The last time we ventured to Seward, Ak to hike into Kenai Fjords National Park our plans ended up changing as we became engaged and ultimately ran out of time to go on all the hikes we wanted.One thing I’ve come to note while traveling is that plans change, but thats ok its all part of the adventure!
We finally found the time to make it back and finish our plans of hiking to Exit Glacier in the park. The road is closed off to traffic for the winter time but thankfully we were allowed to take our snow machine past the gates and save us an 8 mile hike to the campground we were staying in. The campground was like a ghost town! But who wants to camp in winter time? I guess we are the only crazies who felt the urge to set up camp on top of 2 feet of snow!
Our original plan (this time) was to hike the Harding Icefield Trail which was about 8 miles roundtrip that would bring you about 3,500 feet above the valley with an awesome view of the glacier and the Icefield (the trail starts out about 900-1000 feet elevation). We attempted the climb but as we hiked about halfway up the trail (around 1.5-2 miles), we were abruptly halted by 4 feet of snow that swallowed you every time you took your next step and a cliff that looked to have had a small avalanche and seemed unstable to walk further along the trail. Lucas made the tough call to turn back around, so we took in the amazing views, snapped a few selfies and headed back down the trail to attempt another smaller hike that gave us some great views of the side of glacier.
During our 3 day/2 night trip in the park we ended up hiking 4 trails total, all were very rewarding in their own ways and each came with their challenges. Although we know that the views would be completely different in the summer months, our experience of Kenai Fjords National park in the winter was amazing. We did not run into a single soul while we were camping or hiking and having the whole park to yourself was so peaceful. It was really neat to see how much the glacier has changed over the years and see how large it used to be versus where it lies now. (They have markers all through the park showing where the end of the glacier stopped through out the years.)
Kenai Fjords National Park is one park not to miss. One more marked in our National Park Passport book! Still a bunch more to go, but it will not be the last time we visit this amazing park. So…Until Next time….