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Saturday, June 14, 2014

Exit Glacier In Kenai Fjords National Park Near Seward, Alaska

 Exit Glacier is about nine miles northwest of Seward.  Eric and I turned onto Herman Leirer Road.

Our first glimpse of Exit
Glacier from the Jeep.

We enter Kenai Fjords

Kenai Fijords National Monument was designated a National Park on December 1, 1978 by President Jimmy Carter.  

Exit Glacier and over thirty other glaciers originate at the Harding Icefield.  It is a remnant of the Great Ice Age and the largest icefield in America.

After parking the car, we
take the trail to the edge
of the glacier.

The beginning of the trail
is paved.

Stop at a pavilion to read
information panels on
the glacier.

Evidence shows that Exit Glacier once extended down the valley more than nine miles. It is now three miles long.

The trail changes to gravel.

Eventually we hike on
 exposed rock. 

This section of the trail is
closed because the ice is
unstable here.

Exit Glacier is retreating
up the valley.

The glacier has retreated over a mile (6319 feet) from 1899 to 1999.

It's very lumpy.

I zoomed in & saw steep
crevasses in the glacier.

As we hiked back to our car, I noticed that near the glacier the terrain is rocky with just a few bushes and moss.  The farther down the valley we hiked, the heavier the woods became.  Approaching the parking lot I noticed that grass along side the trail as well as trees.

Exit Glacier is well worth
the trip.

It is popular because it's the only glacier in our country accessible by road.  Hiking options go from easy to moderate trails to the strenuous 8.2 mile trail to the Harding Icefield.

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