, The grounding of the oil tanker Exxon Valdez in Prince William Sound on March 24, 1989, produced extensive contamination of the Kenai Fjords coastline. Kenai Fjords National Park is an American national park established in 1980 by the Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act. I loved carving turns on the flat valley floor, using the kite to get air off of little bumps, and learning how to control the kite. The park is named for the numerous fjords carved by glaciers moving down the mountains from the ice field. , Kenai Fjords is extensively glaciated, with 51% of the park covered by ice. Negotiations between the Park Service, Forest Service, Fish and Wildlife Service and the Chugach Alaska Corporation resulted in a decision by the Department of the Interior to make the Park Service the lead agency for the Kenai Fjords area. In both cases, I was very impressed with the destination, and left with an, “Oh, right, that’s why this is a major destination.” In time, about 20 miles (32 km) of coastline was oiled, amounting to about 4% of the total coastline. Higher alpine regions support a dwarf shrub community less than 1 foot (30 cm) high, at a very slow rate of growth. 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. The Harding Icefield receives 60 feet (18 m) of snowfall per year. Post was not sent - check your email addresses! The Mumms patiently considered their options and did some shopping at NAPA. The first study, entitled Alaska - Its Resources and Development was centered on the development of tourism, despite a dissent from co-author Bob Marshall, who advocated strict preservation. The kites were SO MUCH FUN! Beth cooked fresh gingerbread cookies. Change ), You are commenting using your Twitter account. When the resupply arrived, Caroline and Pat found an unexpected 2 pounds of organic peas. 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. A unique aspect of this route is that you do most of the climbing in the first four hours, and then mostly cruise on flats. ( Log Out / Josh’s truck started up, then died. Wildlife thrives in icy waters and lush forests around this vast expanse of ice. A 2003 follow-up survey indicated that one site was occupied between 950 AD and 1800. We were a group of five with significant experience and no sleds. Truuli Peak is a mountain summit located in the Kenai Mountains, in the U.S. state of Alaska.At 6,612 ft (2,015 m), Truuli Peak is the highest mountain in the Kenai Mountains on the Kenai Peninsula in southern Alaska. A single ranger was assigned to Seward as a local liaison. 2. The proposed monument totaled 300,000 acres (468.8 sq mi; 1,214.1 km2) in three areas: the icefield and two island groups. Mount Rainier, Washington’s own active volcano. Blackburn Haines Loop Alsek Traverse: Haines - Gl.  Most of the lands claimed were on the coastline. The alpine regions support shrubby grown to alders, devil's club, elderberry, lady fern, cow parsnip and other plants. I want to update that as of now (May 2020) the Grewingk Glacier has receded to a point that the bank of the lake is inaccessible from the glacier (without a cold swim). Image of kenai, cold, serene - 161391253 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). 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. , According to the Köppen climate classification system, Kenai Fjords National Park has a Subarctic climate (Dfc) with cool summers and year around precipitation. The book is about their incredible 4,000 mile journey from Bellingham to Kotzebue. 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.  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. A beach site near MacArthur Pass was discovered during cleanup operations. Bonus: Most boat tours include a stop at a calving glacier. Spring exits on the Grewingk are only going to get harder. Caroline and Pat flew to town so that Caroline could prepare for a book promotion event that evening. Kenai Fjords National Park was established in 1980 by the Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act (ANILCA). We were self conscious about our stinky feet, so Eric set us up with a hose and soap. , At the time of the park's establishment, there were few permanent inhabitants. , Kenai Fjords National Park is dominated by a glaciated landscape. We could not. An ice field (also spelled icefield) is a large area of interconnected glaciers, usually found in a mountainous region. On March the 24th 2018 took a little local flight. By early April, Park Service personnel established oil containment boom lines across the mouths of salmon streams and conducted preliminary inventories of plants and animals that might be affected by the oil. The mature forest features Sitka spruce and mountain hemlocks, with an understory of devil's club, Alaska blueberry, elderberry, baneberry, watermelon berry and lady fern in the coniferous forest understory. Skiing down the Grewingk was Sarah’s favorite part of the trip. They are often found in the colder climates and higher altitudes of the world where there is sufficient precipitation for them to form. In 1971 the Seward National Recreation Area was proposed for the area between the head of Resurrection Bay and Turnagain Arm, extending east to Whittier and west to Exit Glacier.  Smaller mammals include coyote, beaver and river otter. According to the Park Service, it's 50 miles wide at its largest point (that would take two back-to-back marathons to cross it). The trail to Harding Icefield is a 6-8 hour trek through the Alaskan wilderness. That’s a tough question to answer, it depends on the group and time of year. Length: 8-mile loop. . In 1973 the Nixon administration proposed the Harding Icefield–Kenai Fjords National Monument as part of the ANILCA legislation. Wasn't planning on anything special, just decided to cruise around. The gas tank had been drilled from below while parked at the trailhead. We had excellent travel conditions, but still managed to complain about not having enough wind to use our kites. Thanks for the update. We also offer flights to an active volcano with landings at the top and/or the bottom. You can also take a boat trip to explore it, which is what we would recommend.  