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Exit Glacier, Kenai Fjords National Park

4.8
#1 of 6 in Things to do in Kenai Fjords National Park
Geologic Formation · Hiking Trail
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The terminus of Exit Glacier can be accessed on foot and by car. The driving road closes in heavy snows but stays open to snowmobiles and other recreational winter vehicles. The accessibility of the hiking trails, some of which lead onto this glacier inside Kenai Fjords National Park, makes this attraction one of the most popular glaciers. You can take a ranger-guided tour here daily. Take a look at our Kenai Fjords National Park visit planner to schedule your visit to Exit Glacier and learn about what else to see and do during your holiday.
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Exit Glacier reviews

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TripAdvisor traveler rating 4.5
904 reviews
Google
4.8
TripAdvisor
  • Amazing experience to hike the ice fields!! The plane landed on the fields with a full guided hike!! 
    Amazing experience to hike the ice fields!! The plane landed on the fields with a full guided hike!!  more »
  • Beautiful to see- the main trail to the glacier is fairly easy. The Harding Ice Trail is definitely a lot more difficult but the view is very pretty! Overall, great stop. Would definitely recommend... 
    Beautiful to see- the main trail to the glacier is fairly easy. The Harding Ice Trail is definitely a lot more difficult but the view is very pretty! Overall, great stop. Would definitely recommend...  more »
  • We visited Exit Glacier on a very cloudy day with occasional rain showers but still enjoyed the experience. We hiked the Glacier Overlook Loop Trail with a total distance of approximately 2 miles... 
    We visited Exit Glacier on a very cloudy day with occasional rain showers but still enjoyed the experience. We hiked the Glacier Overlook Loop Trail with a total distance of approximately 2 miles...  more »
Google
  • This place is a must! Great hike upto the glacier. Lots of rocks to climb on. Easy trail at first but more of a moderate climb up by the glacier. Worth the hike
  • Gorgeous hike with stellar fall colors! We did the hike to the glacier overlook and it was pretty easy with only a few short inclines. Sad but cool to see the signs showing where the glacier was at different times. A must-hike if you’re in the area!
  • Top Notch! Stunning scenery... Exit Glacier is a glacier derived from the Harding Icefield in the Kenai Mountains of Alaska[1] and one of Kenai Fjords National Park's major attractions. It is one of the most accessible valley glaciers in Alaska and is a visible indicator of glacial recession due to climate change.[2][3] Exit Glacier retreated approximately 187 feet (57 m) from 2013 to 2014 and park scientists continue to monitor and record the glacier's accelerating recession.
  • There are three options for Exit Glacier. I highly recommend Option 3 for the Ice Hike and/or climb if you are physically fit enough to do so! OPTION 1: WALK THE GLACIER VIEW TRAIL. This is an easy loop and you'll get a distance photo shot of the glacier. I would recommend this for those that do not hike very frequently. OPTION 2: HIKE TO HARDING ICEFIELD. This is going to be a long strenuous hike, but all the locals talk about how incredible it is to get to the top and see the ice field go on for miles. It is 8 miles round trip. I would recommend using the All Trails application or talking to a local guide. There are local guides that will take you on this trip as well if you're not comfortable doing it with out. OPTION 3: ICE HIKE OR CLIMB ON EXIT GLACIER. This should be done with a local guide from Seward. I recommend Exit Glacier Guides, though there are other companies. All tour companies are limited to 6 guest max with 2 guides for permits. It will include a 1.5 mile hike out to access the glacier, provided gear change before hiking onto the glacier, and then repelling into the glacier if you purchased the climbing package. By far the best activity we did in all of Seward and a once-in-a-lifetime experience! Note: you will sweat on the way up, and be freezing cold at the top of glacier due to wind. Pack layers. FACILITIES: There is one road into the park and if you're driving yourself, they caution parking availability (plenty in August on a weekday in 2021). Lots of shuttle options available from Seward otherwise. There is a restroom and water available at the trailhead. MUST BRING: Sunglasses (MUST HAVE due to reflection from sun), sunscreen, water, rain gear, synthetic layers from shorts & t-shirt to hat/mittens/wind jacket, bear spray if hiking with out a guide (can rent this from Exit Glacier Guides as most stores will be out). SAFETY TIPS: - Glaciers constantly are shifting and cracks can be 50 meters deep with freezing rushing water underneath. Do not step onto the glacier with out a guide! - Due to Covid, bear spotting have been increasing in 2020-2021. Rent bear spray and learn how to use it. Watch a video about bear safety & never run from a bear. - Research the best time of year to hike or climb. Avalanche danger is real and they close the park for safety. - Do not underestimate elevation, hydrate early - Bring more water than you think you'll need (1 Liter min. per person for lookout hike or hike with guides, 2 Liter min. if going all the way to ice field). If go with guides, they will allow you to refill with glacier water at the top.
  • Beautiful place. Easy hike to the glacier look out. Worth it!!

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