It is a place where you can witness up close how glaciers re-shape a landscape and learn how plant life reclaims the barren rocky land exposed by a glacier's retreat.
The Exit Glacier Area is open year-round. In late-October to mid-November, the road to Exit Glacier is inaccessible to cars, usually due to snow. The Herman Leirer Road (road to Exit Glacier) is curently closed by the AK DOT at mile 1.3 The Exit Glacier area is still 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.
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 8 mile round trip Harding Icefield Trail.
Exit Glacier Nature Center
Last updated: October 26, 2021