Seward is a destination for cruise ships. Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. We weren’t able to cover much ground with the kits, but were able drop the packs and play. Sounds scary? The park includes the region's deeply indented glaciated coastline and its interior icefields. Seattle, WA 98195 . , 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 summer trail took us to a cable car river crossing, and, eventually, the beach. 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. The park also features a significant marine environment. The part of me that grew up in a village has a ton of respect for that style— the ability to functionally create. , Birds that nest in this park include bald eagle, the Peale's subspecies of peregrine falcon, black-billed magpie, and Steller's jay. The park is named for the numerous fjords carved by glaciers moving … The oil did not reach the fjords, repelled by heavy spring water flows from the land. How many days did it take you including weather days? It is also partially located in Kenai Fjords National Park. The park is bordered on the west by Kenai National Wildlife Refuge and on the south by Kachemak Bay State Park. As the surface elevation of the ice field decreases due to climate change, the receding ice exposes bare rock and essentially increases the size of the nunataks, providing new habitat for alpine vegetation. The wildlife is equally as impressive here, featuring beautiful falcons and black bears. Harding Icefield Trail. Pat and Josh scrambled above camp to a series of ledges separating bedrock slabs. If weather conditions permit, take a spectacular walk from Exit Glacier to the Harding Icefield for views of deep crevasses and huge seracs. , 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. The park lies just to the west of Seward, a cruise ship port. Storm systems today continue to feed 600-800 inches of snow each winter to the icefield. The info here was both motivating for the trip, and the GPS track was very useful, especially in the whiteouts Josh ended up threading a bolt into the drilled hole, with a plastic casing on the bolt that worked as a temporary gasket. 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. I climbed an apron of ice-cored moraine to determine if we could sneak along talus at the lake’s edge. This trail is referred to by rangers as “the best day hike in the National Park Service.” The Harding Icefield Trail begins at the Exit Glacier Nature Center and travels to the edge of the Harding Icefield. Thinking I’ll go the pack raft route given recent conditions. This altered the original intent of the park to include subsistence claims, previously unrecognized. Some of these are on native corporation lands, with a portion of the use fee going to the native community. The Kenai Fjords region was designated Study Area 11. KEFJ -the Harding Icefield and the Grewingk-Yalik Glacier Complex, and three primary areas of glaciation in KATM - the Mt. , Several gold mines from historical times have been documented in the park. The AMS glacier travel courses are a good way to learn as well. A network of trails from the Nature Center provide access to the glacier, and the 7.4-mile (11.9 km) Harding Icefield Trail. I don’t see a date anywhere. Aerial photographs show that the nunataks in the Harding Icefield have increased in area by an average of 30 percent since 1950. 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? Most glaciers in these parks terminate on land, though a few terminate in lakes. You can see the enormous Harding Icefield here, as well as many spectacular icebergs that carved out wondrous fjords. Enter your email address to subscribe and receive notifications of new posts by email. Flow is a state where a high skill level is used in a high challenge activity. We were wondering how long it would take for the ice to retreat beyond where we were able to scramble out… it didn’t take long! In 1964 George B. Hartzog Jr., director of the National Park Service, initiated a new study entitled Operation Great Land, advocating the development and promotion of the existing Alaska parks. 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. Harding Icefield, Kenai National Wildlife Refuge. The park's glaciers have retreated through the twentieth century, exposing new lands to colonization by plant and animal life. For those clients that want to go directly to amazing views and serenity we can modify and land direction on the top. On top of the jaw-dropping, icy panoramic views at the end, you might also get a peek at a bear or two (so be extremely prepared). The activity is immediately rewarding. The first plants to appear in recently glaciated areas are lichens and mosses, with a few hardy plants such as dwarf fireweed and yellow dryas. Bus tours from Seward visit Exit Glacier and boat tours visit other parts of the park, The park maintains public-use cabins and shelters in coastal areas and at the edge of the Harding Icefield. It was a great traverse! We were met at the beach by Caroline and Pat’s friends Eric and Beth, who brought us to Halibut Cove for the night. Photo about View of Exit Glacier, Harding Icefiel Kenai Fjords National Park, Seward, Alaska, United States. , Seward is a departure point and destination for large cruise ships from Celebrity Cruises, Holland America Line, Royal Caribbean International and others. The park's headquarters is in Seward. The route was excellent, and it was a huge relief not to have to add a 20-mile day. Kiting might be one of the fastest ways to reach Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi‘s state of flow. Change ), You are commenting using your Facebook account. Within the park is the huge Harding Icefield, claiming 300 square miles in its entirety. The right thing to do is have a ton of crevasse experience already. With Josh’s guidance, all four of us were able to fly right away. Nearly 40 glaciers flow from the Harding Icefield, Kenai Fjords' crowning feature. In this case, focussing on the kite, I trusted my skis to do the right thing on their own. by Nathanael | Alaska, Destinations. - 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 … Caroline and Pat are probably my favorite adventurers.  