Description During this guided glacier hiking tour from Seward, Alaska, take a scenic path to Exit Glacier which is a mixture of back-country and on-trail trekking (about 1.6 miles). 8 mile, 3,000' out and back hike along the Exit Glacier, a glacial tongue descending from the Harding Ice Field in Kenai Fjords National Park. In summer you will have more than enough daylight to complete the hike, even with plenty of rest and photo stops. There is a micro climate formed at the end by the glacier and it gets about twenty degrees colder. The trail affords several excellent views of the glacier itself. A nice hike if you are short on time but want to see the glacier! The Exit Glacier Ice Hiking trip is about seven hours long, covering four to five miles with an elevation gain of 1,400 feet. Exit Glacier Naturalist Hike. 2 day Ice Climbing Adventure. Excellent views of the glacier and valley. The picturesque path to the glacier is a mixture of back-country and on-trail trekking and the view from the top of the 1400ft of elevation that we gain while traveling over 1.6 miles of trail is absolutely stunning. Harding Icefield Trail Hike This trek climbs 3000 feet alongside Exit Glacier as it passes through several climatic zones. Directions to Exit Glacier Turn on to Herman Leirer Road, commonly called "Exit Glacier Road," at mile 3 of the Seward Highway (AK-9). You can also take the Harding Icefield Trail, a difficult 5- to 8-hour hike where you’ll ascend 3,000 feet to get a full view of the icefield. The elevation gain on this Alaska hike is 1400 feet and the view from the top is stunning. Some users have reported that the last 1/3 of the trail is too steep to navigate with wheelchairs or strollers because there are sections where the grade is between 10% and 25%. With just a 10-to-15-minute drive out of Seward, you can hike right up to the Kenai Fjords National Park's Exit Glacier and experience the dense, blue ice while listening to it crackle. The width is typically over five feet wide. Hiking the Exit Glacier and the Harding Ice Field Garland - Last Updated: May 29, 2020 A single sheet of ice all the way to the horizon. In your 4 hours out on the ice, you can choose to climb moderate walls on the glacier’s surface, or look for more advanced spots, deep within breathtaking moulins. However, if we had more time, we would have done the Harding ice field. and following the accessible, Glacier View Loop Trail through the cottonwood forest to the Glacier View, a panoramic vista of Exit Glacier spilling down from the Harding Icefield. Very well maintained trail with beautiful views looking glacier and surroundings. Excellent all levels trail. Climb Mount Alice. If you’re interested in a longer day hike to add to the Exit Glacier Trail, consider the Harding Icefield Trail. Loved the long drive to get back to the trail head. Very tiring but worth it. Exit Glacier Trail is a 2.3 mile heavily trafficked loop trail located near Seward, Alaska that features a river and is good for all skill levels. Here you can explore the trails, walk very close to an active glacier, or take a ranger-led walk. Exit Glacier We hiked to Exit Glacier with a group while staying in Seward. When you reach the top of the trail your jaw will drop at the spectacular beauty of the ice field. It is a place where you can witness up close how glaciers re-shape a landscapeand learn how plant life reclaims the barren rocky landexposed by a glacier's retreat. If you're in the area, hike it! The Exit Glacier Area is open year-round. Wheelchair and stroller users may find the trail too steep to continue past this point. Frank E. Baker is a freelance writer and ECHO News team member who lives in Eagle River with his wife Rebekah, a retired grade school teacher. Slight include right before glacier but easy for kiddos. Tour Overview. Easy trail. Option to backpack and camp overnight. The trail’s early builders include the Raliegh Group from the U.K., the Student Conservation Association (high school students); Boy Scouts of America, private volunteers from Seward, members of the U.S. Forest Service and the U.S. National Parks Service. It was beautiful and the hike was perfect. Harding Icefield Trail The 8.2-mile round trip Harding Icefield Trail is a spectacular day hike leaving from the Exit Glacier Area. Exit Glacier Guides - Day Tours: Exit Glacier Ice Hike - See 681 traveler reviews, 567 candid photos, and great deals for Seward, AK, at Tripadvisor. Hike Exit Glacier. This includes about six hours on the trail/glacier and one hour split between transportation, gearing up, and glacier travel training. Stop for a lunch break on the glacier, before hiking back to the trailhead. You are not allowed to camp up there. You’ll see small mountains poking above the ice, which are called “nunataks.” These mountain “islands” are what our Chugach Mountains looked like thousands of years ago, when ice covered the Mat-Su and  Anchorage Bowl to a depth of up to 2,000 feet. Easy hike to see a glacier. Loved seeing the glacier! Wildflowers and salmonberry in season. 