reach a clearing that is perfect for a picnic or simply to take in the views! Oh to be young again and have all that energy. Well when I first read about this hike, I completely negated this section, as I did on the way in. Camping is permitted along the Harding Icefield Trail corridor, but you must set up camp at least 1/8 mile from the trail on bare rock or snow. It is flat and easy though. The hike starts from the foot of Exit Glacier just outside Seward and takes you to the top of the enormous Harding Icefield. You’ll climb up for a while through a beautiful grassy tundra void of trees with great views of the glacier. FYI, most product links on my site are affiliate links, which means that I may earn a commission from advertising or affiliate programs. Harding Icefield is the largest icefield located entirely within the United States. 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. The Harding Icefield trailhead is approximately a 20-minute drive (about 3.7 miles) north of Seward in Kenai Fjords National Park. Thanks for following along on my adventures! Well, it’s a ginormous stretch of land atop the mountains in Kenai Fjords National Park that is covered in… you guessed it… ice! From there, the icefield at the top stretches as far as your eyes can see. Backcountry Camping. We chose not to stop here, because there were several other people at the meadow and at that point, our bodies needed us to keep going. Guests are in for a remarkable day hike on an 8.2 mile loop along the Harding Icefield Trail. (On a larger scale, it lies in the Kenai Peninsula about 125 miles south of Anchorage. I was thrilled to reach the parking lot and let my body rest after this grueling hike! (The lack of cell service is something you might find in a lot of places! We didn’t spend too much time here, as we wanted to set up camp and make dinner. ID:2135. Camping by the Harding Icefield. Harding Icefield Hiking Adventure. 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. Our group size will be limited to 6 clients for each trip and will spend our time exploring the vast main body of the Harding. The Harding Icefield Trail, Alaska Given I'd already walked the first 2.8 miles of this trail on the ice climbing trip I wasn't sure if it was worth going all the way to the top. Here’s a popular boat tour option that does just that! He got everything adjusted and I decided I may as well get up to pee, since I had been holding it since the animal incident. Just a few hours away from Anchorage on one of the most scenic drives in Alaska, it deserves your visit! Camping above the harding Icefield,Alaska. Overview. I was still paranoid though and was wide awake for a couple more hours. We had the most amazing weather for our two days hiking here. Alaska, Backpacking, Camping, Hiking, National Parks, North America, United States This was an amazing hike to the largest icefield entirely within the US! Enter your email address to receive notifications of new posts by email. We actually didn’t get to go all the way to the icefield due to a storm that rolled in. After setting up the tent and taking some pictures, we chose a spot about 100 feet away from our camp to make dinner. Sam woke me up and got out to make us some coffee. How long did the round trip hike take you? Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment. A shorter hike up the trail commands impressive panoramas of the valley floor, Exit Glacier, and the Harding Icefield. This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. The Harding Icefield in Kenai Fjords National Park is truly a wonder to behold! Instead of lighting up a campfire, you should consider using a stove. From the valley floor, the trail weaves through bushy terrain, gaining elevation steadily while breath-taking views open up periodically. To squeeze the most out of the Harding Icefield you can enjoy the hike by the day then camp overnight. Have fun, Melissa.. The last stretch is a few rolling hills. While it is a national park, there was no entrance fee to hike here. Holgate Glacier and Aialik Glacier are the most popular ones to see by boat. So if completing the entire trail seems outside of your wheelhouse, there are great viewpoints just a couple of miles into the hike. ), What to Wear in Alaska: An All-Season Packing Guide. The tent should either be on the snow or bare ground (to preserve the area’s fragile vegetation). My legs already felt like jelly by the time I got to the Top of the Cliff viewpoint! The rest of the park is only accessible by water. Kenai Fjords National Park is technically open throughout the year. The Harding Icefield Trail is easily one of the most stunning and photogenic hikes I’ve ever done. should I bring a bivvy or a tent? Make the most of your time in Seward by hiking into the Kenai Fjords National Park during this full-day excursion. From here, you’ll follow the Exit Glacier Paved Path for roughly 0.3 miles. You will be gaining about 1000 feet of elevation per mile for most of the hike. Camping fee: None. While you can see Exit Glacier from the drive in and other easier trails