Starting on the valley floor, the trail meanders through alder … Covering approximately 700 square miles, and at a maximum depth … 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. Seward Harding Icefield Hike Tour. 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. The day we started there were bear sightings along the trail, so make sure to buy bear spray ahead of time. Went all the way down to … The still air was heavy with moisture as I hiked up the Harding Icefield Trail in Kenai Fjords National Park outside Seward, Alaska. 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. The trail's summit … The snow covered unnamed mountain peak in the background is 5,900 feet on the western side of the icefield. 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. 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. Fin whale in Kenai Fjords. 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. 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. The 700-square-mile Harding Icefield, one of four major ice caps in the United States, crowns Kenai Fjords National Park. The other big thing we wanted to do in Kenai Fjords National Park, besides glacier kayaking, was hiking the famous Harding Icefield Trail.. Cresting the final ridge of bedrock and loose debris, I wasn’t sure what to expect. Make sure you are dressed properly, as the weather on top is often different than in the Exit Glacier area below. The day we started there were bear sightings along the trail, so make sure to buy bear spray ahead of time. 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. The icefield may be a remnant of the Pleistocene ice masses once covering half of Alaska. 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. The hike up to the Harding Icefield is a strenuous, 7.7 mile roundtrip, hike that gains 3000 feet. … NPS Photo / F. North. 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. 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. … The trail ends overlooking the massive 700 square mile Harding Icefield, which is a leftover of the last major Ice Age. Be on the look out for mountain goats, black bear, and marmots--- they are common sightings up here. 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. Camping in the emergency shelter is not allowed. The National Park entrance is located about 7 miles back the road. The Harding Icefield collects more than 400 inches of new snow each winter to replenish what evaporation and the glaciers take away. Their trip remained a virtual secret for more than twenty years after they completed it. Alaskan pilot, Bill Quirk tells me, “Make a visit to Alaska to enjoy the best in ski flying operations. I read online that the Harding Icefield Trail is the most beautiful trail in the National Park system, and it very well may be. Travelers gain nearly 1,000 feet of elevation with each mile, putting this day hike firmly into the “strenuous” category. It is also partially located in Kenai Fjords National Park. 3000 feet or 914 metres. Harding Icefield Trail is an epic 8.2 mile round trip hike with an elevation gain of 3812 feet. 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. Conditions on the icefield overwhelmed him however, and a week later he was back in Seward. This 500-square-mile frozen mass feeds almost three dozen glaciers, including Exit. The vast expanse of the Harding Ice Field is absolutely mind-boggling. Would you hike to the Harding Icefield? 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. Sharp nunataks (lone peaks) break the white horizon, glaciers spill from the ice field’s … The Trail. Though pets are prohibited on this trail, service animals are able to accompany visitors. Camping: Yes, along the Harding Icefield Trail corridor, though you must be a decent ways from the trail on bare rock or snow. Airborne surface elevation profiles of the Harding Ice field, south-central Alaska, were made in 1991 and 1996. The other big thing we wanted to do in Kenai Fjords National Park, besides glacier kayaking, was hiking the famous Harding Icefield Trail.. In about 1000 ft elevation the forest disappears to allow a hike that overlooks the Harding Icefield. The hike starts from the foot of Exit Glacier just outside Seward and takes you to the top of the enormous Harding Icefield. The icefield spawns more than 38 glaciers some of which are tidewater, some of which terminate in lakes, and others terminate on land. Elevation Gain of the Harding Icefield Trail. In 1983 Roman Dial and Jim Lokken skied from the edge of the Skilak Glacier to the Tustumena Glacier edge in a single day and in 1984 Dial skied from the Skilak to the Chernof solo in one day as part of the Alaska Mountain Wilderness Classic. The profiles were compared to U.S. Geological Survey topographie maps made in the 1950s, to obtain elevation and volume changes. Early in the season, about half of the trail is covered in snow, but hikers with boots will have little problem walking through it. That is just a little over 1000ft per mile, making the trail very steep and suitable only for hikers in good condition. The Harding Icefield Trail is easily one of the most stunning and photogenic hikes I’ve ever done. Ian Malone. 