4.8 It's hard to fathom how massive some Alaskan glaciers can be. Proceed 8.4 miles. The glacier is named “Exit” because rather than flowing to the ocean, it ends on land and thus offers an egress for adventurers bold enough to take on its expanse. Explore the fascinating features of the glacier including blue ice and large crevasses. ... Exit Glacier Ice Climbing Trip + See More About This Trip. Add a little excitement as we (safely) explore many features of this ancient ice. Probably in the top three nicest views from homes I’ve done. Length 2.3 mi Elevation gain 429 ft Route type Loop The hike itself was fairly easy and the trail is well marked. Signing the register is a good idea to let park rangers know you’re on the trail, but if you do, remember to SIGN OUT. Trail is well marked, on the way down we decided to go out on the washout basin. Stop for a lunch break on the glacier, before hiking back to the trailhead. The signs showing how far the glacier has moved over the last 100+ years is very impactful. The Exit Glacier Nature Center is at the very end of the Exit Glacier Road. They are very serious about this rule! Some things you can expect to see are large glacier crevasses, blue ice, and crackling ice. A must do in Seward. You'll spend 4 hours exploring all of what Exit Glacier has to offer. Commencez au parking Exit Glacier Nature Center et en suivant le sentier accessible, Glacier View Loop Trail à travers la forêt de peupliers, jusqu'à Glacier View, une vue panoramique sur Exit Glacier se déversant du champ de glace Harding. 2 day Ice Climbing Adventure + See More About This Trip. The road will end at the parking lot for the nature center. Be on the look out for mountain goats, black bear, and marmots--- they are common sightings up here. Please note: This tour is available with pick up in Seward, or can meet-on-location at the park entrance. This accessibility and the deceptive length of the trail have made this particular area popular with curious Alaskan hikers. Awesome. Heli-Explore. A portion of the trail is paved for wheel chair and stroller accessibility. This tour includes glacier hiking on Exit Glacier located within the Kenai Fjords National Park. The trail ends overlooking the massive 700 square mile Harding Icefield, which is a leftover of the last major Ice Age. People generally filter water from streams along the trail, but I have never done so and suffered no ill effects. Explore the fascinating features of the glacier including blue ice and large crevasses. You won’t see dinosaurs, but you’ll get to see a significant part of Alaska the way it once was–a part that is shrinking before our eyes. During this guided glacier hiking tour from Seward, Alaska, take a scenic path to Exit Glacier which is a mixture of back-country and on-trail trekking (about 1 – 2 hours). Better yet is to find your spot on the many pull offs on Exit Glacier Road and camp right by the river. Exit Glacier Trail is a 2.3 mile heavily trafficked loop trail located near Seward, Alaska that features a river and is good for all skill levels. Exit Glacier Ice Hiking This 7-8 hour tour is popular with clients that don't shy away from exercise on their vacations. It was fairly short and easy for the most part. Once you reach the ice, put on your provided safety gear, go over ice hiking safety, and then explore the glacial landscape. Not to hard and had some fun parts toward the end! The Exit Glacier is one of the thirty-five glaciers that flow through the extensive Harding Ice Field and the only area of Kenai Fjords National Park that is accessible by car. The trail begins as a flat easy stroll through the trees, then climbs up a slope which gives a spectacular view of the valley below and the surround Trail Hiking. Fun trail, easy to walk with amazing views, Easy trail and well worth it! There is no entrance or camping fee for the park. Upon the arrival of snow, usually in mid-November, the road to Exit Glacier is inaccessible to cars, due to a state road closure, but open to winter recreation, including