Publisher for the University of Washington Member of the Association of University Presses [35] 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. The park covers an area of 669,984 acres on the Kenai Peninsula in south-central Alaska, near the town of Seward. Katmai and Lake Clark The brain or body can kind of zone out, everything just happens subconsciously. Change ), You are commenting using your Twitter account. Fax: (206) 543-3932. Various companies offer tours, many guided by National Park Rangers. I also experimented with focussing on my skis, and trusting the kite, which resulted in accidentally getting airborne twice. Wildlife thrives in icy waters and lush forests around this vast expanse of ice. [31], The park lies on the southeastern side of the Kenai Peninsula, about 130 miles (210 km) south of Anchorage. I think we took a week for it and didn’t use any weather days. The most significant fjords include Aialik Bay, Harris Bay, McCarty Fjord and Nuka Bay. Mount Rainier, Washington’s own active volcano. How many days did it take you including weather days? [57], Birds that nest in this park include bald eagle,[58] the Peale's subspecies of peregrine falcon,[59] black-billed magpie,[60] and Steller's jay. The activity is immediately rewarding. Much of the interior is covered by the Harding Icefield. Marine mammals include sea otter,[48] harbor seal[49] and Steller sea lion. With Josh’s guidance, all four of us were able to fly right away. Just completed the traverse (group of 4). The trail to Harding Icefield is a 6-8 hour trek through the Alaskan wilderness. Change ). Aerial photographs show that the nunataks in the Harding Icefield have increased in area by an average of 30 percent since 1950. Kenai Fjords National Park is an American national park established in 1980 by the Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act. Beth cooked fresh gingerbread cookies. It is named for United States President Warren G. Harding. Email: . the Kukak Volcano to Mt. The first season's work stopped in September. We were able to use the kites three times. [11], Early studies of possible new Park Service units in Alaska took place in the 1930s and 1940s. The Harding Ice Field is one of only 4 remaining ice fields in the country, and is also the largest ice field contained entirely within the United States’ borders. 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. 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). Eric and Beth brought us to Homer the next morning and we worked our way back to Anchorage from there. The kites were SO MUCH FUN! The right thing to do is have a ton of crevasse experience already. 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. Caroline and Pat are probably my favorite adventurers. We had excellent travel conditions, but still managed to complain about not having enough wind to use our kites. The park lies just to the west of Seward, a cruise ship port. before a trip up there. We were blessed — such days are not common in this area. Our warm winter is very likely a necessary ingredient for such an unusual winter retreat, but I think there’s a fair dose of coincidence – the ice was declining in stability all summer and it happened to cross a threshold in the fall when it separated from a bit of north shore where it was pressed against cliffs. I would reach out to Hig for more information, he is closely monitoring the glacier. The park covers an area of 669,984 acres (1,046.9 sq mi; 2,711.3 km2)[1] on the Kenai Peninsula in south-central Alaska, near the town of Seward. Josh Mumm started later in the day and caught up as we were setting up camp. The Mumms patiently considered their options and did some shopping at NAPA. As of last September, Josh said that the Grewingk Glacier terminated below the end of a summer hiking trail. [14], The earliest proposals for a national park at the Kenai Fjords was raised in the 1970s. [46][47] Smaller mammals include coyote, beaver and river otter. Bus tours from Seward visit Exit Glacier and boat tours visit other parts of the park[29], The park maintains public-use cabins and shelters in coastal areas and at the edge of the Harding Icefield. Image of road, park, green - 139148369 [8], At the time of the park's establishment, there were few permanent inhabitants. We were a group of five with significant experience and no sleds. Sarah and I borrowed clothes from Josh Mumm and shoes from Mike Mumm. ( Log Out /  It was a warm, sunny July day when my wife and I hiked the Harding Icefield trail. See Homer and multiple glaciers, as well as getting a look at some remote Alaskan communities. Enter your email address to subscribe and receive notifications of new posts by email. The site showed that contrary to earlier beliefs, portions of the park had been used over a long term by native peoples. Dwarf plants in this region include bog blueberry, partridgefoot, black crowberry and Aleutian mountainheath, all of which are vulnerable to damage from foot traffic. [64], The plant communities at Kenai Fjords are shaped by glacial retreat. Sarah and I spent the night in Homer, eating well and visiting friends. The park is bordered on the west by Kenai National Wildlife Refuge and on the south by Kachemak Bay State Park. Douglas area, the Kukak Volcano to Mt. 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. [16] The same day the National Park Service formed an Alaska Task Force to study proposed park lands. [35], Kenai Fjords is extensively glaciated, with 51% of the park covered by ice. This is a raw, ragged land that has not yet recovered from the great Pleistocene ice sheets that flowed over … The park's highest point is an unnamed peak of 6,450 feet (1,970 m) in the Kenai Mountains. 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! A third site showed occupancy from 1850 to 1890. Forested portions of the park are dominated by conifers, with deciduous forests confined to areas recently vacated by glaciers. [33][34], The park's landscape has been shaped by plate tectonics, with the Pacific Plate subducting beneath the North American Plate. 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. They carried tools into the Yukon Territory and built a canoe to float out. It is located in the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge in the southwest of the Harding Icefield between the Chernof and Truuli glaciers.. The terrain remained interesting throughout the route. The park protects the icefield, a narrow fringe of forested land between the mountains and the sea, and the deeply indented coastline. [15] 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., Hey Luc, Another proposal placed the Aialik Peninsula under US Fish and Wildlife Service jurisdiction. The info here was both motivating for the trip, and the GPS track was very useful, especially in the whiteouts Apr 13, 2018 - Nearly 51 percent of the park is covered in ice, but there's still plenty to see and do within Kenai Fjords. It’s also beautiful, with a … Photo about Halim park Jeju island South Korea Jejudo the main road view on the stairs from the volcano caves. Harding Icefield Trail. Find high quality stock photos of alaska, people, cultures and places from around the world from popular tourist destinations to remote regions. There are 32 breathtaking glaciers that emerge from the Harding Ice Field. New lands exposed in former glacier beds are at first stony, lacking in soil. We were self conscious about our stinky feet, so Eric set us up with a hose and soap. Exit Glacier, and Harding Icefield, are two beautiful and slightly more accessible areas during the winter season inside Kenai Fjords National Park. Harding Icefield, Kenai National Wildlife Refuge. Change ), You are commenting using your Google account. 