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“Challenging Hike - But Well Worth the Effort”

Harding Ice Field Trail
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Guided Harding Icefield Trail Hike
Reviewed 20 August 2014

The Harding Ice Field Trail is a moderate to strenuous hike. If you are planning to hike the entire trail, I recommend good hiking boots (the trail had muddy patches, wet rocks and roots, patches of small rocks, patches of snow, and a couple of easy stream crossings) to make it a more pleasant journey. Much of the hike is uphill, so you should expect this hike to take longer than the 8 mile distance would generally lead you to believe.

But, with all the logistics and warnings out of the way, let me echo the sentiments of other reviewers: the view from the top is well worth it! I have hiked near/to many glaciers, but the ice field was an extraordinary sight unlike any other I have seen. And the view was made all the more sweet by the fact that the hike was a workout.

If you are fit (and equipped) for the hike, you will thoroughly enjoy it!

Thank ChicagoTravelingNow
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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"ice field"
in 35 reviews
"day hike"
in 12 reviews
"hiking poles"
in 10 reviews
"strenuous hike"
in 11 reviews
"black beans"
in 18 reviews
"lots of water"
in 8 reviews
"own pace"
in 4 reviews
"parking lot"
in 10 reviews
"miles round trip"
in 7 reviews
"cut short"
in 3 reviews
"water bottles"
in 3 reviews
"ft elevation gain"
in 3 reviews
"layered clothing"
in 3 reviews
"views are amazing"
in 4 reviews
"walking stick"
in 3 reviews
"rock climbing"
in 2 reviews
"sturdy footwear"
in 2 reviews

83 - 87 of 150 reviews

Reviewed 18 August 2014

This is at the other end of the scale when comparing to Exit Glacier. It is a long walk with almost a constant uphill incline. You will need a good 5-6 hours for the whole trip depending how long you spend at the top. Children will find it challenging. Is it worth it ? For us yes. This is one place where you can see the birth of so many glaciers and the icefield is so large that one's camera can't capture it all. On the walk you get to see where the Exit Glacier starts from and with a bit of luck you might get to see some wildlife as well. If you're walking alone we suggest you utilise the facility at the start of the walk where you can sign yourself on and off the walk.

Thank Ali921
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 7 August 2014

This hike is hard. The guide books said 8 miles, my pedometer read 11.5 miles. You do not need hiking boots or poles but the hike is moderately difficult. It is a long hike uphill but worth it in the end. The last mile up is the easiest. Take plenty of breaks and pace yourself. It took roughly three hours to get up and two to get down. The path gets very crowded later in the day. Leave early in the morning to avoid the crowds. Offer some encouragement to those you see slugging their way up as you make your way down. Ladies there is limited area to take an outside bathroom break! At times the trail is very narrow surrounded by thick vegetation. There is a public bathroom at the bottom. You sweat enough going up, so be sure to bring water. It is quite windy and cold at the top. Bring layers for the last mile or so and a hat helps at the top. Bring a marker so you can sign your name at the emergency shelter. Enjoy the hike!

3  Thank christine N
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 5 August 2014

I would go with a ranger if I ever did this again. I kind of felt nervous during some of it with it's drop off's and a 6 year old with no attention span

Thank amandria1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 30 July 2014

What a fantastic experience. At first you see the 'top' of the exit glacier, high above. It's quite difficult to imagine, that soon enough you'll be getting real close to this altitude, and then when the trees phase out and later disappear completely, you'll continue climbing the trail, gaining more and more altitude and amazing views of the glacier top, deep down below you. When after almost 5 miles (from the parking lot) of climbing you finally get to the farthest observation point, you really get a feeling of an achievement. You didn't just 'hitchhike' with a helicopter (another great experience for sure), or reached this location using a high climbing ski-lift. Instead, this time you made it fully on your own, almost from sea level to the hights that allow you overlooking a big chunk of this magnificent ice field. Close to the top we counted at least 16 Dall Sheep, or were they Mountain Goats. A bit hard to see from that distance, but they were beautiful. More lucky ones (my wife wouldn't agree - made me sing all the way down), also encountered a black bear in the meadow. We only heard the bells of the people making sure not to surprise any bears in the forested areas. One of our best hikes for sure.

1  Thank OphirB
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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