Exit Glacier and the Harding Icefield, Alaska
September 11, 2015
Exit Glacier, outside of Seward, Alaska is a popular destination that includes a visitor center and trails (some paved) allowing easy access to the glacier for sightseers and hikers alike. However, Exit Glacier is only a small part of the Harding Icefield, a 700 sq mi (1,813 sq km) remnant of the Cordilleran Ice sheet that dominated this area during the Wisconsin Glaciation, which peaked over 12,000 years ago. A 4.1 mi (6.5 km) hiking trail with an elevation gain of approximately 4,000 ft (1,220 m) leads from the Exit Glacier to the summit at the Harding Icefield. Not for the casual hiker or the faint of heart, this trail offers a rigorous climb, some danger but stunning views of the Icefield and the upper reaches of Exit Glacier. It was an exhausting trek, but given the chance, I'd probably do it again. The photo above was taken in August of 2014.