Current Conditions

 

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 now Open to automobile traffic.

Note: There is limited parking at Exit Glacier, especially during the hours of 10:30 am - 3:30pm. Please consider the hours you come, carpooling, bicycling, or taking a shuttle or taxi, when you plan your trip.

The Exit Glacier Area is currently Closed to snowmachine use. Refer to the Exit Glacier Developed Area map and regulations for details on snowmachine boundaries in the Exit Glacier Area.
 
 
Image of Exit Glacier with closed area highlighted
For your safety, please obey all posted signs and avoid the ice fall hazard area. NPS Photo
Note: An ice fall hazard zone has been identified at the toe and sides of Exit Glacier, due to tall blocks and slabs of ice, as well as ice caves. For your safety, entry into this zone is prohibited. Please do not continue past ice fall hazard zone signs.
 
An aerial view of Exit Glacier leaading to the Outwash Plain.  There is red and yellow superimposed on the image.  The red is for the closure area by the Exit Glacier Toe, and the Yellow is for the emergency closure of the Exit Glacier canyon.
The Exit Glacier canyon emergency closure

NPS Photo

Note: An emergency closure is in place from the toe of Exit Glacier to the end of the canyon where Exit Creek opens into the Outwash Plain. The canyon is susceptible to unpredictable glacier outburst flooding events which can produce sudden surges of water combined with large ice chunks, rock, and other debris.

Because glacier outbursts are caused by the hydrology within the glacier, not prevailing weather conditions, a glacier outburst can happen at any time. Visitors accessing the Outwash Plain should be aware that water levels may rise quickly. Outburst flood waters often carry large amounts of ice, rock, and other debris. The entire Outwash Plain is susceptible to flooding. Please be aware of your surroundings and seek high ground immediately if water levels begin to rise.

 

Harding Icefield Trail (and winter route):

The trail is OPEN.
  • Winter conditions are expected. Be prepared for ice, slippery conditions, unclear trail locations, and deep snow.
  • The Glacier Loop and Glacier Overlook trails are snow free.
  • Current Harding Icefield Trail Conditions (Updated 10/01/2021).
    • Isolated ice patches starting at the bridge on up to Marmot Meadow
    • Marmot Meadows (Mile 1.2) 25-75% snow coverage
      • numerous ICY sections.
      • Hikers should bring ice spikes and trekking poles.
    • Top of the Cliffs (mi 2.4) 75-100% Snow Coverage
      • Gaiters recommended
      • Above this point look "up" and be aware of potential rock slides.
  • Trekking Poles are reccomended if hiking the HIT.
  • Avalanches are possible above Top of the cliffs
  • Travel above the Top of the cliffs is not recommended without a transceiver, shovel, probe and training
  • Trails are open to foot traffic only. No bikes or pets
  • Avalanche and rockfall danger is a possiblity, especially above Top of the Cliffs. Watch for both as you hike up the trail.
  • This is a long and strenuous hike and proper preparation is important. Trail and weather conditions can change over the course of a day. Be prepared, and make sure to have food and water, extra clothes, sturdy footwear, and rain gear.
  • Hikers should be prepared for a wide range of conditions, including wet, mud, rain/snow and rockfall.
 

Trails near the Exit Glacier Nature Center:

All trails near the Exit Glacier Nature Center are open.

  • Trails are open to foot traffic only, no bikes or pets.
 

If visiting the area, please give the bears space.

BE BEAR AWARE
*Carry bear spray
*Talk loudly
*Hike in groups
*Do not surprise a bear

NO DOGS
*Dogs may add to the mother bear's stress
*Dogs are prohibited on trails at all times

IF YOU SEE A BEAR
*Back away
*Give it lots of space
*Don't get between a sow and cubs
*Plan to wait if there is a bear near the trail - You are no longer in a hurry!

 

Alaska 511:
Alaska's Department of Transportation website will continuously update the driving conditions on the state's highways. The Seward Highway (AK-9) is the only road that provides access to Kenai Fjords National Park.

Last updated: October 1, 2021

Contact the Park

Mailing Address:

PO Box 1727
Seward, AK 99664

Phone:

(907) 422-0500

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