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That’s some serious ice. A: This activity will have a maximum of 12 travelers. This immense icefield is named after Warren G. Harding, the 29th President of the United States who served during the early 1920’s. I had heard of the Harding Icefield and even drove by the trailhead on previous trips to the Kenai Peninsula and always wondered what an icefield is like. As the name implies, a tidal glacier is one that terminates at a body of water that is subject to the tides, and is capable of spawning icebergs. This is a tough hike. The Harding Icefield shares these mountains with another icefield, the Sargent that borders on Prince William Sound. It was a small plane with room for a pilot and four passengers. Required fields are marked *. 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. One can guess with fair certainty if a body of water can be traced back to a glacier as its source. This isn’t like flying on a jumbo jet. One of the other passengers, however, spent most of his time with his face in an airsickness bag. Harding Icefield, Kenai National Wildlife Refuge An ice field (also spelled icefield ) is a large area of interconnected glaciers , usually found in a mountainous region. The magnificent coastline of Kenai Fjords is steep valleys that were carved by glaciers in retreat. It is said that imitation is the greatest form of flattery, and we tend to set the bar for new adventures here in town. Notice even from this distance that glaciers continued to pour from the icefield into the lush, green valleys below. Covering approximately 700 square miles, and at a maximum depth of roughly 4000ft,  the Harding Icefield is the largest ice field entirely within the United States. Flightseeing is a great way to view the expansive Harding Icefield (map) on the southeastern side of the Kenai Peninsula, a part of Kenai Fjords National Park. Along the way, enjoy wildlife, wildflowers, and waterfalls. 0. We could have descended more slowly but what would the fun have been in that? Liquid Adventures has blazed its own path in the kayaking industry by building our own water taxis, pioneering new trips in new locations, and re-investing heavily in our equipment and guide training. Looks are deceiving up here. It looks so gentle and lightly sloping with a few granite outcrops poking above the surface. It is said that imitation is the greatest form of flattery, and we tend to set the bar for new adventures here in town. If you continue browsing the site, you agree to … The Kenai Mountains stretch a good 120 miles in total, down the length of the eastern side of the peninsula, from the Chugach Mountains to the peninsular tip. We ascend 3000ft on the trail to get to the full views of the icefield. Black Friday Sale: 50% OFF . In the spring of 2016 Exit Glacier Guides will be offering two expeditions onto the Harding Icefield for one week each. Created more than 23,000 years ago during the Pleistocene Epoch, the Harding Icefield was a small piece of the vast ice sheet that covered much of Southcentral Alaska (Figure 1). 2 stars. Starting on the valley floor, the trail winds through cottonwood and alder forests, passes though heather filled meadows and ultimately climbs well above tree … The summit of Harding Icefield, Kenai Fjords National Park, where the Glacier begin. It is not an easy walk in terms of elevation gain but anyone with moderate level of fitness can do it. We got to see a section of ice break from the wall and crash into the sea, although we’d get much closer looks later when we returned to Aialik by boat. This trip runs as soon as the snow safely melts (usually late June) to September 9th. Find the perfect harding ice field stock photo. 5 stars. We are open and currently running trips with COVID precautions in place. Looking over a corner of the ice field is a humbling experience, one that leaves behind a sense of magnitude and awe that stays with visitors for a long time after they leave Alaska. If you’re an ambitious hiker, you can make a day out of it and follow the switchbacks up to Harding Icefield. The Harding Icefield trail can really be broken up into two sections: hiking out of the forest to the cliffs for an amazing view of Exit Glacier and then climbing on up to the Harding Icefield above it. 5 Reviews. It doesn’t produce the drama of icebergs calving as one experiences with tidal glaciers, but it does create an abundance of lakes, rivers and braided streams because the water has to drain somewhere. From this massive 700-square-mile icefield, countless tidewater glaciers pour … The meltwater carries this powder away, giving rivers and lakes a characteristic cloudy appearance in shades of blue, green or gray. We will camp, ski tour, climb nunataks and explore the icefield over six days with full guide support. The massive Harding Icefield which is over 700 square miles in size (30 miles in length and 15-20 miles in width) is 74 air miles south of Merrill Field on the Kenai Peninsula. 0. Liquid Adventures has blazed its own path in the kayaking industry by building our own water taxis, pioneering new trips in new locations, and re-investing heavily in our equipment and guide training. What is the maximum group size during Harding Icefield Hiking Adventure? If you include its 40 glaciers the number increase to 1100 square miles / 2849 square kms. The timing couldn’t have been better. If that is not enough I have pulled some stats from Wiki: Harding Icefield is the largest icefield contained entirely within the United States with its 300 square miles / 777 square kms. 