Exit Glacier, Kenai Fjords National Park, Alaska

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The one glacier in Kenai Fjords National Park that can be accessed by land is Exit Glacier, just a few miles outside of Seward, Alaska. Mountain Dad and I were excited to see such a massive geological feature in person and luckily the hike to the Glacier is relatively easy.

The receding level of this glacier is well documented with sign posts on the road indicating how far the glacier reached in the year on the post. The wall of blue ice was an impressive sight, well worth the hike, even if the trail at the Edge of the Glacier got steep and rocky toward the end.

More intrepid explorers can take the Harding Ice Field trail 8 miles round trip to experience the massive ice covered land that makes up most of Kenai Fjords National Park.

Standing next to Exit Glacier, so close I could’ve touched it (I wanted to, but it wasn’t safe at that point) I realized just a little more how large this amazing world is. That is the reason I love being outdoors, I always find something new and awe inspiring. The vast beauty that exists in the world should always be experienced first hand, and visiting a glacier before they all melt was a major reason we went to Alaska in the first place.

The night before exploring Exit Glacier, Mountain Dad and I stayed at the only campground in Kenai Fjords National Park – Exit Glacier Campground.

Exit Glacier campground is unlike any I have ever stayed at. As a tent only, walk in campsite there were no reservations, no individual parking spaces and no picnic tables for each site. A communal cooking and storage area had three picnic tables and space to put food overnight. Bear awareness postings were everywhere, so not even pets were allowed by the sleeping area.

Our campsite, number nine, was in a secluded alcove and gave the feeling of solitude, even with other campers nearby. The trail through the campground meanders past Exit Glacier runoff waters, and gave me an immediate sense of wildness.  Exit Glacier, the only glacier in Kenai Fjords National Park that has access by car, rose in the distance.

I highly recommend a stop at Exit Glacier if you travel to the Seward area. The views were breathtaking and the surroundings were beyond compare.

Edge of the Glacier Trail
Getting There: Turn on Herman Leirer/Exit Glacier Road at Mile 3 on the Seward Highway. Road dead ends in 8.5 miles at the visitors center.
Distance: about 2.2 miles round trip
Time: 2 hours
Tips: Stay out of the water – it’s FREEZING!

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Author: Mountain Mom

Hi! I'm Mountain Mom. I live with my husband and three young kids in the mountains near Sundance, Utah. When we're not hiking, biking, skiing and camping, I spend my time doing Mom stuff and reading. Summer of 2016 we traveled over 7,000 miles along the US National Park to Park Highway.

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