Harding Icefield Trail

An amazing climb on a well traveled trail alongside the Exit Glacier in the Kenai Fjords National Park. You pass alder, cottonwood, crystal cold streams and thickets of wildflowers as you gain 3500ft elevation  in 4.1 miles. This challenging hike leads you to several vantage points overlooking the blue white ice of the glacier, the braided river winding in the valley floor below and the mountain peaks in all directions. The vistas from less than 1.5 miles uphill at Marmot Meadows are enough for some who choose to end their climb at this point  Others continue up the trail, often encountering snow in the early summer season, past the lower and upper cliffs, just beyond the emergency shelter, to the end of the trail. You are rewarded for the serious uphill effort with expansive views across the Harding Icefield, 300 square miles of ice and snow creating over 40 glaciers. The white that blankets the mountain range stretching as far as you can see is like no other view I have experienced from a trail, a truly unique Alaska landscape.

Pack some snacks, bring a water bottle, good hiking shoes, trekking poles and possibly gaiters for snow encounters. You will want warm layers, especially once you reach the top, and of course a rain jacket as you never know what Alaska will bring with quick changes in the weather. The morning/early afternoon will make for easier travel across the snow. I would plan for at least six hours, more for the many photographic views and much needed rest breaks, to complete the entire 8.2 mile trail. It can be done in less time, but who wants to rush such a beautiful hike.

More info. can be found on the  Kenai Fjords National Park website.

Happy Hiking!

Resurrect Art Coffee House

A beautiful old church building that was built in 1916 sits near the downtown area of Seward Alaska. From the soft chairs or one intimate table set at the top of a narrow steep staircase you can find views of Resurrection Bay and the dramatic mountains that frame the water through a large arched window.

In 1993 this charming building was turned into a locally owned coffee house which offers rotating art displays and crafted gifts from Alaskan artisans, most of whom live in or near the small town of Seward. A carpeted platform sits in the corner with a piano and small performance area. Quiet music fills the high ceiling room and several sitting areas can be found on both levels as well as in the outdoor garden.

During business hours  you can sip Alaskan roasted coffee, a variety of espresso drinks, teas and Italian sodas while munching on locally baked goods. On many evenings, in the summer months especially, you can enjoy an intimate concert or art showing after hours. 

You will find locals and travelers alike filling the coffee house visiting, reading, using the free WiFi, playing games or just enjoying the atmosphere. Occasionally you might be entertained by a musically inclined visitor who unexpectedly sits at the piano or on a stool with an instrument in hand.

Resurrect Art Coffee House is my favorite spot in Seward to start my mornings or unwind after a long day of outdoor play. I can often be found with a large mug in hand sitting cross legged in an overstuffed chair upstairs gazing out the large window at the amazing Alaskan landscape that surrounds this little coastal town.