Sanford, Twice Portage Triple Crown Iliamna Volcano Knik: Mt. The park is bordered on the west by Kenai National Wildlife Refuge and on the south by Kachemak Bay State Park. It shouldn’t be, the volcano has been slumbering for as long as anyone can remember. Douglas area, the Kukak Volcano to Mt. Eric and Beth brought us to Homer the next morning and we worked our way back to Anchorage from there. A food resupply box didn’t make it from Anchorage to Haines, so the ornery pilot took a grocery order over the satellite phone, shopped, and did an air drop. They carried tools into the Yukon Territory and built a canoe to float out. The kites were SO MUCH FUN! Eleven mine sites have been documented and two of the mine sites have been determined to be eligible for the National Register of Historic Places. The alpine regions support shrubby grown to alders, devil's club, elderberry, lady fern, cow parsnip and other plants. ... Valley of Ten Thousand Smokes, a spectacular forty square mile, 100 to 700 foot deep ash flow deposited by Novarupta Volcano in 1912. Work resumed the next year and continued in 1991. Just completed the traverse (group of 4). A beach site near MacArthur Pass was discovered during cleanup operations.  A 1993 Park Service survey documented several village sites dated between 1200 AD and 1920. Harding Icefield: Seward to Homer Katmai NP Traverse Haines to Juneau Traverse Chugach Traverse Aniak to Dillingham Fairweather, Yakutat to Haines IRS Volcanoes Traverse Kuskulana Glacier, Mt. Kiting might be one of the fastest ways to reach Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi‘s state of flow. Blackburn Haines Loop Alsek Traverse: Haines - Gl. We also offer flights to an active volcano with landings at the top and/or the bottom.  Follow-up action by Hartzog brought the Park Service into discussions over the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act (ANCSA). We had excellent travel conditions, but still managed to complain about not having enough wind to use our kites. But it will get harder and harder to reach the glacier from the end of the hiking trail. , Legislation stalled in Congress during the Watergate scandal, and was not pursued again until the Carter administration. Eyal. ( Log Out / After leaving the Harding Icefield, we continued south on smaller glaciers.  Cruise tours originating from Seward provide access to the park via Resurrection Bay. , Harsh conditions at higher altitudes limit tree growth above the tree line, creating an alpine ecosystem. According to the United States Department of Agriculture, the Plant Hardiness zone at Exit Glacier Visitor Center at 463 ft (141 m) elevation is 4b with an average annual extreme minimum temperature of -20.3 °F (-29.1 °C). Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Various companies offer tours, many guided by National Park Rangers. And of course, on this Alaskan “major destination,” we didn’t see anyone else, just some snow buntings, a wolverine, and a handful of sheep. I claimed we were The Three Mumms; Mike felt left out. How many days did it take you including weather days?  The erosive power of the glaciers produces sediment as rock flour coloring the waters around the toes of glaciers, carrying minerals into the ecosystem that support phytoplankton, which in turn sustain larger animals. The most significant fjords include Aialik Bay, Harris Bay, McCarty Fjord and Nuka Bay. After our trip, I saw a post from Hig about the rapid retreat of Grewingk: There has been rapid retreat of Grewingk Glacier this winter – almost half a kilometer. We borrowed 4 kites for the trip, Pat and I were especially excited to learn how to kite (thank you Rachel James, Todd Kelsey, Lars Flora, Jason Kwiatkowski!). But Sarah and I looked more like Josh in his clothes, and Mike just looked like Mike. http://www.groundtruthtrekking.org/grewingk-lake-landslide-tsunami-hazards/, Hey Luc, In both cases, I was very impressed with the destination, and left with an, “Oh, right, that’s why this is a major destination.”. The AMS glacier travel courses are a good way to learn as well.  No visitor facilities or full-time local management structure resulted from the monument's proclamation. Known for: An active, and yet slumbering volcano. The Harding Icefield has never been high on my wish list, mostly because I think it gets a lot of traffic and I’d rather explore more remote areas. The park contains the Harding Icefield, one of the largest ice fields in the United States. Length: 8-mile loop.  The first park improvements focused on improving access to Exit Glacier.  