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Harding Icefield hike with 6 yr old; How far?

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Portland, Oregon
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Harding Icefield hike with 6 yr old; How far?

We are family of 4 with 14 & 6 yr boys, visiting Seward July 17/18 and planning to do some hike on Harding Icefield.

We do not want/cannot hike the complete trail. How far should we plan to hike/walk on the trail with 6 yr old? if we just walk a mile one way and back, are we going to see good views and photo ops? Do we need any special shoes for this hike or regular walking shoe is just OK. Can we hike after 7PM?

Thanks for your suggestions!

fti
MN
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1. Re: Harding Icefield hike with 6 yr old; How far?

A mile one way and a mile back is about 2 of the 8 mile round trip hike, so about 1/4 of it. I figure 6-8 hours for the hike, so you are talking about 1.5 to 2 hours. I don't think you will have spectacular views of Exit Glacier, but you should have good views of the valley.

I would think that the 14yr old and one adult might be best going on the Harding Icefield hike and the other adult say near the face of Exit Glacier, maybe do ranger-led activities, etc.

I always bring hiking boots with me when I go to Alaska. I have seen people with tennis and walking shoes on the Harding Icefield Trail. I like the traction and stability of hiking shoes myself. I also like a walking stick.

Can you hike after 7pm? Yes, since the trail never "closes." But not sure what you mean - start after 7pm? I would not recommend that. You wouldn't get very far I am afraid before it starts to get quite late.

Anchorage, Alaska
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2. Re: Harding Icefield hike with 6 yr old; How far?

Ditto fti's comments.

Portland, Oregon
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3. Re: Harding Icefield hike with 6 yr old; How far?

Thanks for the suggestions! How far we need to walk to see the spectacular view of the Exit glacier?

Seward,Alaska
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4. Re: Harding Icefield hike with 6 yr old; How far?

You can see Exit Glacier from the road a couple miles away and there's a nice pullover for scenic pictures.

The main trail (which is paved and wheelchair accessible) and the overlook loop trail are pretty easy. I don't know your 6yr old but many young and elderly people have no trouble with these trails. Average time is 2 hours. I often wear sandals.

Michigan
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5. Re: Harding Icefield hike with 6 yr old; How far?

To clarify, you can do the Exit Glacier trail which will take you right up close to Exit Glacier. As mentioned it should take about 1 1/2 to 2 hours. Your six year old should have no problems here. We went on a Ranger led hike which we loved. Here is the link:

nps.gov/kefj/planyourvisit/exit-glacier.htm

You can also hike the Harding Icefield Trail. I have not done this one. From what I understand of it, you really need to get to the top to see good glacier views. Read the info on the following link:

nps.gov/kefj/…harding_icefield_trail.htm

Edited: 20 March 2011, 00:19
fti
MN
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6. Re: Harding Icefield hike with 6 yr old; How far?

Actually about half way up the Harding Icefield Trail are nice glacier views. But even half way is a fairly strenuous hike. At the top you can see the icefield.

7. Re: Harding Icefield hike with 6 yr old; How far?

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