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. Sarah and I borrowed clothes from Josh Mumm and shoes from Mike Mumm. 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. Or, you could hire a guide for the trip. The first oil arrived on April 10. Sanford, Twice Portage Triple Crown Iliamna Volcano Knik: Mt. The most accessible glacier, and the only portion of the park accessible by road, is Exit Glacier. The park contains the Harding Icefield, one of the largest ice fields in the United States. Photo about Halim park Jeju island South Korea Jejudo the main road view on the stairs from the volcano caves. The crown jewel of this Alaskan park is the 735-square-mile Harding Icefield. 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.  Internal Park Service documents envisioned an 800,000-acre (1,250.0 sq mi; 3,237.5 km2) park protecting the coast and the icefield, but this conflicted with the Seward National Recreation Area and a proposed expansion of the Kenai National Moose Range.  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. Yep, April. Although the proposal had support in Congress and from the US Forest Service and the Bureau of Land Management, it was overcome by difficulties with native land claims. Another site was used from 1785 to 1820. 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. I also experimented with focussing on my skis, and trusting the kite, which resulted in accidentally getting airborne twice.  More than thirty glaciers originate in the icefield, which first formed about 23,000 years ago. Fax: (206) 543-3932. 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. They found a route through the slabs and set a fixed-line for one steep scramble connecting ledges. UW Mailbox 359570. Bay Ski Alaska Mt. The site showed that contrary to earlier beliefs, portions of the park had been used over a long term by native peoples. Only KEFJ has tidewater glaciers, which terminate in the ocean. Harding Icefield Trail, Kenai Fjords National Park. 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. The survey also found evidence that an earthquake dating to about 1170 AD lowered the shoreline by at least 1.8 metres (5.9 ft), potentially inundating earlier sites. There are 32 breathtaking glaciers that emerge from the Harding Ice Field. I would reach out to Hig for more information, he is closely monitoring the glacier. It was a warm, sunny July day when my wife and I hiked the Harding Icefield trail. Receive emails with updates & training opportunities, Packraft-specific courses via the Swiftwater Safety Institute. Another proposal placed the Aialik Peninsula under US Fish and Wildlife Service jurisdiction. It is located in the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge in the southwest of the Harding Icefield between the Chernof and Truuli glaciers..  Follow-up action by Hartzog brought the Park Service into discussions over the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act (ANCSA). The tree line at Kenai Fjords is between 750 and 1,000 feet (230 and 300 m) above sea level. I felt the same way about Denali.  The first park improvements focused on improving access to Exit Glacier. With no fewer than 38 glaciers, it's one of the biggest icefields in the U.S. 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. It shouldn’t be, the volcano has been slumbering for as long as anyone can remember. 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. The Harding Icefield is an expansive icefield located in the Kenai Mountains of the Kenai Peninsula in Alaska. ( Log Out / (I’ve presented some explanation of this reward vs. challenge space, audio file here). Some sites had been active into the 1980s.  Another study, funded as part of the Alaska Highway in the 1940s drew similar conclusions to the first study's majority opinion. 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. Martin area. Forested portions of the park are dominated by conifers, with deciduous forests confined to areas recently vacated by glaciers. Hike the Harding Icefield Trail, a spectacular route alongside Exit Glacier in Kenai Fjords National Park Discover the charms and shops of Homer, one of Alaska's most beautiful seaside towns Witness jaw-dropping views of Cook Inlet, the volcanoes of the Alaska Range, Grewingk Glacier and Homer Spit Find high quality stock photos of alaska, people, cultures and places from around the world from popular tourist destinations to remote regions. We considered skiing back up the glacier so that we could take a known ridge exit, but it would make for a long day ( 20-miles?) We arrived at the toe of the glacier to find several hundred meters of bedrock slabs between us and the trail.  Cetaceans seen in park waters include orca, fin whale, humpback whale, minke whales, Dall's porpoise and Pacific white-sided dolphin. From here, the view expands out to the horizon, broken only by a craggy peak sticking out above the snow and ice. The Halemaumau Crater is the center part of the Kilauea Caldera, an active volcano near Hilo on the Big Island of Hawaii. 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!). 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. I felt kind of like I felt after switching from telemark to AT bindings, like, why the hell didn’t I do this years ago.  