nearby, a hike up the Harding Icefield trail is required to see the actual icefield. You can also camp along the trail under some conditions. Sam and I were the only ones who camped up there that night. The Harding Icefield Trail should definitely be on your Alaska Itinerary! So what’s the difference between a glacier and an icefield? For this reason, it’s best to treat the hike as a full-day excursion and set out in the early morning! Be sure to dress in layers so that it’s easy to remove or add clothes as the temperature changes. Answer 1 of 6: Do we need crampons? Description Follow the Exit Glacier Paved Path for roughly 1/3 of a mile and look for the Harding Icefield Trailhead on the right. My recommendation: opt to push through to the Top of the Cliff (2.4 miles). The first section is the paved part that takes you from the parking lot to the official start of the trail. Backcountry Camping. Camping on vegetation is destructive which can be pretty devastating. If you’re looking for more weekend getaways from Anchorage, check out this post!). (model released) - BX404T from Alamy's library of millions of high resolution stock photos, illustrations and vectors. The trail ends overlooking the massive 700 square mile Harding Icefield, which is a leftover of the last major Ice Age. That means there’s something for everyone, especially the Exit Glacier trail, which is also handicap accessible! Not what you want to hear when you are the only ones around for miles in the middle of nowhere! There are a few trails that lead from the parking lot to various parts of the lower section of Exit Glacier. We really want to hike to the top of the Harding Icefield. First, you’ll wind through the forest, then, through a beautiful tundra meadow, and lastly, rocky terrain. I actually rearranged our trip schedule because I knew we would want good weather for this hike. Bring sunscreen or a hat. The shuttle drops you at the parking lot then picks you up later in the afternoon. Backpacking Harding Ice Field Trail.jpg. Canyonlands National Park. ID:2136 It was a warm, sunny July day when my wife and I hiked the Harding Icefield trail. When we went, a storm was rolling in, which meant we had to keep an eye out for impending rain and pack plenty of waterproof gear. Beautiful! These conditions can make hiking impossible (and in the worst case scenario can even trigger avalanches!). Camping is not permitted in the emergency hut at the end of the trail. Thanks for supporting my blog by purchasing through these links! But this may not be the best option if you want to enjoy the views without feeling rushed. They are accessed from the Herman Leirer Road (also called Exit Glacier Road) off of the Seward Highway about four miles north of town. Answer 1 of 3: Hi Im planning to hike up exit glacier and camp at the top of the harding icefield trail to get some good sunset and sunrise photos has anybody done this before? After completing this trail, I think about it in four distinct sections. Notify me of follow-up comments by email. The only thing that would’ve made it more amazing is if the northern lights were out. As we went farther, we passed more and more people who looked like they were struggling as much as I was the previous day. Seward was forecasted to have a low of 45F that night. This is important when camping in bear territory. We reached the top around 6:30pm. The icefield may be a remnant of the Pleistocene ice masses once covering half of Alaska. It looked like an ocean to me, with the mountain peaks sticking out like islands. Then you leave the trees and hike up through tundra meadows. You’ll start the hike at the Exit Glacier Nature Center parking lot. Your days will be packed to the brim with mesmerizing mountain views, incredible glaciers, varied trails, and lots of wildlife. My very strenuous hike of almost 4,000 feet straight up paid off when I got to camp at the top – an overlook of the Harding Icefield. This part is a steady climb, with several switchbacks and few breaks. While the trail is well maintained with plenty of switchbacks along the path to limit the steep segments, you need to be reasonably fit to make it up to the top. That way, you’ll have enough time to enjoy the views along the path at a leisurely pace and make it back down just before dusk. Starting on the valley floor, the trail meanders through alder and cottonwood forest … This section is primarily through trees and you won’t get much of a view, with the exception of the glacier peeking out occasionally. Sam got out first, anchoring the stakes with heavy rocks. You’ll see a path split off from the main path on your left. The 700-square-mile Harding Icefield, one of four major ice caps in the United States, crowns Kenai Fjords National Park. So here’s everything you need to know before embarking on the Harding Icefield Hike. There is plenty of wildlife to be found around the Harding Icefield! This trek climbs 3000 feet alongside Exit Glacier as it passes through several climatic zones. It’s not uncommon to spot black bears, brown bears, mountain goats, moose, marmots, birds, or