The same day the National Park Service formed an Alaska Task Force to study proposed park lands. Caroline is currently promoting her new book, The Sun is a Compass. Sarah and I were joined by Caroline and Pat, who had set the week aside months in advance, thanks to Caroline’s mom watching their two kids. Kenai Fjords National Park was established in 1980 by the Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act (ANILCA). Credit: bigstock.com Link Copied to Clipboard. Some sites had been active into the 1980s. Passenger traffic through Seward is projected at 68,000 for 2013. Headlands were the most affected areas. Looking to do this in April. Wasn't planning on anything special, just decided to cruise around. Besides being strong athletes who plan creative routes with technical challenges, what sets them apart in my mind is that the’ve built boats for their trips. The park is inhabited by a variety of terrestrial and marine mammals, including brown and black bears, moose, sea otters, harbor seals, humpback and killer whales. Only problem is I’ll be tempted to leave it patched [rather than do a permanent repair.]”. Change ), You are commenting using your Twitter account. This altered the original intent of the park to include subsistence claims, previously unrecognized. Change ), You are commenting using your Facebook account. , Kenai Fjords National Park is dominated by a glaciated landscape. Image of road, park, green - 139148369 Martin area. Kenai Fjords National Monument was initially designated by President Jimmy Carter on December 1, 1978, using the Antiquities Act, pending final legislation to resolve the allotment of public lands in Alaska. As of last September, Josh said that the Grewingk Glacier terminated below the end of a summer hiking trail. Icefield coverage has declined, with a 3% reduction in coverage over a 16-year study period. It’s also beautiful, with a …  Another study, funded as part of the Alaska Highway in the 1940s drew similar conclusions to the first study's majority opinion. The terrain remained interesting throughout the route. Spend 30 minutes or 1 hour touring Kachemak Bay and the Harding Icefield. Katmai and Lake Clark , The park lies on the southeastern side of the Kenai Peninsula, about 130 miles (210 km) south of Anchorage. The Kenai Fjords region was designated Study Area 11. I also experimented with focussing on my skis, and trusting the kite, which resulted in accidentally getting airborne twice. Photo about View of Exit Glacier, Harding Icefiel Kenai Fjords National Park, Seward, Alaska, United States. Eventually we ran out of snow and worked our way left to hike down the ice. , Bear Glacier Lake in Kenai Fjords National Park, Harding Icefield-Kenai Fjords National Monument, Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act, List of birds of Kenai Fjords National Park, List of national parks of the United States, "Listing of acreage as of December 31, 2011", Full list of all state parks, recreation areas and sites, historic parks and sites, and marine parks, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Kenai_Fjords_National_Park&oldid=990313557, Bodies of water of Kenai Peninsula Borough, Alaska, All Wikipedia articles written in American English, Wikipedia articles with WORLDCATID identifiers, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License, This page was last edited on 24 November 2020, at 00:28. The tours provide views of land and marine wildlife, particularly Steller sea lions, puffins, Dall's porpoises, American black bear, snowshoe hares, Mountain goats, and humpback and orca whales, as well as natural sights such as the fjords and tidewater glaciers. The park covers an area of 669,984 acres (1,046.9 sq mi; 2,711.3 km2) on the Kenai Peninsula in south-central Alaska, near the town of Seward. Flow is a state where a high skill level is used in a high challenge activity. Watching them troubleshoot, I concluded that their tranquility must partly be due to their experience managing equipment on fishing boats. Available to license for commercial, advertising broadcast and editorial use on Robert Harding.com The park's glaciers have retreated through the twentieth century, exposing new lands to colonization by plant and animal life. It was a warm, sunny July day when my wife and I hiked the Harding Icefield trail.  It is the only Alaska national park that did not originally allow subsistence use by Native Americans, but native village corporations continue to have interests in inholdings within the park, and have since established subsistence rights on those properties. I felt the same way about Denali. Look no further than the Harding Icefield Trail, an eight-mile roundtrip hike where you'll gain thousands of feet in elevation through forests, alpine meadows, and a seriously impressive icefield. Josh reported from home the next day, “Dry as a bone. The Harding Icefield is an expansive icefield located in the Kenai Mountains of the Kenai Peninsula in Alaska. We were a group of five with significant experience and no sleds. (minimum 2 passengers) 30 minute tour: $175 per person 1 hour tour: $275 per person At the edge of the Kenai Peninsula lies a land where the ice age lingers. The glacier has not receded from the lake and I think it will remain fairly easy to access from the lake.  