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Ways to Experience Harding Ice Field Trail
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All reviews ice field black beans dress in layers hiking poles strenuous hike own pace miles round trip amazing hike miles roundtrip amazing views well worth the effort the cliff parking lot rock climbing cut short stopping point foot elevation gain
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Reviewed 3 weeks ago via mobile

My wife and I wanted to do this hike because of the reviews but I knew that we would not be making it to the top since we would be hiking with our two children in baby carriers and we are from Florida. Not exactly used to hiking up mountains. So I set our goal as reaching Marmot Meadows. And we did it. And it was worth it just for the satisfaction of conquering a very difficult and steep ascent. Once you get to Marmot Meadows take a left and cross a small stream and you reach a rocky outcropping with very nice views of exit Glacier that are closer than what you get near the parking lot. That being said given the difficulty of this hike I would not complete it just for the views from Marmot Meadows. It's quite likely it would be more worthwhile if you were going all the way to the top.

Thank Chad2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed 4 weeks ago

Strenuous but the rewarding view is breathtaking. Wear layers of clothes. We put on and off our clothes along the trail. Set your own pace, take breaks and enjoy the view. If it's hard for you to reach the end of the trail, Top of the Cliff, about half way, is more reachable and you can get a glimpse of the ice field from there.

Thank End_of_Cloud
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 3, 2018

The flight was amazing. We saw glaciers, lakes waterfalls and a lot of animals. Our pilot was very knowledgeable about the history and geology of the area.

Thank Jonathan P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 16, 2018 via mobile

So long as you start early and pick a clear day to climb, the ice field is absolutely gorgeous. The hike isn’t very technical or particularly dangerous, and there’s plenty of places to stop and look for bears and marmots! I’d recommend bringing a few water bottles and hiking poles—these will be your friend as you go up and down the steep slopes. Keep in mind that you gain about 1000 feet with every mile until you reach the ice field! Overall, this 8.2 mile hike was one of my highlights of my summer in Alaska.

1  Thank ashleyelizabethsarra
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 16, 2018 via mobile

My husband and I did the hike up the the icefield and even though it was strenuous it wasn’t technical or dangerous at any point (for Alaska). Make sure to carry water, a snack, rain gear and bear spray as you may need all of them. If you are tempted to stop at the overlook, rally and keep at it. The trailhead says 6-8 hours for the approximate 9 mile round trip with 3000 feet of elevation but we did it in just over 4.5

Thank Brandy S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 13, 2018 via mobile

This is definitely a strenuous hike! Took me two hours to get to the end of the hike/shelter. I would suggest to go even further. The view is just incredible!

Thank patcan27
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 27, 2018

There are plenty of reviews that tell you this hike is a challenge. At around 60 years old, my wife and I are still fairly fit but it was quite a feat for us to get all the way to the top. However, we were passed many times by younger people that seemed like it was fairly easy for them. The shorter distance to the Exit Glacier overlook is OK but nothing like what you see on the longer route so plan ahead, take your time if you need it and go for it. Be aware that when you reach the end there is lots of spaces to walk around and some brave souls go all the way down to the tip. Weather can be a big factor but you cannot predict it very well and whatever day you choose it will be what it is. It was cloudy the day we went but there were times it opened up a bit and overall created some spectacular views. Just in case you do not have a car, there is a shuttle service from Seward that drops you off and then picks you up. If you take it, be prepared that you cannot waste time or you could miss the return time in the afternoon. We made it with only about 10 minutes to spare.

Thank dreamster
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 18, 2018 via mobile

We first did the glacier overlook which is short 0.5 mile roundtrip hike. Then went on to the harding icefield trail. Steep one. We took frequent breaks. Take enough water. We hiked till halfway when we found a scenic stopping point. Hiked 4.8 miles roundtrip in 3.5 hours. What a fun! Should do it!

Thank Prerak P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 8, 2018 via mobile

The trail is steep and it can be hot and humid at the bottom of the trail especially on the return trip. First part of the trail is mostly switchbacks with lots of trees, shrubs and flowers. Great views of the Exit Glacier along the way and amazing river valley views. We passed Marmot Meadow without much trouble and when we got to the top of the cliffs the views really opened up. From there is was about another 2 miles to the end of the trail and it was certainly well worth the effort. The trail remains steep in places but is much straighter. The ice field views are absolutely mesmerizing and we had a hard time leaving. We stayed at the top for about and hour and then headed down due to changing weather conditions. We met a lot of really nice people along the way and enjoyed watching the young trail runners heading up the mountain at a really fast pace. The whole trip took us about 7 hours taking our time & we’re in our late 60’s. Dress in layers, bring rain gear and about 2 liters of water per person. We’ve hiked this trail twice now and will definitely be back!

Thank Bill V V
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 8, 2018

I did not go to the top, but still had a fabulous hike and saw wonderful views of Exit Glacier. It was a little over 2 miles to Marmot Meadows. It is uphill and at times a bit of scrambling. But mostly rock "steps." I was alone for most of my hike up which was fabulous---maybe between 10-12. On my way down there were way more people starting the hike. You can go all the way to the end, but I was pleased with how far I got. Gorgeous, gorgeous. Right at the marker for Marmot Meadows, take a left, over a small creek, and a huge rock juts out for a fabulous view of the glacier and the ice field above it. That was my advice for some people going up who didn't want to go all the way. I would do it again and yes, go farther for the fun of it. It took me about an 1 hour and a half to go up with a few stops for rest and picture taking. About an hour coming down. I'm an average hiker.

Thank Barbara S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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