Harding Ice Field Trail is a 15.6 kilometer heavily trafficked out and back trail located near Seward, Alaska that features a waterfall and is rated as difficult. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from May until October.

Distance: 15.6 km Elevation Gain: 1,162 m Route Type: Out & Back

camping

hiking

nature trips

bird watching

running

forest

river

views

waterfall

wild flowers

wildlife

rocky

snow

no dogs

hiking
1 month ago

Lots of switchbacks. Tough, but doable. Easily the best hike I’ve ever done in my life

hiking
3 months ago

This is one of the most enjoyed trails we have ever experienced. Definitely NOT like a walk in the park. There were some nice climbs and plenty of beautiful forest. The spectacular views were randomly plentiful. Would love to go back and do the entire trail (we did about 2/3 of the trail)

hiking
7 months ago

Was Epic. Tough to the top. Well worth it

hiking
7 months ago

Beautiful. Well worth the work

hiking
8 months ago

56 year old female in decent shape. Did the hike in about 6 1/2 hours. Glad I had multiple layers. Snowed at the top with strong winds, low visibility. Cleared on way down, amazing views. Wore running shoes cuz it was all I had but were sufficient with terrain. Not nearly as rough as I expected. NOTE: orange markers for trail taken down 3 days ago.

hiking
rocky
scramble
8 months ago

hiking
8 months ago

Amazing views! Highly recommend!

hiking
bugs
8 months ago

After being twarted from doing this twice due to bears in the area, I finally got to experience an amazing hike. I didn't complete it but did get to the cliffs which were awesome! The weather was excellent, perfect for hiking. Not a jaunt for those not in good shape though. I'll highly suggest attempting at least a part of this!

hiking
bugs
no shade
off trail
8 months ago

Love it! Unbelievable! TOP 10 hike for sure! Not that hard as I thought. Just keep going and you will gonna make it. If tired just take some break and hike early in the morning. Take as much as time as you need. And bring a plenty of water, some snacks. If you couldn’t find the trail, try to look for the orange flat. That’s the sign of trail. I got lost for a while.

hiking
8 months ago

the best day hike I've ever done. garmin fenix5x said 10.18 round trip.

hiking
8 months ago

Absolutely stunning. Hard climb and not for the weak. Top ten hole and view I’ve ever taken.

hiking
8 months ago

Completed this last week, it has to be one of the most scenic hikes that I've done! The length and the constant climb makes it strenuous, but if you feel like you can't complete it all you can always turn back at the two checkpoints along the way.. Many people we met on the hike did that. The views of the glacier (from the two checkpoints) and the icefield (from the end of the trail) are mind blowing. Carry lots of water, food, and bear spray :-) Top of the cliffs had some bugs so might as well carry some bug spray on the hike.. We didn't and I ended up with some bites. Carry layers.. It gets cold when the wind blows but the last part of the hike has no shade so could also get warm real quick. The trailhead is near the exit glacier visitor center. Lots of parking near the trailhead.

hiking
rocky
8 months ago

amazing view from the top. hike was super tough though.

hiking
8 months ago

Great hike

hiking
rocky
8 months ago

This was a fantastic hike we did on Aug 31(Saturday)! The grade was reasonably gentle with some flattish sections here and there. We met a lot of people along the way who turned back near Marmot Meadows or Top of the cliffs. The steep climb up to the top and some off trail downhill sections to get closer to the ice field were totally worth it. The last mile was all rolling hills and the terrain felt like we were on a different planet. A couple of sections were confusing but keep an eye out for the orange flags on the ground in those places. We are also big fans of Gaia app for navigation and/or keeping track of elevation gain on trails. 3700 ft gain over 4.1 miles was challenging but the ranger’s heads up about a defensive bear mama and her 3 cubs on the trail was enough to keep it moving! There was also a warning for brown bears being active in the area which is unusual. Thankfully we didn’t run into any of them.

hiking
8 months ago

Insanely satisfying hike to complete! Hard to get such views of glaciers in most places. The hike uniformly ascends throughout so be prepared for some fried legs at the end. The top third of the hike was completely covered in clouds and rain the day we went. The howling winds, piercing rain and poor visibility made the emergency shelter a refuge to rest up from the elements. Took us about 5 hours to hike this since we literally couldn't stop. I'd advise you not hike this in a storm without layers, almost froze my foot off (get better jackets, etc. unlike me).

hiking
blowdown
muddy
rocky
snow
8 months ago

Highly recommend this trail for travellers coming in to Alaska. The top portion near the ice field is a whole new world. Hiked up in rainy conditions and would recommend doing this in better weather. Carry adequate hydration.

hiking
8 months ago

Amazing views!

8 months ago

Amazing experience. Need a knee replacement

hiking
8 months ago

The steep scramble down to the ice field at the end is completely worth it. Amazing experience!

hiking
8 months ago

This is my favorite hike ever! Every time we see a bear but have never had a problem. This hike is worth waiting for a spectacular day because if it’s clear and sunny the ice gleams and it brings you to tears. This hike has everything, flowers, streams, trees, glacier, wildlife,and views. It’s a bit long getting up but take in the scenery along the way and enjoy it, lots to see. If you had to do 1 hike in Alaska, make it this one! Ten stars!

hiking
9 months ago

My only regret is that we didn't have enough time to complete the entire trail! The Harding Icefield Trail has been referred to as one of America's great day hikes and I'd agree. The views of the glacier and the icefield are spectacular. I'd love to return and camp near the top of the trail. We were able to hustle our way to the Top of the Cliff and back in just about 3 hours. (Smoky conditions, due to the raging wildfires on the Kenai Peninsula, kept us from heading out earlier in the day.) The trail is well maintained and fairly steep, but the grade is very consistent. The lower portion of the trail was very heavily trafficked and we came across quite a few people who weren't prepared for the level of difficulty. Please bring enough water and wear proper shoes! The NPS is very up front about the difficulty of the hike. Listen to them and speak to a ranger if you have any questions or doubts.

hiking
bugs
9 months ago

hiking
9 months ago

this is the second time I am going this trail. Always awesome and jaw dropping views. I love it. in seward, you must do it. hard and steep, so be careful. also, mind mother bear.!

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