Kenai Fjords National Park is open year-round; however, the road to Exit Glacier is closed to cars for the winter months and much of the spring. Snow at higher elevations on the Harding Icefield trail can persist into mid-summer. It is always a good idea to check on current conditions before setting out.
This site is updated regularly to reflect the latest conditions, as is the Recorded Information Line at 907-422-0573. If needed, contact the park headquarters directly at (907) 422-0500, during normal business hours.
Road to Exit Glacier (Herman Leirer Road):
The Herman Leirer Road is open to vehicle traffic up to mile 7 at the Resurrection River Bridge. Kenai Fjords National Park has administrative control over the last 1 mile of the Herman Leirer Road, from the Resurrection River bridge(Mile 7.0) to the Exit Glacier Nature Center (Mile 8.1) and it remains closed due to snow and ice on the roadway. Visitors are welcome to park their vehicles at the Forest Service parking lot of the Resurrection River Trail, and walk the remaining 1 mile into the Exit Glacier Area (updated 4/15/2014).
Trails near the Exit Glacier Nature Center:
The trails remain open and accessible, though they are covered in snow, and often have ice underneath. Ice cleats or snow shoes, and trekking poles are recommended. Most of the trails have been walked on, so tracks should be present to keep you on the trail.
The Exit Glacier Nature Center is still closed for the season, but is scheduled to reopen May 24, 2014. The warming hut and vault toilets are open and available (updated 4/16/2014).
Harding Icefield Trail:
Like the rest of the Exit Glacier area, the trail is covered in snow, and in many places, the snow hides a layer of ice beneath. It is typical that conditions will get worse (snow will be deeper, temperature colder) as you gain elevation. Please use extreme caution if attempting the entire 4.1 miles long trail . While the first two miles of the trail should be pretty easy to find by following the footpath, the trail is not flagged/marked for the last 2 miles. Snow shoes, ice cleats, trekking poles, and familiarity with winter survival are all strongly recommended. It is possible to encounter early-rising bears on the trail, and bear spray should be carried at all times (updated 4/8/2014).
Did You Know?
Snowfall on the Harding Icefield can exceed 100 feet each year. After 4-10 years of compression snow turns into glacial ice.