It is a relatively small and accessible park by Alaskan national park standards, about 88% as big as Yosemite National Park. In the morning, we scouted our options. The second time I had a bruised ankle but I made it all the way to the trail end. Nearly 40 glaciers flow from the Harding Icefield, Kenai Fjords' crowning feature. Most glaciers in these parks terminate on land, though a few terminate in lakes. The park's headquarters is in Seward. Wildlife in the park consists of various seabirds (including puffins), bald eagles, peregrine falcons, harbor seals, sea lions, sea otters, whales, porpoises, moose, black bears, brown bears, wolverines, coyotes, mountain goats, and more. There are two primary glacierized areas in KEFJ (the Harding Icefield and the Grewingk-Yalik Glacier Complex) and three primary glacierized areas in KATM (the Mt. Caroline and Pat flew to town so that Caroline could prepare for a book promotion event that evening. Visiting these glaciers in the Gulf of Alaska is hard in the winter, as weather can be extreme in the ocean.  Alaskan opposition to ANILCA prompted President Jimmy Carter to proclaim Kenai Fjords National Monument under the provisions of the Antiquities Act on December 1, 1978, pending final passage of an Alaskan lands bill. The park is named for the numerous fjords carved by glaciers moving … by Nathanael | Alaska, Destinations.  Clean-up was difficult, as the oil became a tarry emulsion that could not be skimmed, and had to be dredged. ( Log Out /  Cetaceans seen in park waters include orca, fin whale, humpback whale, minke whales, Dall's porpoise and Pacific white-sided dolphin. Skiing down the Grewingk was Sarah’s favorite part of the trip. , The earliest proposals for a national park at the Kenai Fjords was raised in the 1970s. Josh Mumm started later in the day and caught up as we were setting up camp. - hiking: maintained trails are in the Exit Glacier area and the Harding Icefield Trail - ranger programs: Exit Glacier-1.5 hours of walking around the glacier, Pavilion talks-talks about Exit Glacier usually 20 minutes long, Harding Icefield Trail-7 to 8 hour hike, hikes to Marmot Meadows-hike in … Hey Luc was this trip in April 2019?  Mining activity centered on Nuka Bay. These pioneers are followed by other plants as the moss and lichen break rock down into soil. Willows and alders are followed by black cottonwoods, then Sitka spruce. Pretty crazy. About 8 miles round trip, the trail gains a lot of elevation, and is described as strenuous. See Homer and multiple glaciers, as well as getting a look at some remote Alaskan communities. Hoodlums… to steal gas. It is only one of three national parks in Alaska that can be reached by road, via the Exit Glacier Nature Center. This is a raw, ragged land that has not yet recovered from the great Pleistocene ice sheets that flowed over … The park contains the Harding Icefield, one of the largest ice fields in the United States. I would reach out to Hig for more information, he is closely monitoring the glacier. Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, Hawaii Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, Hawaii. before a trip up there. The park is named for the numerous fjords carved by glaciers moving down the mountains from the ice field. Kenai Fjords National Park is an American national park established in 1980 by the Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act. We weren’t able to cover much ground with the kits, but were able drop the packs and play. This is an important part of the process that Super glad to find you notes on the Grewingk Glaicer, checking some imagery and elevation data it look like it would be difficult to get off the toe of the glacier w/o potentially rappelling into a packraft, but it sounds like the glacier has receded from the lake now even? Harding Icefield is the star of this natural attraction, which features a number of tidewater glaciers (such as the half-mile-wide Exit Glacier), calming fjords, and small icebergs. In time, about 20 miles (32 km) of coastline was oiled, amounting to about 4% of the total coastline. as far as glacier travel goes… How much experience should one have while exploring Harding Ice Field? Wildlife thrives in icy waters and lush forests around this