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. View top-quality stock photos of The Harding Icefield In Kenai Fjords National Park In Alaska Receding Rapidly Due To Global Warming. The rest of us can only begin to appreciate the magnitude of this immense geographic feature by air. Head to Harding Icefield for views of surrounding peaks and fjords. Our Sister Company Liquid Adventures Runs the most Innovative and Spectacular Kayaking trips in Seward. Liquid Adventures has an excellent reputation running small-group, boutique kayaking trips out of Seward. The scenic mountains continued to dazzle as we flew further away from the Harding Icefield. Massive Harding Icefield in Kenai Fjords thinning in warmer weather . That’s approximate the size of State of Rhode Island. This 500-square-mile frozen mass feeds almost three dozen glaciers, including Exit. Our current policies are listed here. There are something like 40 glaciers that flow like tendrils from the edges of the icefield where gravity permits it. 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. We passed many such examples both during our flight and during our several days of driving, walking and hiking through various parts of the Kenai. Harding Icefield is ~80 km long and 50 km wide, covering an area of ~1800 km2. The day started cloudy and overcast but the sun began to peak through by mid-morning. Skilak Glacier), some ending on land (e.g. This trip has a maximum group size of 8 participants but is often much smaller. [1] They are often found in the colder climates and higher altitudes of the world where there is sufficient precipitation for them to form. We were excited about what our day would bring. Two smaller islands poke from the edge of the glacier wall. See all safety measures taken by Harding Icefield Hiking Adventure. That’s a point to remember. The little island in the foreground is Squab Island. You should be capable of hiking uphill. Harding Icefield Trail – The Arrival. See every Twelve Mile Circle article on a map! Our group size will be limited to 6 clients for each trip and will spend our time exploring the vast main body of the Harding. Your email address will not be published. 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. The crushing weight of hundreds and even thousands of feet of ice pulverizes solid mountain rock into a fine powder called rock flour or glacial flour. People do hike up to the icefield, and a few adventures ones even continue across. 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. Our flight path took us south towards Seward, cutting west over the icefield and then down south to Aialik Bay, then following further along the various Kenai Fjords, before looping back across the entire length of the icefield, and finally over deep valleys and glacier-fed lakes to the floatplane dock. We are able to safely run the majority of our trips and have been enjoying the glaciers this season since mid-May! 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. File:NPS kenai-fjords-harding-icefield-trail-map.jpg Metadata This file contains additional information such as Exif metadata which may have been added by the digital camera, scanner, or software program used to create or digitize it. The trail is well developed but steep with nearly 3,000 feet of elevation gain. We arrived at the Harding Icefield Trail just north of Seward, Alaska mid-morning on the 4th of July. The Exit Glacier, however, is the most accessible of the glaciers being reached by a spur road off of the Seward Highway. I think this one might be Cooper Lake, part of the Chugach National Forest. It is an unmistakable site. Sign in Sign up for FREE Black Friday Sale: 50% OFF 5. I could be wrong but I’m sure someone will correct me if that’s the case. We flew out of Moose Pass on a floatplane, choosing that location because it was convenient to our base in nearby Cooper Landing. It accumulates high enough to cover much of a mountain range except for the occasional peaks that form nunatak. At least 38 glaciers flow … See the Harding Icefield The jewel of Kenai Fjords National Park is the magnificent Harding Icefield. Exit Glacier), and some being tidewater (e.g. Last September I carried a big backpack full of gear up the trail and camped overnight at the top to catch the early morning light over the Harding Icefield and Exit Glacier. Aialik Glacier). It feels like real flying in something that small, with everyone getting window seats with amazing views. Water melts and flows from valley glaciers. Find premium, high-resolution stock photography at Getty Images. He became the first president to visit Alaska though, so that was enough of a reason to name the icefield in his honor. Indeed, much of it is more than a mile thick. No need to register, buy now! Read more. Options abound too, including wheeled aircraft or floatplanes, or even helicopters, and from very short to hours-long flights. Harding Ice Field Trail, Kenai Fjords National Park: Address, Harding Ice Field Trail Reviews: 5/5. Those are called nunatak and are the elevated places too high and too steep for the ice to envelop it in a blanket of white. Harding Icefield Glacier Ski Plane Adventure, Alaska Camping Trip In the Unlikely Glacier Valley, MOUNTAINEERING AND PRISTINE SUMMITS COURSE - 3 DAY, Total Length: 8.2 Miles RT 3000 ft Elevation Gain.

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