The Exit Glacier Area is open year-round. 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. The road often remains closed through early May, so be sure to check current conditions if you are visiting during the off season (fall through spring).
Directions to Exit Glacier
Turn on to Herman Leirer Road, commonly called "Exit Glacier Road," at mile 3 of the Seward Highway (AK-9). Proceed 8.4 miles. The road will end at the parking lot for the nature center.
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.
A network of short trails leads to different views of Exit Glacier, beginning at the Exit Glacier Nature Center and the parking lot. 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. 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.
Getting to the toe of the glacier requires crossing the rocky outwash plain. There is no set trail across the plain, and stream channels change often. Due to frequent flooding, this area may be not be accessible. If water levels are low, you can make your way to the terminus or toe, but don't approach the glacier in places where the ice is over your head. Huge, heavy chunks of ice can fall off without warning. Check the current conditions for updated information on warnings or closures.
The Glacier Overlook Trail is a well maintained trail which provides views of Exit Glacier. Follow this moderately strenuous trail to the Exit Glacier Overlook and view the glacier in its own glacially carved valley.
If you are looking for a longer day hike, don't miss the Harding Icefield Trail.
Exit Glacier Nature Center
Last updated: April 12, 2018