Explore Kenai - view hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

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this trail was beautiful. I love that it starts on the beach and ends in the mountains! So far best trail in Alaska!

hiking
16 days ago

Beautiful scenic views going up the mountain. It’s extremely muddy and icy beginning of the season so I’d say best time to go is in the summer. It was a short easy hike (some parts are inclined)with amazing views. Careful for bears though. Hence the name. We had to stop and turn around because of a bear sighting from a previous hiker.

One of the coolest trails I've done in Alaska, spent the night sleeping by a Glacier with no other people around, pretty amazing. Did it mid-june, I'm sure it picks up more campers later in the season. The cost of the boat ride is well worth it!!

cross country skiing
1 month ago

Great place to ski. Trails are wide and well maintained. The lake trail was awesome. If you come make sure to visit the nature center.

Great trail to get a workout on

The view is phenomenal. Hike is hard, so it'd be better if one is physically active.
Carry good amount of food and water and avoid hiking in rain if you don't have proper supplies.

Astounding views

hiking
4 months ago

Wonderful trail with great views. a little bear activity on the trail but no issues. This is a must do if you are in the area.

hiking
5 months ago

loved it

hiking
5 months ago

Starts out real easy, on pretty much a road that a jeep could do without a problem. You'll pass by a few really amazing areas where it might be fun to camp just to listen to the ocean all night long on a cliff bluff underneath some of those big tall beautiful green mossy trees. Then you'll gently descend down some switchbacks as you get closer to the beach, cross over a big bridge and pass on through the camping area. Since it is the winter, I helped myself to a little bit of chopped wood and warmed myself in the fire, well that is, after I returned from walking along the beach. I made a mistake as I timed it so that I would be walking through right as the tide was the lowest, but I'm so slow that it was maybe 45 minutes after the lowest point. So what you should do is try to hit it as the tide is NOT at it's lowest but maybe halfway there, then it will be getting better as you go. So as it was, I was scared about getting trapped like a rat on the other side, and it was already scary in some points with the treacherous smooth slippery icy rocks, it was like the land was trying to push me into the cold icy ocean at certain points. So I made it about 2 miles along the beach before turning back around, my only friend being a harbor seal who was following me along the coast, probably waiting for me to get swept into the ocean so that he could have an easy meal. The million long thin grey rocks are a pain in the butt to walk on top off too. But anyway, it was beautiful because it was snowing the whole time, a little cloudy but still had nice views, plus on the way back I found a big angry noisy ferret in the tree. Someone told me it was a marten when they saw the picture. Anyway, maybe I'll do the entire trail and update this review, but since I did most of it, that's enough for a review. Pretty easy trail, blahblahblah about the tides, and you can even have yourself a nice little rest at the camp area with a bench. Plus they're building a really nice cabin so maybe you can do that too, but I'm sure that people will always have it rented once it's available because people just love cabins.

Good quick hike with nice view.

We had done this in 2015 July and this remains the most beautiful hike I have done till date. It's tiring but the views are breathtaking!

hiking
6 months ago

Great day trip. Nothing but steep incline so have your legs rested and ready. Well maintained until you get past Marmot Meadows, then the snow makes it a little difficult to stay on the trail. Well worth the effort to go all the way up, the view from the end of the trail over the ice fields is spectacular. Just keep pushing!

backpacking
6 months ago

Amazing. Thankfully had good weather, cold but that’s expected. Pretty tough hike but so beautiful and totally worth it.

hiking
6 months ago

hiking
6 months ago

Great trail system. Paved most of the way to the head of the glacier, but then becomes rock hiking on large black boulders which can be slick when wet. Unless you hike the quarter mile or so to the toe of the glacier (which can only be done in dry conditions so you don't sink into mud and freezing glacial runoff), you won't get to see the glacier up close. The signs displaying the years indicating where the glacier was, will show that in 2005 and 2010, it was much closer to the trail than it is now. At the end of the trail, I still had to use my camera zoom to get a decent picture. Binoculars will help you appreciate the beauty and power of Exit Glacier, as well as ponder our future as stewards of nature.