snowmobiles, dogsleds, cross-country skiing, snowshoeing and fat bikes. The trail is primarily used for hiking, walking, and nature trips. If for some reason I was told I could only take one more hike in my life, this would be the one. But the paved section of the trail has an estimated average grade of 3% and a max grade of 6%. This strenuous trail leaves from the same trailhead as the Exit Glacier Trail. There aren’t enough superlatives to describe the Exit Glacier/Harding Ice Field Trail near Seward–that in four short miles and an elevation gain of about 4,000 feet–takes one back 10,000 years, to the Pleistocene Ice Age, when most of southcentral Alaska was covered with glaciers. Our two main playgrounds are Exit Glacier and Godwin Glacier, where we either hike in or approach by helicopter. For several years before joining the ECHO team, Frank wrote for the Eagle River/Chugiak Star newspaper. Take your time. Instead, just hike up to the face of the glacier on the Exit Glacier Naturalist Hike—an easy, 1.5-hour hike with natural and historical interpretation along the way. Easy hike on well maintained trail/pavement to good views of the glacier. This one-mile trail loops back to the parking area, or you can turn left at the trail-side kiosk and continue 0.6 miles on to the Exit Glacier Overlook via the Glacier Overlook Trail. Pau Hana Travels 5,401 views. It was a great warm-up hike for our week. Recommended activity by Seward. It should be noted that you do not actually get that close to Exit Glacier which left a part of us unsatisfied. Enjoy a longer, private version of the ice hike. The trail begins as a flat easy stroll through the trees, then climbs up a slope which gives a spectacular view of the valley below and the surround mountains. This is a day hike only. All the while enjoying the amazing views around us! There are designated campsites before the entrance to the glacier. This was our first Alaskan hike. Road to Exit Glacier During the winter, Herman Leirer Road is unmaintained and inaccessible to automobile traffic due to a state road closure. This massive wall of blue ice descends the mountainside from the Harding Ice Field, down to the Resurrection River. This one-mile trail loops back to the parking area, or you can turn left at the trail-side kiosk and continue 0.6 miles on to the Exit Glacier Overlook via the Glacier Overlook Trail. Opportunities for Everyone: The Dip Ship Offers Wheelchair Accessible Dip-Netting on the Kenai. Our unique private Helicopter Exploration tours allow clients to experience the ice on their own terms, whether that is hard-charging or more laid back and easy going. Upon the arrival of snow, usually in mid-November, the road to Exit Glacier is inaccessible to cars, due to a state road closure, but open to winter recreation, including snowmobiles, dogsleds, cross-country skiing, snowshoeing and fat bikes. Exit Glacier Naturalist Hike BOOK THIS TRIP ONLINE This small-group walk is a great way to learn about the history of the famous natural wonder known as Exit Glacier. Some things you can expect to see are large glacier crevasses, blue ice, and crackling ice. Excellent chance of seeing black bears. You wouldn’t need anything more than a small water bottle to make the trip. There are a few places of quick elevation and potentially slippery rocks, but for the most part, the conditions were good and the trail was easy to follow. Your KBA Guide will meet you there. Great beginner's hike though. We hiked to Exit Glacier with a group while staying in Seward. The road often remains closed through early May, so be sure to check current conditions if you are visiting during the off season (fall through spring). Alaska ice hiking with Adventure 60 North. Such a fun easy trail with shared educational/history of the glacier along the trail. Accessibility: The trail surface is partially paved and partially compressed gravel. The trail is steep in places, but has been built over many years with switchbacks that make it truly one of the most hiker-friendly trails in the state. You can go down to the river to explore, but not get onto the glacier. The beginning of the steep section has been marked with a waypoint on the map. All the while enjoying the amazing views around us! Fun hike! From the parking lot it’s a short one-fourth mile hike down a paved trail to the trailhead. Exit Glacier Rd, Seward, AK 99664, USA Meet us 15 minutes prior to the start of your tour in front of the Exit Glacier Nature Center. Exit Glacier Trail Hikes: Stunning. Amazing to see how much this glacier has