Journey to Alaska Episode 18
Join us in this episode, where we visit a melting glacier and check National Park number 32 off our list. Come along and see for yourself, you won’t believe how quickly this glacier is disappearing.
Journey to Alaska Episode 18 | Glaciers are Melting! | Kenai Fjords National Park
Glaciers are Melting! Kenai Fjords National Park
While we were in Seward we went to Kenai Fjords National Park to hike up to Exit Glacier. The Exit Glacier area is the only part of the park accessible by road.
From the visitors center, we took the trail, a pretty easy hike a little over a mile one-way to see one of Alaska’s most accessible glaciers. You can really see the effect of the climate change here, glaciers are melting and soon will no longer be here.
If you are even more adventurous you can hike all the way to Exit Glacier and stand on it and explore it up close, but that is 8 miles one way so we decided not to do that hike.
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. This is one of the most visited glaciers because of the easy access to it and it is accessible year-round.
The first documented mountaineering party succeeded in crossing the Harding Icefield. Ten people were involved in the crossing. Exit Glacier got its name from being the exit for the first recorded crossing of the Harding Icefield in 1968.
Snowfall on the Harding Icefield that feeds the glacier can exceed 100 feet each year. After 4-10 years of compression, snow turns into glacial ice.
When you get up to the blue ice face of Exit Glacier, you can hear it crackle and pop.
5 Random facts about Exit Glacier
- Exit Glacier is one of 38 glaciers that flow out from the Harding Icefield
- The Glacier shrunk 262 feet from fall of 2015 to the fall of 2016
- Exit Glacier once reached Seward 8 miles away.
- Part of the expedition party included Alaska homesteader Yule Kilcher, the grandfather of singer Jewel Kilcher.
- Exit Glacier is only a small part of Kenai Fjords ice and ice-influenced ecosystem that covers about half the 1,047-square-mile park.
Check out our photo gallery below for the rest of our photos of our visit below!
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