Beautiful hike with varied topography and views. Starts out quite steep with switchbacks among the trees. Plateau's at marmot meadows which put me in mind of the Shire in the Hobbit :) Sadly we didn't see any marmots (or hobbits). This place is a great place to eat lunch, take pictures of the glacier and surrounding mountains, or turn around. In fact, the view of the glacier from here is the closest you will get for the rest of the hike. It also gets more steep after this, so be prepared for gusty wind, rocky trails, and no tree cover from here on out. Beyond the meadows, you climb to the alpine zone where all vegetation disappears. Along the way you get great views of the whole glacial valley, cross a few streams, and even see a black bear high on the mountain above you eating berries if you're lucky. Bring binoculars! In the alpine zone, the trail becomes harder to follow since it's basically just rocks. The little orange flags that are supposed to mark the trail have been blown over or buried, so it was anyone's guess where the trail was. Other hiking groups would wander a different way and when they found an orange flag or a flattened section that could be a trail, they would shout out and let the others know. Near the top, there is a wooden emergency shelter that is basically the size of a large outhouse with no amenities in it. But in an emergency, this little shelter would save a life. The end of the trail is about a mile or so from the shelter. There is no official trail sign and there are many social paths near the summit where people are free to take pictures or look over the edge to the glacier below. The icefield stretches ahead of you and is a beauty to behold. This is another instance where you'd need your binoculars because viewing the cracks/crevices of the glacier and icefield are very cool when viewed up close where you can see the blue streaks. Note that the summit is far above Exit Glacier, and it is rocky with a few cliffs in order to actually climb down to the glacier itself. It's likely possible but I would never attempt it, not to mention that it's off-trail and not allowed. Finally, take care while hiking on any steep section of alpine rocks (I believe they are shale or slate) as they are not held into place and easily slide beneath your feet. Overall, wonderful hike and recommended to people who have the whole day to spend and who are in good physical condition. Turning around at Marmot Meadows is another option and would make for just as great of a hike :)

hiking
6 months ago

The only reason I gave this hike one star was because it had had recent grizzly bear activity on it. In hindsight I should not have hiked it. There was bear "sign" right on the trail, especially down by the river, and it was steamy fresh--very unnerving. There was also mangled fish carcasses at the beginning of the trail, far before you reach the river, not to mention ten or so carcasses along the river. And the terrible smell from the bears was everywhere! The whole experience detracted from the hike and I didn't take any pictures or stop to enjoy the view. If bears weren't frequenting the trail, it would have been a great hike. I only did the loop from the second trailhead parking lot. It brings you gently downhill through thin trees and grassy undergrowth. It's pretty enclosed most of the way down until you reach the river. The mountain views from the river are very pretty, as is the rushing river itself. I wasn't able to complete the loop though because the trail was completely underwater for a large section and I didn't have wading gear. This underwater section was also choked with tall grasses, making it hard to follow even if I had decided to wade through. Another time of year may have been better to do this trail, when the river wasn't so full. Overall, easy hike, pretty views by the river, good shade and trees headed down. I was hiking alone, but I recommend going with a group of people who like to talk loudly! I talked loudly the whole hike, which is likely why I didn't see any bears, but it really took the joy out of hiking. Don't forget the bear spray!

This was a beautiful but challenging hike. I was the first one on the trail in the morning so on the way up I had it all to myself, however on the way back down many tired faces asked how much longer. Worth the incline.

backpacking
7 months ago

Excellwnt view yet very windy and cold. Worth every minute.

forest service cabins make this a great trip in not so perfect weather. great spots for tent camping. the middle part from devils creek to east creek is my favorite

Took us 4h 40mins. Stopped to eat and take photos. Super beautiful. We had bad visibility however still worth the hike!

Absolutely gorgeous and definitely one of my favorite hiking trails so far. We started early in the morning trying to beat the crowd. The first 1/3 was straight uphill and be prepared. We saw a black bear in distance when we passed the mammoth meadow, which added some spice to our hiking experiense. We stopped many times on the trail for pictures and hang out at the summit for about 15 min. We, as medium-experienced hikers, finished it within 6 hrs.

Absolutely stunning views on the way up and down. Unfortunately it was cloudy at the top but still worth the hike. A must do if your in the area.

Very touristy but great view of Exit Glacier.

Easily my favorite hike so far. Absolutely incredible views on the way up of Exit Glacier, and the ice field is quite the reward for getting to the top.

short easy hike with amazing glacier views. crowded though, slow and novice hikers abound.

hiking
8 months ago

Beautiful hike!!

backpacking
8 months ago

Spectacular hike! Breathtaking views all along the hike. The mileage and elevation gain written here is incorrect. The trail map is incorrect too. The trail stops about 0.2 mi after the emergency shelter. It is 8.8 miles and ~3200ft of elevation gain (including part of the nature walk which is 0.3mi one way). Actual map and mileage from NPS website: https://www.nps.gov/kefj/planyourvisit/upload/HIT_New_Distances_reduced.pdf

walking
8 months ago

Nice family friendly walk that gives a view on the toe of the glacier

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