anything else along the way. Yup, it’s literally a field of ice, hence the name. It was an amazing, yet slightly scary feeling. Harding Icefield: Roasting Hotdogs. Your descriptions are wonderful, but the photos are beyond amazing!! All content copyrighted 2020 by Melissa Young. Get a front row seat of retreating glaciers on this challenging 8-mile out-and-back to the Harding Icefield. Camping Harding Ice Field.jpg. However, the best time to hike the Harding Icefield Trail is during the summer months, primarily between June and October. In fact, it’s the only land entrance into Kenai Fjords National Park. You experience roughly 1000 feet of elevation gain per mile! As we were leaving the top, the first hiker of the day approached us and said he had passed a couple black bears on his way up. The trail zigzags a few times on the last section, and it’s easy to miss a turn and keep going in the wrong direction. You might come across humpback whales, Steller sea lions, puffins, harbor seals, and different species of seabirds. I’m a nature-obsessed, beauty-finding, Jesus-loving dreamer with a serious case of wanderlust. I highly recommend a helicopter tour like this one while you’re in Alaska. The magnificent coastline of Kenai Fjords is steep valleys that were carved by glaciers in retreat. This trail is a tough day hike, gaining 3,000 feet of elevation in only 4 miles. This enormous wall of ice descends the mountain from the Harding Icefield and goes down all the way to Resurrection River. Glaciers And Glory: The Harding Icefield Trail. And trust me, once you’re done with this hike, your legs will feel too much like jelly to do anything else the rest of the day! This was an amazing hike to the largest icefield entirely within the US! The town is right outside the park, so it’s a short drive away. Once you get to the third section of the hike, there are very few trees or shade. A marmot made its way across a hill near us (it was my first time seeing a marmot!). Saved by ΚΑΤΕΡΙΝΑ ΣΤΙΚΟΥΔΗ. It had gotten really cold (around 20 degrees F) and I couldn’t feel my toes, even with two pairs of socks on. It gets windy! There are picnic tables right next to the parking lot where you can stop for a snack before hiking. You’ll get way more views there, and the hike becomes more scenic than the first stretch you’ve already done. We heard the sound again a little later. The Harding Icefield hike in Alaska easily makes our top 3 list of most memorable and wow-factor hikes. You can also charter a boat and take in the views at a leisurely pace. The view at the top really is spectacular. Bear Glacier is a popular glacier to fly by in Kenai Fjords National Park since it’s the largest glacier off of the Harding Icefield! The Harding Icefield and its outflowing glaciers cover 700 square miles of Alaska's Kenai Mountains in glacier ice. You must put all food, trash, cooking supplies, and toiletries inside. This is the only part of the national park that you can access by land. Altogether the hike to and from Harding Icefield is 8.2 miles. If possible, you should plan to stay in or around Seward. We left the top around 9am. I was really thankful I brought hiking poles to lessen the impact. It is about 1.4 miles above the treeline, where the lush green forest falls away and you approach an open meadow. This includes packing all litter! No crampons or ice axes are needed during the summer hiking months. I probably fell asleep by 9 and was sleeping really well until I got an elbow in my side at 1am. As soon as the official trail starts, the hike gains significant elevation. Be sure to follow Leave No Trace principles. On the water, you can see the glaciers calving (when chunks of ice break off), which is a crazy expereince! But honestly, I don’t think I would’ve had the strength to go all the way to the top! By the next morning, it had dropped to about 20F! About 0.5 miles into this section, I was tired. To squeeze the most out of the Harding Icefield you can enjoy the hike by the day then camp overnight. Your email address will not be published. Answer 1 of 6: Do we need crampons? You’ll get to see Bear Glacier and so much more! ID:2134. Camping: Yes, along the Harding Icefield Trail corridor, though you must be a decent ways from the trail on bare rock or snow. The Harding Icefield trailhead is on the right side of the path. The trail comes to an end at a rugged rocky overlook with a sweeping view of the stunning icefield. I was totally alone up there I could hear faint cracking noises, which were the sounds of massive glaciers the size of multistory buildings calving miles away. Of course, we had an excellent view out the front. Hiking from Marmot Meadows to Top of the Cliff is a lot more fun, to me at least. Nonetheless, it’s important to note that the weather in the area is still highly unpredictable and can change at any time of the day. We knew to keep an eye out for them and maintain a conversation the whole time, so we didn’t surprise them if we were to come into close range with them. I got back in my sleeping bag, put my beanie down over my