melted since the 80s. Explore Kenai Fjords National Park’s only road-accessible glacier on this two-hour guided hike to the toe of Exit Glacier out of Seward. This tour includes glacier hiking on Exit Glacier located within the Kenai Fjords National Park. No problem. The Exit Glacier area is the only part of the park accessible by road. Start at Exit Glacier Nature Center parking lot. The trail winds through cottonwood and alder forests, passes though heather-filled meadows and ultimately climbs well above tree line to a breathtaking view of the 300-square-mile ice field that caps the Kenai Peninsula. But spend a day hiking along one and you'll start to get an idea of how much ice there is in Alaska. Frank E. Baker is a freelance writer who lives in Eagle River with his wife Rebekah, a retired grade school teacher. The hike itself was fairly easy and the trail is well marked. Great little trail to get the legs warmed up and get a great view! The trail’s early builders include the Raliegh Group from the U.K., the Student Conservation Association (high school students); Byron Glacier Trail is a Shorty, but Definitely a Goody, Boating skills class begins March 4 in Eagle River, Switchback Trail to Hope Point is A Hiker’s Dream, Local Athlete Qualifies for Youth/Junior Biathlon World Championships. You'll spend 1-2 hours exploring all of what Exit Glacier has to offer. The elevation gain on this Alaska hike is 1500 feet and the view from the top is stunning. Taking the Harding ice fields route you have 3 levels at 1500, 2500 and 3500 feet each with excellent views. World Class. We went off trail to get close to the glacier, but you can still get only so far. This was the Harding Ice Field, a massive frozen wilderness that leads to multiple glaciers in the Kenai Fjords area. To reach the trail, turn into Exit Glacier Road at mile 3.7 of the Seward Highway, and travel nine miles to the parking area in Kenai Fjords National Park. 7:47. The 8.2 mile out-and-back route carries visitors through the upper alpine areas of the park to viewpoints of the vast Harding Icefield. Please note: This tour is available with pick up in Seward, or can meet-on-location at the park entrance. Short nice trail with excellent views. Beautiful walking trails wind through the … Weather can change quickly near the glacier, so I highly recommend a raincoat or windbreaker, rain pants, gloves, an extra layer (polar fleece), lightweight gloves, wool hat, some micro-spikes for boots and plenty of high-calorie food to stoke the body furnace. Add a little excitement as we (safely) explore many features of this ancient ice. This is remote terrain with regular wildlife encounters (bears most certainly included) across a steep trail possibly with ice, snow, or water crossings. Great views too. Really spectacular view of the glacier, but not allowed on the ice. The Exit Glacier Area is open year-round. Necessary warning: While Exit Glacier & the Harding Icefield Trail may just be a “day hike,” it’s nothing to take lightly. The width is typically over five feet wide. Walk alongside one of our knowledgable guides and learn about the glacier as we see it — a moving, massive organism left over from the last ice age. Dogs are not allowed on the trail. The trail is primarily used for hiking, walking, and nature trips. 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. Traveling beyond the state gate (first gate) to the Exit Glacier Area is another 7 miles (11.5 km), and an additional 1 mile to the Exit Glacier overlook. We've been creating and Guiding Glacier and Traditional hikes & Climbs in the Seward Area Since 2005. You can choose from easy to hard options going to Harding ice fields which is not marked in the trail map . Sign posts along the way indicate the locations of the retreating glacier’s terminus dating back hundreds of years. One of the most visited glaciers in the world, Exit Glacier earned its name from grateful backcountry travelers. Really interesting to see how far the glacier has receded over the years, Accessibility: Grade Increases (Between 10% and 25% Past This Point). Hike as much or as little as you feel like because this is an out and back. For the top half of the hike, you’ll have the heavily crevassed Exit Glacier on your left-hand side for an incredible view. This tour starts with a strenuous 1.6-mile guided hike uphill from the base camp in Seward to Exit Glacier. Just up the road from Seward Windsong Lodge is the jewel of the Resurrection River Valley; Exit Glacier. 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