Thing to Do

Hike the Harding Icefield Trail

Kenai Fjords National Park

View of a glacier and icefield with mountains in the background.

Kenai Fjords National Park

View of a glacier, icefield and distant mountains.
Look back in time, when viewing the expanse of the Harding Icefield.

NPS Photo / F. North

The 8.2-mile round trip Harding Icefield Trail is a spectacular day hike. Starting on the valley floor, the trail winds through cottonwood and alder forests, passes though heather filled meadows and ultimately climbs well above tree line to a breath-taking view of the Icefield. The top of the trail is a window to past ice ages - a horizon of ice and snow that stretches as far as the eye can see, broken only by an occasional nunatak, or lonely peak.

This is a strenuous hike. Hikers gain approximately 1,000 feet of elevation with every mile. Allow at least 6-8 hours for the hike. Although the view from the top is well worth the effort, you need not hike all the way to the top to experience the wonders of this trail. A short hike up the trail affords impressive views of the valley floor and Exit Glacier's terminus.

Last updated: August 14, 2017