Sunday, July 31, 2016

Exit Glacier, Kenai Fjords National Park

Exit Glacier is one of the 38 glaciers that flow out from Harding Icefield. The name Exit Glacier was derived from the first recorded crossing of the Harding Icefield in 1968 which exited in this glacier.If the hike to the end of trail of Harding Icefield is strenuous, the hike to Exit Glacier is easy to moderate. After hiking Harding Icefield, we took the much easier trail to Exit Glacier terminus.
Surface of Exit Glacier
The trail to Exit Glacier is only a 1 mile loop, though it has uphill/downhill slope, but not as steep nor as rocky as Harding Icefield trail making the walk a lot smoother and easier. In just a matter of minutes from the trailhead, you will be face to face with a glacier.
A Stream of Water Falling From the Melting of Glacier
Like many of the low altitude glaciers, Exit Glacier is steadily melting.You will hear the sound of the many waterfalls falling from the melting of ice when you come close to a glacier. The Exit Glacier has shrank 2 miles for the past 200 years.
Glacier Waterfalls 
If you are planning for a trip to Alaska, I really highly recommend putting Seward where Kenai Fjords National Park is in your list to visit. If you are physically fit and won't give up on physical and mental challenge, the hike to Harding Icefield is really out of this world and very mentally, emotionally and spiritually rewarding. However, if you think you cannot make it to Harding Icefield, the easy to moderate 1 mile loop hike to Exit Glacier is still very much worth it. 
Unlike the trail to Harding Icefield, the trail to Exit Glacier is almost free of rocks and snow during summer, and can be accessed even by some with disabilities. I am always happy to see this kind of trail since it allows and opens up our natural world to others who may not be able to take strenuous hikes because of physical reasons or because of having little babies in the family. 
One of the Many Tubes at Exit Glacier
The Exit Glacier shows many hollow tubes, and for me, these are the natural warning signs that we take extra pre-caution when we are in front or hiking in a glacier. The glacier is unsteady and parts of it can crumble anytime. Some may get tempted to have a picture inside the tube, but what if the ice above crash and you get buried? I have seen and heard a glacier crumbled, it is a phenomena that I will never forget. It is both inspiring and sad. Inspiring to see how nature carved the Earth and sad to observe how everything on Earth is temporary. 
In my next posts, I will show the other side of Harding Icefield.
Exit Glacier from Harding Icefield Trail
At the other side of this 4000 ft thick of ice and 700 square miles of icefield is the ocean. It is kind of hard to imagine that this vast mountain of ice sits right next to the sea, and everyday is changing.  
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  1. Your images of the glacier with water streaming are so beautiful and unusual, like abstract art. If I ever visit Kenai Fjords NP, I'll be sure to do the Exit Glacier loop trail.

  2. There is no way I would ever go in one of those hollow tubes. I remember watching a TV show where they warned against it, with a few demonstrations.

  3. Awesome shots of the glacier. The colors are amazing.

  4. aaahhhhh magical blue....indeed "everything on Earth is temporary"...thank you again for sharing its beauty...

  5. That's an amazing place to explore, and to see such glacier melting into stream like that. I'm forever glad and grateful that you brought back so many beautiful and wonderful photos to share, Betchai.

  6. Those images are absolutely beautiful. I would love to visit there.

  7. thanks for sharing, i really enjoy and learn new things from your blog

  8. Fascinating photos indeed. another enjoyable read, sis.

  9. "You will hear the sound of the many waterfalls falling from the melting of ice."

    I am jealous of this.

  10. amazing pic Betchai.

    Looks freezing but yet ..the power of nature

  11. Back here and still in awe at such beauty! I could almost feel the cold. I miss you so much Betchai!!!!! Love yah!☺

  12. glad to see on FB you get to do what you love. miss and love you! regards to Khai. you two have fun outdoors like you always do. :)

  13. Good morning Betchai

    Gosh....somehow I lost your blog link, Found it today.

    have a nice week ahead :)