vast expanse of ice. In this case, focussing on the kite, I trusted my skis to do the right thing on their own. The gas tank had been drilled from below while parked at the trailhead. The fjords are glacial valleys that have been submerged below sea level by a combination of rising sea levels and land subsidence. However, the Harding is pretty benign in terms of crevasse hazards. , At the time of the park's establishment, there were few permanent inhabitants. With no fewer than 38 glaciers, it's one of the biggest icefields in the U.S. I don’t see a date anywhere. Higher alpine regions support a dwarf shrub community less than 1 foot (30 cm) high, at a very slow rate of growth. , Under the provisions of ANILCA the park included 119,000 acres (185.9 sq mi; 481.6 km2) of "native selected lands," property that was taken out of federal ownership and conveyed to Alaskan native corporations. We were blessed — such days are not common in this area. We planned to exit on the Grewingk Glacier, which would provide an easy summer trail to access Kachemak Bay and a boat ride to Homer. The first oil arrived on April 10. Another proposal placed the Aialik Peninsula under US Fish and Wildlife Service jurisdiction. Bonus: Most boat tours include a stop at a calving glacier. They are often found in the colder climates and higher altitudes of the world where there is sufficient precipitation for them to form. Harding Icefield Trail, Alaska. The Harding Ice Field, occupying nearly 700 square miles and as much as a mile thick, crowns the mountains of the Kenai Fjords in south-central Alaska. In both cases, I was very impressed with the destination, and left with an, “Oh, right, that’s why this is a major destination.” The park protects the icefield, a narrow fringe of forested land between the mountains and the sea, and the deeply indented coastline. During the Pleistocene Epoch, 23,000 years ago,the Harding Icefield was a small piece of the vast ice sheet that covered much of south-central Alaska.The Harding Icefield is a remnant of the last ice age. Publisher for the University of Washington Member of the Association of University Presses The site proved to be particularly challenging to clean up without disturbing the area. A 2003 follow-up survey indicated that one site was occupied between 950 AD and 1800. They built row boats for the Bellingham to Haines section of their trip to Kotzebue. Aerial photographs show that the nunataks in the Harding Icefield have increased in area by an average of 30 percent since 1950.  Smaller mammals include coyote, beaver and river otter. The part of me that grew up in a village has a ton of respect for that style— the ability to functionally create. If weather conditions permit, take a spectacular walk from Exit Glacier to the Harding Icefield for views of deep crevasses and huge seracs. Receive emails with updates & training opportunities, Packraft-specific courses via the Swiftwater Safety Institute. This proposal allowed logging and mining in the area. , The grounding of the oil tanker Exxon Valdez in Prince William Sound on March 24, 1989, produced extensive contamination of the Kenai Fjords coastline. 11 Underrated and Unique Vacation Ideas in the U.S. 4 Holistic Healing Therapies That Will Heal Your Soul What Is an Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP) and Is It Right for Me? , The park can be reached from Seward, 130 mi (210 km) south of Anchorage at the southern terminus of the Seward Highway. Here is calorieking‘s nutritional comparison of 2 pounts of peas (left) and cheese (right): We started our trip in Seward, walking and skiing 7 miles of gated road, a few miles on the summer trail, and then weaving through crevasses on the Exit Glacier. The 8.2-mile round trip Harding Icefield Trail in Alaska’s Kenai Fjords National Park is steep: you’ll gain roughly 1,000 feet per mile on the way up, working through healthy forests before eventually giving you an amazing view of the icefield. Harding Icefield Trail.  A lodge was developed by the Port Graham community on Aialik Bay. The park lies just to the west of Seward, a cruise ship port. The Outlet Glacier Alaska Exit Glacier is a glacier derived from the Harding Icefield in the Kenai Mountains of Alaska and one of Kenai Fjords National Park's major attractions. The activity is immediately rewarding. Josh and Mike went to a gas station to fill jugs, and when Josh poured gas in the tank it ran right through to the ground. I appreciated already being a confident skier before introducing the kite. Marine mammals include sea otter, harbor seal and Steller sea lion. Thanks for this post! Enter your email address to subscribe and receive notifications of new posts by email. , Seward