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Thread: Harding Icefield Trail - how far can I go next Tuesday?

  1. #1

    Default Harding Icefield Trail - how far can I go next Tuesday?

    I was planning to do this trail, while visiting Seward area next week. Here is the latest report from gov. site on snow conditions. I don't know how old is report, since there is no update posted.
    "Harding Icefield Trail is slowly starting to reveal itself as the winter's snow cover creeps back up the mountains. There are a few patches of snow at the beginning of the trail but then it is relatively snow-free until the bridge (mile 0.64). Beyond this point the trail is completely snow-covered. Expect to get your feet wet - even if you only hike to the bridge. Please stay on the trail even if it is wet and muddy. Don't trample vegetation to avoid the mud - this widens the trail and causes damaging erosion. Beyond the bridge the trail is flagged from the bridge until the lower part of the cliffs (just above Marmot Meadows). Marmot Meadows appears to have 4-5 feet of snow."

    Based on that how far could I go with just hiking poles and hiking boots: Marmot Meadows or Bottom of Cliffs? Does it make sense do just that short section or I should plan on doing some other trail while I am in Seward. The hike before Harding Icefield will be Crow Pass to pass and the hike after Harding will be McHugh and Rabbit Lakes trail.

    Flying to Alaska tomorow morning for 2 weeks vacation.

  2. #2

    Default Asked and answered by myself - ALL THE WAY!!!

    Did this trail today on a perfect sunny day. Me and my wife were the first people reaching the end of the trail today, as nobody came back toward us. Snow still about 4-5 feet deep, but there are footprints from previous days, so the hiking was pretty good, without falling through deep snow. Hiking poles helped a lot. Later in the day students placed orange flags marking the trail all the way to the top of the first mountain, just before you descend about 150 feet down to make the final push to the emergency shelter and the end of the trail. Snow on the trail from about 1.3 miles all the way to the end added sense of adventure. GREAT HIKE!!! LOVE ALASKA!!! We arrived last Friday and hiked so far Crow Pass and Eagle and Symphony lakes. Enjoyed all 3 trails so far.

  3. #3
    New member
    Join Date
    Apr 2009


    Hi all. I'm going to be in Alaska in May/June this year. I'm planning to go to Seward at the end of my trip and hope to hike the Harding Icefield trail. I wanted to hike this the last time I was in Seward but that was in mid-May and the road was still closed.

    I was hoping others could share details on likely trail conditions for the first week of June. How far can I go up with sturdy boots and a walking pole? How much farther could I go with snowshoes? Is there anywhere to rent snowshoes nearby, or should I bring them from home? Thanks much!

  4. #4
    New member
    Join Date
    Dec 2009


    Hey -

    I will be in Alaska from May 14-23. We are planning on visiting Kenai Fjords N.P. towards the beginning of the week.

    What sort of trail conditions can I expect?

    I understand that much of the trail will be covered in snow in May. I know it depends on the weather year to year, but on average does anyone know about how far up I can reach and what sort of views I can expect? Will it be possible to see the Harding Icefield?

    For someone with little experience hiking on a snow covered mountain side, what sort of equipment is recommended?
    Gaiters? Waterproof hiking boots? Hiking poles? Rain gear?

    Iím a little nervous the road will be closed to the park, should I expect it to be closed in May?


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