The hike begins at the base of the glacier, where there's a visitor center and bathrooms. At Exit Glacier, not far from the top of the world as the puffin flies, we stayed at a historic hotel and stayed clear of bears We were drained from the previous day’s drive to the Arctic that ended only at 3 AM on Day 3 of our trip at Seward, Alaska. The trail traverses fragile alpine areas, so please take care not to damage the vegetation via shortcuts. Exit Glacier is a must for adventure travelers and those pressed for time. I hiked that trail with my family back in 1974, but did not have any bear experiences. The rest of the year pit toilets are available. Here you can explore the trails, walk very close to an active glacier, or take a ranger-led walk.. Leashed pets and bicycles are allowed on the road to Exit Glacier and in the parking lot. Exit Glacier has become an icon of climate change. Let us simplify it for you, How much does an Alaska summer vacation cost? 9. Thick stands of alder with some willow come next, followed by black cottonwood forest that slowly gives way to shade-tolerant mountain hemlock. Which one is right for you? Even as you hike up, you'll notice the how the age of the forest changes. The Alaska Railroad is your transportation method. The Glacier Overlook Trail is a well maintained trail which provides views of Exit Glacier. Visitors to Exit Glacier in Kenai Fjords National Park in Alaska have been warned to watch for a cow moose shot by a visitor and which could be overly aggressive both because of her wound and her calf.. To hike all the trails, start by turning left at the nature center 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. Or any that are likely to be well trafficked during the day in mid-August? Here you can explore the trails, walk very close to an active glacier, or take a ranger-led walk. Choose a round-trip Inside passage or one-way Gulf of Alaska Cruise. Exit Glacier from Vistor center vista point. There is a short interpretive talk at 12pm and ranger-led walks daily at 10am, 2pm and 4pm, from Memorial Day through Labor Day on the Lower Trail, as well as a longer guided hike to the Harding Icefield (gaining 3,500 ft in 4.1 miles) takes place at 9am on Saturdays in July and August. Professional guides. From June through August you can catch a guided 3-mile (steep) hike to Marmot Meadows led by a ranger, departing at 9am daily. Rent a car and travel independently on a set itinerary, with lodging and tours booked in advance. The setting has a primeval feel—scoured bedrock, craggy ice, rushing water, and a flourishing new forest with towering cottonwoods above jungled thickets. For physically fit hikers, a strenuous four-mile trail parallels the glacier’s north edge on a 3,000-foot ascent to the ice field, offering spectacular views of the glacier and surrounding mountains along the way. The Exit Glacier isn’t the only sight to see in the area. Exit Glacier Trail System Hike It On Your Own. Boutique, small ship adventure cruises in Alaska's Inside Passage, Cruises depart from Whittier, a 1 hr drive from Anchorage. Hike as much or as little as you feel like because this is an out and back. Exit Glacier Hike. There is no better place in the world for pure wilderness adventure. Exit Glacier has been retreating roughly one kilometer each century in the last 200 years exposing the valley below where visitors can take a short walk to the face of Exit Glacier and walk through history and experience geologic time. This one-mile accessible trail loops back to the parking area, or you can turn left at the trail-side kiosk and continue .6 miles on to the Exit Glacier Overlook via the Glacier Overlook Trail. NPS photo / S. Wright (2017) The Exit Glacier area is the only part of the park accessible by road.. Check out the Resurrection River Trail at Mile 7 of Exit Glacier Road. Stops include Seward (Kenai Fjords), Girdwood, Whittier & Spencer Glacier, Stops include Wasilla, Talkeetna, Denali National Park & Fairbanks. Can anyone tell me if it's worth it to hike Exit Glacier with a guide for $125? Overwhelmed by choices? Exit Glacier Guided Walking Tour. Feel free to check out our tours, videos and reviews to see more of the Exit Glacier Guides experience. Winter shuttle service: For transportation in the winter months. 7-10 days is the most common. 