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. Enjoy this site? This report comes from the National Park Service. If you have visited Harding Icefield before, please tell us about it with a comment below. The Harding Ice Field is a bit more boring in its uniformity, in that most of its glaciers are retreating, he said. The weather at Kenai Fjords is difficult to predict and can change rapidly. Hike it on your own or take this guided tour . View over Harding Icefield from end of trail. 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. The hike to view the Harding Icefield is about 4 miles … Hiking conditions are best from June to September. 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. Suba sa yelo ang Harding Icefield sa Tinipong Bansa. If you have visited Harding Icefield … Coordinates: 60.0180556°N, -149.9861111°W I read online that the Harding Icefield Trail is the most beautiful trail in the National Park system, and it very well may be. Comparison of the changes for the different glaciers shows no significant correlation … The Harding Icefield in Kenai Fjords National Park is truly a wonder to behold! DIRECTIONS: Kenai Fjords National Park is about a three-hour drive, south of Anchorage, Alaska. It is named for United States President Warren G. Harding. For those looking for an easier outing, the Exit Glacier can be viewed from an accessible trail that is about one mile in length. Retrieved December 14, 2006. Much of the interior is covered by the Harding Icefield. It accumulates high enough to cover … Took us 6ish hrs roundtrip at a leisurely pace. 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. They are free to join. Harding Icefield between Bear and Skilak Glaciers, Nunatak Plateau in background, Learn how and when to remove this template message, "Alaska Science Forum: "Harding Icefield's Loss is the Ocean's Gain." Harding Icefield Trail Hike This trek climbs 3000 feet alongside Exit Glacier as it passes through several climatic zones. Elevation: 4,488 feet (1,368 meters) 4.2 Miles – End of Trail and Breathtaking Overlook of Harding Icefield (3512 ft elevation) Weather. We did the Harding Icefield Hike at the end of August and were constantly wowed by the beauty and stunning views. 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 Harding Icefield is an expansive icefield located in the Kenai Mountains of the Kenai Peninsula in Alaska. Wildlife and ecology. Up there, just out of sight, sprawled the Harding Icefield. The trail starts climbing … Harding Icefield is in the Glaciers category for Kenai Peninsula County in the state of Alaska. 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. If you have visited Harding Icefield before, please tell us about it with a comment below. The Harding Icefield is located in the Kenai Mountains of the Kenai Peninsula in Alaska. Some of the more notable glaciers include the Tustumena Glacier, Exit Glacier, and McCarty Glacier. Unwilling to wait two weeks for a coastal steamer, Kilcher walked to the Homer area, probably by way of the Resurrection River valley. After securing a homestead, he returned to Seward, and in late July he hiked up the Lowell Creek drainage toward the icefield. The park's highest point is an unnamed peak of 6,450 feet (1,970 m) in the Kenai Mountains. However, there are no glacial channels at the middle of the icefield so the new ice has nowhere to go. 8.2miles or 13km return. The Harding Icefield Trail is easily one of the most stunning and photogenic hikes I’ve ever done. Harding Icefield, named for former U.S. President Warren Harding, is located in the mountains of the Kenai Peninsula, Alaska. It feeds at least 38 glaciers, including Exit Glacier. 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. Copyright © Locality, LLC | Privacy Policy | Terms of Use | About. In early 1936, a 27-year-old Swiss immigrant and future state senator named Yule Kilcher disembarked in Seward. The Harding Icefield is over 700 square miles (1813 km ) 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 ) The icefield spawns up to 40 glaciers of all types. 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. Harding Icefield is ~80 km long and 50 km wide, covering an area of ~1800 km2. Harding Icefield, named for former U.S. President Warren Harding, is located in the mountains of the Kenai Peninsula, Alaska. Harding Icefield is displayed on the Seward A-8 USGS quad topo map. [2] The icefield itself receives over 400 inches of snow each year.[3]. Summer daytime … Description; Photos; Details; Frequently Asked ; Guests are in for a remarkable day hike on an 8.2-mile loop along the Harding Icefield Trail. The trail ends overlooking the massive 700 square mile Harding Icefield, which is a leftover of the last major Ice Age. About 1940, two Kenai Peninsula residents, Eugene "Coho" Smith and Don Rising, apparently were successful in their attempt to cross the icefield. It was a warm, sunny July day when my wife and I hiked the Harding Icefield trail. A short hike up the trail affords impressive views of the valley floor and Exit Glacier's terminus. They hiked from Bear Glacier west to Tustumena Glacier. You will begin the hike to Harding Icefield in the Exit Glacier area. 