face, buried myself in my sleeping bag and slept soundly until around 8am. Let’s get into everything you’ll need to know before setting out on the Harding Icefield Hike. Details: The magnificent Harding Icefield is the jewel of Kenai Fjords National Park (at least in my opinion!) Sam whispered to me “there is an animal circling our tent”. Created more than 23,000 years ago during the Pleistocene Epoch, the Harding Icefield was a small piece of the vast ice sheet that covered much of Southcentral Alaska (Figure 1). When I fi, One of my favorite hikes I’ve done so far. It was such a steep climb to get there, but I knew the top was at least close if the shelter was here. When we were both outside, we looked up and were in awe by the stars. Barring bad weather, it’s worth it to keep going to the Top of the Cliff at the very least! It doesn’t even encompass how giant the ice field is! Camping is allowed off the Harding Icefield Trail on bare rock or snow at least 1/8 mile off the trail but is not permitted at the shelter, which is for emergency use only. The climb does not let up though. Otherwise, four days would be perfect. I asked around and was assured it was worth it, so I hiked the whole thing with my last active day in Alaska. 🍁 Ho, Here’s a postcard from Oahu for anyone who needs, Turns out Dallas is pretty in the fall too! Camping Mt. Length: 10.2 miles round trip to the top and back, plus another 0.4 miles round trip (or more) to get to a camping spot, Time: it took us about 7 hours total, although it’s possible to do it quicker with fewer stops. Seward is packed with all types of accommodations- we stayed at Resurrection Lodge on the Bay and loved it! These mild temperatures are perfect for hiking. You should dig a small hole to do your ‘business’. This will minimize the impact of the campfires and preserve the pristine environment for future generations. You get to see the glaciers and the snow-capped peaks from a birds-eye view with no obstructions! This is a very different photo than what I usually, Moana vibes 🌺 What’s your favorite Disney mov, I hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving!!! White Rim Trail. At the start of our hike the first afternoon, it was about 60 degrees F. As we climbed to the top and the sun set, it was 45-50F at the top. You’ll get to get up close with the glacier and see the dramatic landscape left behind by the retreating glacier while also enjoying some of the most astounding natural scenery that the area has to offer. I felt like I had gone way more than 5.1 miles! Kenai Backcountry Adventures: Harding Icefield Hiking Adventure - See 81 traveler reviews, 87 candid photos, and great deals for Seward, AK, at Tripadvisor. To see the meadow, you’ll take a short side trail. The view you see in the photo above is not even from the top of the hike- only from halfway! Helicopter rides, on the other hand, offer a unique vantage point and are an awesome choice if you have limited time. Learn how your comment data is processed. Reaching it takes time, sore legs, and patience, but the view of the icefield is incredibly rewarding! Check out this post on 33 crucial things to know before visiting Alaska for some more useful information!). Check out this post on 33 crucial things to know before visiting Alaska for some more useful information! Once I unzipped the rain fly, I was once again amazed by how incredible our view was. Here are a few: Now that we’ve covered all of that, let’s talk about the national park that houses the Harding Icefield! Most parts of Kenai Fjords National Park can only be accessed by water. Kenai Fjords National Park: Harding Icefield Trail. After several minutes of laying in complete silence, bear spray in hand, the sound went away, and Sam drifted back off to sleep. Length: About 1.4 miles to get to Marmot Meadows from the start of the official trail. You can see nothing but the icefield for miles. And a couple of hikers told us they saw a moose and its calf cross the trail right in front of them! Sometimes, even in early July, the areas close to the top of the trail are snow-capped. The National Park entrance is located about 7 miles back the road. Harding Icefield is located in Kenai Fjords National Park. So what is this icefield you’ll be hiking to, anyway? We ended up following the path to get down to the glacier about a quarter mile and found a few grassy, level(ish) spots. We chose one spot that was slightly enclosed by rocks on the backside, thinking it may block some wind. Harding Icefield Trail Hike. Camping, Hiking, National Parks, North America, Travel, United States, Washington Hi, I’m Melissa! However, the challenging, strenuous climb makes the hike seem longer. After I finally fell asleep again, we woke up to the wind whipping our rain fly. Hi, I’m Jasmine! Required fields are marked *. Harding Icefield is composed of 40 glaciers and spans over 1100 square miles. This doesn’t raise prices- it sometimes may actually lower them! These photos are my favorites from our trip! Hello friends! The last part is a steep climb through lots of rocks. The views