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. Lichens and pioneer plants colonize rock and silt close to the ice. Flush toilets, near the nature center, are operable from Memorial Day through Labor Day. The Harding Icefield hike in Alaska easily makes our top 3 list of most memorable and wow-factor hikes. Throughout the entire hike you have splendid views of Exit Glacier … Visit September to April to see the Northern Lights, Best Northern Lights Viewing Spots Near Anchorage, How to Travel to Alaska in January and February, The Best Large Family & Group Vacations in Alaska, How to Get from Anchorage to Your Cruise Port in Whittier or Seward (or the reverse!). Sign-up for any of the following email series to help plan your Alaska trip. It was a pretty intense and exhausting day. Plan your journey with this gorgeous printed map. The Exit Glacier Area is open year-round. The newly exposed landscape at the foot of Exit Glacier progresses from bare rock into temperate rainforest as plants reclaim the barren glacial till. Sitting at the top of Going to the Sun Road, tucked behind the visitor center, you will find the gorgeous Hidden Lake Trail. Unfortunately while we were there the trail to Grinnell Glacier was closed due to some pretty steep snowy patches that ended in rocky cliffs. This beautiful spot encourages visitors to confront the realities of climate change. Cruise to Bear Glacier in a Modern Jetboat. 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. One of the most visited glaciers in the world, Exit Glacier earned its name from grateful backcountry travelers. This challenging day hike rewards you with an overlook of the 700-square-mile Harding Icefield, the source of 38 named glaciers, including Exit and the tidewater glaciers on the Kenai Fjords outer coast. Mon Tue Wed. 63/45°F 55/48°F 57/46°F Call out, clap your hands and make noise to make your presence known. The Exit Glacier campground is primitive but excellent for experienced tent campers! Markers have been placed showing retreating location of the glacier’s toe over the past 120 years. The rangers at the park offer free tours of the lower area three times a day. It's insane to see how much has melted in such a short time. Explore the trails with Seward Wilderness Collective or Exit Glacier Guides. Wear comfortable shoes suitable for walking over uneven surfaces. Alaska Railroad: Adventure Class or Goldstar Dome Car Service? First come first served and a bear attractant management model that should be replicated anywhere bears are common! Along the trail, you’ll have a good chance of seeing mountain goats, bears , moose, eagles, marmots and ptarmigan. Walk the "Edge of the Glacier Trail" (also known as the Lower Trail) to get a good photo in front of glacier ice, it's not huge, but it looks big up close. Not a problem. The dramatic coastal fjords and valleys of the park reveal a … Bear-proof garbage and recycling bins are also available. But, the views are worth it. Travel on a set itinerary with lodging and tours booked in advance. We knew this, and were prepared to hike the whole thing. Overall, Harding Ice Field hike has … Distance: 8 miles round trip, with about 3,000 feet of elevation to the overlook of the Icefield.. Excellent chance of seeing black bears. Reusable water bottles are available in the bookstore. Trailhead: Harding Icefield / Exit Glacier trailhead, in Kenai Fjords National Park.The park is a short distance from the town of Seward, about 120 miles south of Anchorage. The top of Exit Glacier as it is flows from the Harding Icefield . There is a 12-site, tent-only campground available about 1/4 of a mile before the nature center. One of our own votes for best hikes in Glacier National Park! The sheer ice walls, deep blue holes (called moulins) and creaking ice make it an unforgettable experience. Here's a few general rules to follow if you find a bear on your hike: Do not surprise bears! Park rangers reccommend carrying bear spray while hiking. Also, hiked up to Granite Park Chalet from Logan Pass as a day hike, later that year. Just up the road from Seward Windsong Lodge is the jewel of the Resurrection River Valley; Exit Glacier. Discover the optimal month due to daylight, temperature, and rain. Head south from Anchorage on the Seward Highway about 120 miles to the outskirts of Seward. If the entire trail had been open, it would have been even longer. 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