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. Joe Stock has a nicely documented discussion of this at https://www.stockalpine.com/posts/crevasse-rescue-haul-system. So for future reference I would suggest counting on such an exit, or hauling a packraft over the icefield. 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 fjords are glacial valleys that have been submerged below sea level by a combination of rising sea levels and land subsidence. Hey Luc was this trip in April 2019?  No visitor facilities or full-time local management structure resulted from the monument's proclamation. It is only one of three national parks in Alaska that can be reached by road, via the Exit Glacier Nature Center. Wildlife thrives in icy waters and lush forests around this vast expanse of ice. http://www.groundtruthtrekking.org/grewingk-lake-landslide-tsunami-hazards/, Hey Luc, These pioneers are followed by other plants as the moss and lichen break rock down into soil. 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. The nearest large town is Seward, immediately to the east of the park on Resurrection Bay. 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). Image of road, park, green - 139148369  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. Even so, I have friends that stayed roped up the entire time. We were blessed — such days are not common in this area. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org . MODIS, Sentinel 1&2, Landsat, Google Earth, ESRI, etc. , Early studies of possible new Park Service units in Alaska took place in the 1930s and 1940s. Credit: bigstock.com Link Copied to Clipboard. Spend 30 minutes or 1 hour touring Kachemak Bay and the Harding Icefield. Looking to do this in April. ... Valley of Ten Thousand Smokes, a spectacular forty square mile, 100 to 700 foot deep ash flow deposited by Novarupta Volcano in 1912. Kenai Fjords National Park is an American national park established in 1980 by the Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act. About 8 miles round trip, the trail gains a lot of elevation, and is described as strenuous. They built row boats for the Bellingham to Haines section of their trip to Kotzebue. 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. Marine mammals include sea otter, harbor seal and Steller sea lion. Known for: An active, and yet slumbering volcano. The park covers an area of 669,984 acres on the Kenai Peninsula in south-central Alaska, near the town of Seward.  Cruise tours originating from Seward provide access to the park via Resurrection Bay. (minimum 2 passengers) 30 minute tour: $175 per person 1 hour tour: $275 per person After leaving the Harding Icefield, we continued south on smaller glaciers. Icefield coverage has declined, with a 3% reduction in coverage over a 16-year study period. , The plant communities at Kenai Fjords are shaped by glacial retreat. As of last September, Josh said that the Grewingk Glacier terminated below the end of a summer hiking trail. Pretty crazy. Sorry, your blog cannot share posts by email. The first season's work stopped in September. Change ), You are commenting using your Google account. Mike Mumm drove with us to Seward to recover our two vehicles. Goode, Marcus Baker Tsina Glacier, Valdez 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). Dwarf plants in this region include bog blueberry, partridgefoot, black crowberry and Aleutian mountainheath, all of which are vulnerable to damage from foot traffic. Herbaceous plants can grow in areas with better soils, supporting grasses, Nootka lupine, fireweed and other perennial plants. In both cases, I was very impressed with the destination, and left with an, “Oh, right, that’s why this is a major destination.”. We set up camp on a flat slab of ice at the water’s edge. Caroline is currently promoting her new book, The Sun is a Compass. Douglas area. My favorite Caroline and Pat story is from their trip to Mount Fairweather. Katmai area, and the Mt. The park's highest point is an unnamed peak of 6,450 feet (1,970 m) in the Kenai Mountains.  It is a relatively small and accessible park by Alaskan national park standards, about 88% as big as Yosemite National Park. Hoodlums… to steal gas. 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 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. Willows also appear at this stage. Change ). 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. Sarah and I spent the night in Homer, eating well and visiting friends. See Homer and multiple glaciers, as well as getting a look at some remote Alaskan communities.  A lodge was developed by the Port Graham community on Aialik Bay. The field is the source of at least 38 glaciers, the largest of which is Bear Glacier. , The earliest proposals for a national park at the Kenai Fjords was raised in the 1970s. I hiked it twice, the first time in June when there was too much snow left to make it all the way to the ice field. It was late and we really wanted to get this segment of the route finished, but there was no obvious way to reach the summer trail. The mystery was resolved when Caroline and Pat noticed that 2 pounds of cheese didn’t make it into the box. Thanks for this post! We were able to use the kites three times. Eyal. Publisher for the University of Washington Member of the Association of University Presses Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, Hawaii Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, Hawaii. Much of the interior is covered by the Harding Icefield. It is the fifth most-visited park in Alaska, but the 11th of 13 Alaska parks in area, and is the closest national park to Anchorage. , Archeological sites were also affected by the oil. I appreciated already being a confident skier before introducing the kite. Headlands were the most affected areas.  A 1993 Park Service survey documented several village sites dated between 1200 AD and 1920. We started with turns down good corn snow, then glided for miles on the just-steep-enough glacier.