from the top of the trail are unbeatable, but you don’t have to go all the way to experience the magic at the summit. An icefield is actually a large area of interconnected glaciers. If you’re looking for more weekend getaways from Anchorage, check out this post! You should set up your tent at least 1/8 miles from the trail. You’ll also find several RV parks and campgrounds in Seward. Follow the principles of Leave No Trace – limit group size, find a camp spot that is out of sight from the trail, and avoid crushing fragile vegetation. And make sure the hole is at least 100 feet from any water sources or streams. Kenai Fjords National Park hosts some of the best of Alaska’s beauty within its massive rugged and dramatic landscape. The first sign we noticed was to Marmot Meadows, a pretty meadow with the first good overlook of Exit Glacier. Bring hand warmers and be prepared for colder weather than you think it will be. Comment below! There is a free ‘tent only’ campground close to the Exit Glacier Nature Center. (Check out this post on the 36 best things to do on the Kenai Peninsula!). Here’s a popular boat tour option that does just that! There is no parking fee and camping is also free. I’m still not sure if it was actually an animal, or just the wind moving my tent against my backpack. The park is at the edge of the Kenai Peninsula and it’s home to the Harding Icefield, Exit Glacier, and a ton of glaciers that can only be accessed by boat or helicopter. I’m a full-time engineer making the most out of every minute of my vacation time. The network of both walking and hiking trails leads to different viewpoints of Exit Glacier. We enjoyed our breakfast before packing up camp and heading down. The temperatures are mostly in the 70s during the daytime and 40s at night. Also, remember to bring a bag to pack your trash into because the trail doesn’t have any trash cans. I used them on the way up and down, and they helped me catch my balance a couple times with my big backpack. If you choose to explore on foot, there are a few different trails with different levels of difficulty. It was so strong that it had pulled up several of our stakes and the tent had shifted about a foot downhill. My body was so tired and ready to be back in the car, but we still had almost a mile left to get there. what are the temperatures like at night? I’d do one day for the Harding Icefield hike, and one day for a boat tour and to explore Seward a bit. The nearby town of Seward averages 72 inches of rain per year. There is a trail shelter at the top, but it’s used for emergencies only. You also get a glimpse of the Icefield along with the majestic mountains surrounding the area. Lost Lake Cabin. 🍁, What’s one thing you’re grateful for? The Cliff is halfway through the entire trail. We were originally supposed to do this Monday night, but with lots of rain forecasted, we switched it to Wednesday. If you are camping, anchor the stakes of your tent with rocks on top. Starting on the valley floor, the trail meanders through alder and cottonwood forest as well as heather-filled meadows. I was glad we were coming down at that point. In fact, as I mentioned earlier, the Harding Icefield is 700 square miles of ice! Harding Icefield is composed of 40 glaciers and spans over 1100 square miles. Jun 15, 2016 - Camping above the harding Icefield,Alaska.. Millionaire Lifestyle. The weather can be unpredictable and the winds traveling down the mountain can be pretty chilly. Also it was my first time seeing a bear in the wild!). Once you get to the shelter, there are two more hills to climb and then you are there! The picnic area is also a great resting place after a long day on the trails. They give you amazing views of Exit Glacier and partial views of the icefield. Near the top is an emergency shelter. We knew we needed to get out and re-stake the tent. How much of the Harding Icefield trail would be traversable at this time? Pay attention to the direction that you should be going. The alpine flora can take a while to grow, especially because this trail is highly trafficked. Bring lots of snacks such as energy bars, or a picnic if you’re going all the way to the top. Ideally, start before 10am. On the way down though, I had forgotten how far it really was. If you don’t have a car, you can take advantage of the shuttle services that depart from Seward. There are no designated campsites, so we weren’t sure the best place to go. When driving, you’ll see a clear sign signaling the turnoff point from the Seward Highway: mile 3 to Exit Glacier Road. Do you have any questions about this hike? Today wa, Tis the season for love and giving! Located atop Exit Glacier where it stretches for 700 square miles, the Harding Icefield is worth the climb. Camping in Harriman Fiord. About a mile from the top, the grass stops and the trail continues through more rocky terrain. Alternatively, you can opt for an Airbnb as well! To completely enjoy the hike and give enough time to take in the views at the top of the trail get an early start.

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