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. Kenai Fjords National Park is dominated by a glaciated landscape. Elevation Gain: 3,812 feet. We summited in two hours--and there were NO breaks for breathers anywhere on the almost four mile … Sea otter, Kenai Fjords. Details: The magnificent Harding Icefield is the jewel of Kenai Fjords National Park (at least in my opinion!) 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. From cottonwood forests on the lower trail, the trek takes you through some rocky terrain, to … The nearby town of Seward averages 72 inches of rain per 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. With a mixture of longing and trepidation I studied the patterns of crevasses that wrinkled the surface of … The Harding Icefield is over 700 square miles (1813 km2) 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 km2) [1] The icefield spawns up to 40 glaciers of all types. Both attempts were unsuccessful. Answer 1 of 4: I understand that hiking out to the Harding Icefield is one of the best day hikes in Alaska. There is a day parking area and a small nature center. They are accessed from the Herman Leirer Road (also called Exit Glacier Road) off of the Seward Highway about four miles north of town. Unfortunately, Daniel is a trail master. 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. This 300 square-mile Harding Ice Field covers a mountain range under ice several thousand feet thick, and flows out into 38 glaciers. Elevation wise its all uphill with no flats whatsoever. The ice is so thick that it extends up to 6,000 feet of elevation. The Exit Glacier, however, is the most accessible of the glaciers being reached by a spur road off of the Seward Highway. The expedition left Homer on April 17, bound for Chernof Glacier; eight days later, they descended Exit Glacier and arrived in Seward. The surface can be muddy, slippery, rocky and include snow and ice depending on the time of year. The amazing views require some effort – the hike is strenuous with a lot of elevation gain. Approx. Anyone who is interested in visiting Harding Icefield can print the free topographic map and street map using the link above. Lush trees, bears, and vast icefields of Exit Glacier. Harding Icefield Trail Hike. Be sure to follow Leave No Trace principles. Seward residents generally ignored the huge icefield west of town before 1922. We need all that ice. That’s some serious ice. 3000 feet or 914 metres. 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 … The hike to view the Harding Icefield is about 4 miles (oneway) with 3,500 feet elevation gain. Not surprisingly, this accelerating ice melt is due to 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. At only 4 miles to the end of the trail, hikers might assume that it is an easy hike; it’s not. The park is bordered on the west by Kenai National Wildlife Refuge and on the south by Kachemak Bay State Park. The park contains the Harding Icefield, one of the largest ice fields in the United States. Hike the Harding Icefield Trail in Kenai Fjords National Park. All-Day Hike: The Harding Icefield Trail is strenuous! Glaciers And Glory: The Harding Icefield Trail. 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. Camping is not permitted in the emergency hut at the end of the trail. All-Day Hike: The Harding Icefield Trail is strenuous! The Harding Ice Field is a bit more boring in its uniformity, in that most of its glaciers are retreating, he said. At only 4 miles to the end of the trail, hikers might assume that it is an easy hike; it’s not. End of the Trail … 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. Even a half-mile hike up the trail gives you a panoramic view of the valley floor and the edge of Exit Glacier. Dense clouds hung low and fingers of fog crept up the valleys. The Harding Icefield Trail is an 8.2 mile round trip trail in Kenai Fjords National Park outside of Seward, Alaska. Anyone who is interested in visiting Harding Icefield can print the free topographic map and street map using the link above. Head to Harding Icefield for views of surrounding peaks and fjords. The weather at Kenai Fjords is difficult to predict and can change rapidly. Hikers gain approximately 1,000 feet of elevation with every mile. This strenuous trail climbs approximately 1,000 feet every mile, but spectacular views along the way make it well worth the effort. Would you hike to the Harding Icefield? Two parties attempted to cross the icefield in the mid-1960s. 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 8.2-mile out-and-back hike along Harding Icefield is a spectacular outing. The trail is strenuous! October 4, 2020. Harding Icefield is displayed on the Seward A-8 USGS quad topo map. Few scenes in the world compare to the view across the frozen expanse of the 700-square-mile Harding Icefield. The park's glaciers have retreated through the twentieth century, … This trail is a tough day hike, gaining 3,000 feet of elevation in only 4 miles. The icefield spawns more than 38 glaciers some of which are tidewater, some of which terminate in lakes, and others terminate on land. Can someone who has done it estimate the time it takes ? The National Park entrance is located about 7 miles back the road. 