Kenai Fjords National Park: Harding Icefield Trail

Get a front row seat of retreating glaciers on this challenging 8-mile out-and-back to the Harding Icefield. No crampons or ice axes are needed during the summer hiking months.
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Get a front row seat of retreating glaciers on this challenging 8-mile out-and-back to the Harding Icefield. No crampons or ice axes are needed during the summer hiking months.

Trail Facts

  • Distance: 6.6

Waypoints

HGL001

Location: 60.189274, -149.629318

Begin on Harding Icefield Trail near visitor center. Caution: Check trail conditions first

HGL002

Location: 60.187751, -149.632673

Trail junction; continue straight through hemlock and spruce forest

HGL003

Location: 60.184345, -149.644058

First views of Exit Glacier, a massive blue-white blanket capping nearby fields of willow and pioneer plants

HGL004

Location: 60.184132, -149.649551

Cross bridge over glacier-fed creek

HGL005

Location: 60.182976, -149.653061

Follow trail along Exit Glacier ridge; best photos in summer twilight

HGL006

Location: 60.181816, -149.656311

Trail opens to views of Harding Icefield, a near-
blinding spread of bowl-shaped glacial cirques covering half the park

HGL007

Location: 60.181412, -149.663361

Turn L onto side trail for Exit Glacier overlook

HGL008

Location: 60.183701, -149.665466

Follow switchbacks above cottonwood and alder treeline

HGL009

Location: 60.182297, -149.670547

Land opens to thick cover of pink fireweed and emerging snow patches

HGL010

Location: 60.184547, -149.672562

Watch for black bears while passing this popular wildlife hangout

HGL011

Location: 60.184559, -149.684586

Follow orange markers; use caution crossing 1st snowfield; watch for white mountain goats

HGL012

Location: 60.182037, -149.702515

Pass small gray emergency cabin

HGL013

Location: 60.178944, -149.706711

Reach Harding Icefield overlook; admire endless expanse of snow and ice. Retrace route to trailhead

Harding Icefield

Location: 60.183184, -149.664002

Harding Icefield

Location: 60.18327, -149.695244