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 bear was only 100 feets away from her and her husband. We started out very early at the… Bears can be a common sight along 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. Be on the look out for mountain goats, black bear, and marmots--- they are common sightings up here. HGL008 Near Bear Creek, Alaska. - bear spray. Location: 60.181412, -149.663361. Two parties attempted to cross the icefield in the mid-1960s. Of all the wonderful hiking trails in the Seward area, the Harding Icefield trail is my favorite. Harding Icefield Trail Details: We started out with the kids and hiked the short trail up to the Glacier lookout. Kenai Fjords National Park is an American national park established in 1980 by the Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act.The park covers an area of 669,984 acres (1,046.9 sq mi; 2,711.3 km 2) on the Kenai Peninsula in south-central Alaska, near the town of Seward.The park contains the Harding Icefield, one of the largest ice fields in the United States. The vegetation is quite dense along this entire trail. Harding Icefield Trail to Top of the Cliffs (5 miles, +2,500/-2,500 feet). Grizzly bear scat has little bells in it and smells like pepper. Anyone planning to hike to trail around Aug 13? Outdoorsmen should recognize the difference between black bear and grizzly bear paw prints and scat. Up to this point, however, people had walked only on the icefield's margins. We also make sure we make noise, talk, and play music on our phone while we are hiking so not to surpise a bear. And then you have to go back down. This trail is a tough day hike, gaining 3,000 feet of … Share a Video . We were blessed — such days are not common in this area. Trail opens to views of Harding Icefield, a near-blinding spread of bowl-shaped glacial cirques covering half the park . 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. Trail in Bear Creek, AK Foursquare uses cookies to provide you with an optimal experience, to personalize ads that you may see, and to help advertisers measure the results of their ad campaigns. Members who are extremely knowledgeable about this destination and answer travellers’ questions frequently. more. 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.Runners can expect sweeping views of the Exit Glacier area … To review the Tripadvisor Forums Posting Guidelines, please follow this link: Description Follow the Exit Glacier Paved Path for roughly 1/3 of a mile and look for the Harding Icefield Trailhead on the right. [tmt_drivelapse] Here’s a look at the dashcam video of the drive around Seward, and out to Exit Glacier. We have read a few articles on bear safety, but I am curious about everybody's thoughts! The wildlife on this trail includes plenty of marmots, but there is a very good chance you will see bears and mountain goats as well. Ten people were involved in the crossing, which went from Chernof Glacier east to Exit Glacier. If the entire trail had been open, it would have been even longer. Follow switchbacks above cottonwood and alder treeline . Harding Icefield is the largest icefield located entirely within the United States. Of all the spectacular views on this hike this was my absolute favourite. The adventurous Harding Icefield Trail is a spectacular day hike near Seward in Kenai Fjords National Park, Alaska. It brings you back in time and you can imagine how things looked like during the earlier ice ages. Be on the look out for mountain goats, black bear, and marmots--- they are common sightings up here. And believe me when I say, this hike is definitely worth the time and effort-the scenery was magnificent! This trek climbs 3000 feet alongside Exit Glacier as it passes through several climatic zones. The vegetation along the trail is dense and passes through thickets of salmonberries, a favorite food of black bears. 67 reviews of Exit Glacier and Harding Icefield Trail "We went during July 4th weekend and the ranger recommended we only go halfway to the ice fields as there was still a good deal of snow at higher altitudes. My friend just came across a bear last week when she hiked the trail. The Exit Glacier, however, is the most accessible of the glaciers being reached by a spur road off of the Seward Highway. 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. The 8.2-mile round trip Harding Icefield Trail is a spectacular day hike. I instinctively said, "Hey bear," he looked over at me then quickly scampered off into the woods. Getting to the trailhead: Directions, lodging, trail facilities . Black Bears Exit Glacier Harding Icefield Trail Seward we12travel. Not uncommon to see a bear during the Harding hike. It is also partially located in Kenai Fjords National Park. The magnificent coastline of Kenai Fjords is steep valleys that were carved by glaciers in retreat. Bears frequent the trail. Not laid-back, friendly black bears, but brown bears — a.k.a. Getting to the Harding Icefield Trail. The weather can be unpredictable. There is a register to sign in at the trail head. Apparently it was a toll road. Bring bear spray. The trail itself is only 3.8 miles out, but you'll need to access it via the Exit Glacier Paved Path, which adds to the overall distance.Hikers can expect sweeping views of the Exit Glacier area as … OR. My thighs burned a bit the next day. "We also advise outdoorsmen to carry pepper spray with them in case of an encounter with a bear". My husband and I are planning to hiking the harding icefield trail on Sun. 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. It was a warm, sunny July day when my wife and I hiked the Harding Icefield trail. NPS Photo. Hiking the Harding Icefield Trail you’ll be transported to another time. Harding Icefield Trail is an epic 8.2 mile round trip hike with an elevation gain of 3812 feet. Home For More Stock Photos 3 June 2015 at 08:00 Reply. Lush trees, bears, and vast icefields of Exit Glacier. Photo Order #050910-039 . 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 trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from May until October. Turn L onto side trail for Exit Glacier overlook . The bears out there are very used to people. We were blessed — such days are not common in this area. Black bear scat contains lots of berries and squirrel fur. Retrieved December 14, 2006", Kenai Fjords National Park - Exit Glacier (U.S. National Park Service). Harding Icefield Trail Hike. OR. This was definitely the right decision for our family. Things happen. As I came out of the outhouse, I noticed a black bear not 20 feet in front of our cabin. We hiked this trail around the end of July in 2020 and here is a guide of what you need to know before diving into this epic adventure. fyi, you cannot pack bear spray on airlines, even in checked luggage. The bear was only 100 feets away from her and her husband. Put the bear spray where you can easily reach for it if the need arises. You'll get in trouble pretty much only if you surprise the bear or if you get between a bear and its food or cubs. Location: 60.183701, -149.665466. The icefield is a remnant of the Pleistocene ice masses that once covered half of Alaska. 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.