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. Elevation Gain of the Harding Icefield Trail. There are Ranger led Harding Icefield hikes from 9am on Saturdays in July to August. Harding Icefield is the largest icefield located entirely within the United States. Hiking back over the moraine. ... (141 m) elevation is 4b with an average annual extreme minimum temperature of -20.3 °F (-29.1 °C). I’d learned to identify those same flowers weeks ago at a lower elevation. The trail had contoured along a hillside of tundra festooned with the nodding white flowers of bell heather. Hiking Tip. Hike the Harding Icefield Trail in Kenai Fjords National Park. 4.2 Miles – End of Trail and Breathtaking Overlook of Harding Icefield (3512 ft elevation) Weather. The Trail. The Harding Icefield hike in Alaska easily makes our top 3 list of most memorable and wow-factor hikes. The Harding Icefield hike is a must-do hike in Kenai Mountains. The magnificent coastline of Kenai Fjords is steep valleys that were carved by glaciers in retreat. Sharp nunataks (lone peaks) break the white horizon, glaciers spill from the ice field’s edge, and mountains fill the frame in every direction. Photo by Emily Stone. Harding Icefield Trail: 8.2 mile round-trip adventure with 3800 feet of elevation gain. Retrieved December 14, 2006", Kenai Fjords National Park - Exit Glacier (U.S. National Park Service). Few scenes in the world compare to the view across the frozen expanse of the 700-square-mile Harding Icefield. OVERVIEW: The Harding Icefield Trail is an 8.2-mile, 5-hour hike round trip with a 3,150-foot elevation gain. 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 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. Volume and surface elevation changes were calculated for six icefields throughout Alaska and British Columbia by differencing Digital Elevation Models (DEMs) that represent glacial elevations from different time periods. Guests are in for a remarkable day hike on an 8.2 mile loop along the Harding Icefield Trail. They are free to join. … 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. 8.2miles or 13km return. A definite must hike if you are in the Seward area. The trail ascends steeply over the 4.1 miles, gaining around 3500' of elevation. Be on the look out for mountain goats, black bear, and marmots--- they are common sightings up here. 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 … Some of the more notable glaciers include the Tustumena Glacier, Exit Glacier, and McCarty Glacier. Hiking Tip. 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. Elevation Gain: 3,812 feet. Up to this point, however, people had walked only on the icefield's margins. Throughout the … The icefield embraces Tuuli Peak, the highest point in the Kenai Mountains at 6,612 feet above sea level, suggesting that the Harding is likely a mile deep in some places. Length of the Harding Icefield Trail. The icefield is also one of four remaining icefields in the United States and is the largest contained entirely within the United States. I think it's 4.5 miles one way with about a 3000 foot elevation gain. Take the Seward Highway … I took my time and soaked it in. The Exit Glacier, however, is the most accessible of the glaciers being reached by a spur road off of the Seward Highway. 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. Three years later, J. Vin Hoeman, Dave Johnston, and Dr. Grace Jansen made an eastbound attempt. The meadows about halfway up are amazing and then at the top its otherworldly. Hike it on your own or Leaves from the Exit Glacier parking lot. My Arctic Tern at 4,000 feet elevation ASL on the Harding Icefield. I have never so many sitting on the cliffs just staring out at nature for so long. Ten people were involved in the crossing, which went from Chernof Glacier east to Exit Glacier. The men, however, told no one of their intentions, and once they returned, Smith's wife was the only one that was aware of what they had done. This cumulative ice loss over those five decades from the Harding Icefield represents 1 percent of the total contribution of all mountain glaciers worldwide to rising seas! Ang Harding Icefield nahimutang sa kondado sa Kenai Peninsula Borough ug estado sa Alaska, sa amihanan-kasadpang bahin sa nasod, 5,400 km sa kasadpan sa ulohang dakbayan Washington, D.C. 1,369 metros ibabaw sa dagat kahaboga ang nahimutangan sa Harding Icefield.. Ang yuta palibot sa Harding Icefield kay kabungtoran sa … Top of the cliff is probably a good return point if you are short of time. Harding Icefield. View from the end of the Harding Icefield Trail. Guests are in for a remarkable day hike on an 8.2-mile loop along the Harding Icefield Trail. Thirteen glaciers were profiled, along with the tipper region of the icefield. Allow at least 6-8 hours for the hike. Travelers gain nearly 1,000 feet of elevation with each mile, putting this day hike firmly into the “strenuous” category.
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