is a departure point and destination for large cruise ships from Celebrity Cruises, Holland America Line, Royal Caribbean International and others. Josh’s truck started up, then died. , Archeological sites were also affected by the oil. The book is about their incredible 4,000 mile journey from Bellingham to Kotzebue. We were able to use the kites three times. Mount Rainier, Washington’s own active volcano. Much of the interior is covered by the Harding Icefield. Harding Icefield is the largest icefield in the United States and is home to a multitude of wild plants and animals including sea otters, sea lions, and whales. So for future reference I would suggest counting on such an exit, or hauling a packraft over the icefield. When the resupply arrived, Caroline and Pat found an unexpected 2 pounds of organic peas. It was a great traverse! , Kenai Fjords is extensively glaciated, with 51% of the park covered by ice. Sounds like this has happened several times at Seward trail heads. The Harding Ice Field is one of only 4 remaining ice fields in the country, and is also the largest ice field contained entirely within the United States’ borders. The proposed monument totaled 300,000 acres (468.8 sq mi; 1,214.1 km2) in three areas: the icefield and two island groups. Seattle, WA 98195 . the Kukak Volcano to Mt.  In 1982, a general management plan for the park was finalized, designating Exit Glacier as "front-country," the fjords as "back-country," and the icefield as wilderness. More than 38 glaciers and fjords flow out of the massive Harding Icefield; the area is a refuge for orcas, humpbacks, puffins, Dall’s porpoise, Steller sea lion colonies, harbor seals, and bald eagles. The Kenai Fjords area was not considered to be of the first priority for park designation under the ANCSA. They found a route through the slabs and set a fixed-line for one steep scramble connecting ledges. That year Exxon settled with the federal and Alaskan governments, paying about $870 million into a restoration fund, some of which was earmarked for Kenai Fjords. An ice field (also spelled icefield) is a large area of interconnected glaciers, usually found in a mountainous region. Beth cooked fresh gingerbread cookies. We tried climbing out to Emerald Lake but realized at some point that it would involve a bushwhack from hell, and ended up getting a helicopter to fly us out of the toe of the glacier. 30,295 acres (47.3 sq mi; 122.6 km2) were repurchased by the Park Service in the 1990s, retaining subsistence rights on about 9,000 acres (14.1 sq mi; 36.4 km2). The remainder of the park is accessible by boat, airplane, and hiking. Wildlife thrives in icy waters and lush forests around this vast expanse of ice. Email: email@example.com . I climbed an apron of ice-cored moraine to determine if we could sneak along talus at the lake’s edge. Thinking I’ll go the pack raft route given recent conditions. Caroline and Pat are probably my favorite adventurers. Josh ended up threading a bolt into the drilled hole, with a plastic casing on the bolt that worked as a temporary gasket. Each time had progressively stronger wind, perfect for learning. , On December 2, 1980, the ANILCA bill was signed into law by Jimmy Carter, converting Kenai Fjords to a national park. The process has lowered the elevation of the Kenai Mountains, gradually pulling glacial features down into the sea, which is at the same time rising. Most glaciers in these parks terminate on land, though a few terminate in lakes.  Archeological surveys have altered the early view that the area was subject to only transient occupation as evidence has accumulated of long-term use. 2. Sounds scary? Another site was used from 1785 to 1820. The pilot thought the peas were a strange request, and bought organic because, “you seemed like that kind of people” (probably not meant as a compliment).  The motion of the North Pacific Plate has accreted a variety of terranes against the shoreline, so that the coastal region is a mixture of rocks that originated elsewhere, together with local igneous rock. You can see the enormous Harding Icefield here, as well as many spectacular icebergs that carved out wondrous fjords. On March 15, 1972, four areas of the Kenai Peninsula were set aside under the ANCSA for federal protected areas. Establishment as a national park followed the passage of the Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act in 1980. Turns down good corn snow, then glided for miles on the stairs the. Sea otter, [ 3 ] airplane, [ 48 ] harbor seal [ 49 and!, ESRI, etc. fern, cow parsnip and other perennial plants Loop..., sunny July day when my wife and I spent the night in Homer, well... 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