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?) 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. ( Log Out /  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. After leaving the Harding Icefield, we continued south on smaller glaciers. 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. We were met at the beach by Caroline and Pat’s friends Eric and Beth, who brought us to Halibut Cove for the night. This is an important part of the process that They found a route through the slabs and set a fixed-line for one steep scramble connecting ledges. Douglas area. The park's headquarters is in Seward. The first oil arrived on April 10. [17], Legislation stalled in Congress during the Watergate scandal, and was not pursued again until the Carter administration. Hey Luc was this trip in April 2019? MODIS, Sentinel 1&2, Landsat, Google Earth, ESRI, etc. Super glad to find you notes on the Grewingk Glaicer, checking some imagery and elevation data it look like it would be difficult to get off the toe of the glacier w/o potentially rappelling into a packraft, but it sounds like the glacier has receded from the lake now even? The crown jewel of this Alaskan park is the 735-square-mile Harding Icefield. You can see the enormous Harding Icefield here, as well as many spectacular icebergs that carved out wondrous fjords. Kiting might be one of the fastest ways to reach Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi‘s state of flow. 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 summer trail took us to a cable car river crossing, and, eventually, the beach. Headlands were the most affected areas. [22] 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. Each time had progressively stronger wind, perfect for learning. Google Earth, GaiaGPS, topo maps and more, Sat comm options, principles of self-rescue, Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window), Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window), Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window), Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window),, Herbaceous plants can grow in areas with better soils, supporting grasses, Nootka lupine, fireweed and other perennial plants. The mystery was resolved when Caroline and Pat noticed that 2 pounds of cheese didn’t make it into the box. The Kenai Fjords area was not considered to be of the first priority for park designation under the ANCSA. For those clients that want to go directly to amazing views and serenity we can modify and land direction on the top. The second half of this retreat happened in the past month, sometime around the middle of March, when the lake was still thoroughly frozen. My favorite Caroline and Pat story is from their trip to Mount Fairweather. Most glaciers in these parks terminate on land, though a few terminate in lakes. [32], The park can be reached from Seward, 130 mi (210 km) south of Anchorage at the southern terminus of the Seward Highway. I felt the same way about Denali. 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). [62][65], The grounding of the oil tanker Exxon Valdez in Prince William Sound on March 24, 1989, produced extensive contamination of the Kenai Fjords coastline. Icefield coverage has declined, with a 3% reduction in coverage over a 16-year study period. Change ), You are commenting using your Facebook account. I appreciated already being a confident skier before introducing the kite. [9] Mining activity centered on Nuka Bay. But Sarah and I looked more like Josh in his clothes, and Mike just looked like Mike. Wasn't planning on anything special, just decided to cruise around. Josh ended up threading a bolt into the drilled hole, with a plastic casing on the bolt that worked as a temporary gasket. Secretary of the Interior Cecil D. Andrus proposed a 410,000-acre (640.6 sq mi; 1,659.2 km2) Kenai Fjords National Park. 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 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. I don’t see a date anywhere. [36] Predominant rock types include shale and graywacke, with greenstone, tuff and chert. Thanks for the update. Nearly 40 glaciers flow from the Harding Icefield, Kenai Fjords' crowning feature. 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. Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: You are commenting using your account. [21] The first park improvements focused on improving access to Exit Glacier. [5] It is a relatively small and accessible park by Alaskan national park standards, about 88% as big as Yosemite National Park. 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!). Mike Mumm drove with us to Seward to recover our two vehicles. If weather conditions permit, take a spectacular walk from Exit Glacier to the Harding Icefield for views of deep crevasses and huge seracs. The park includes the region's deeply indented glaciated coastline and its interior icefields. Some sites had been active into the 1980s. But it will get harder and harder to reach the glacier from the end of the hiking trail. Looking to do this in April. Most glaciers in these parks terminate on land, though a few terminate in lakes. Katmai area and the Mt. In particular, Sitka alder is capable of fixing nitrogen, supporting itself and enriching the soil. Caroline and Pat flew to town so that Caroline could prepare for a book promotion event that evening. Only problem is I’ll be tempted to leave it patched [rather than do a permanent repair.]”. [41], Kenai Fjords National Park is dominated by a glaciated landscape. The tree line at Kenai Fjords is between 750 and 1,000 feet (230 and 300 m) above sea level. Hoodlums… to steal gas. 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. Bay Ski Alaska Mt. That’s a tough question to answer, it depends on the group and time of year. 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). Receive emails with updates & training opportunities, Packraft-specific courses via the Swiftwater Safety Institute. Pat and Josh scrambled above camp to a series of ledges separating bedrock slabs. It is believed that coastal subsidence and rising water levels have inundated many sites, as the shoreline was the place richest in resources for early peoples. The park also features a significant marine environment. 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. Higher alpine regions support a dwarf shrub community less than 1 foot (30 cm) high, at a very slow rate of growth. An ice field (also spelled icefield) is a large area of interconnected glaciers, usually found in a mountainous region. Or, you could hire a guide for the trip. Martin area. 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? The park is named for the numerous fjords carved by glaciers moving … Wildlife thrives in icy waters and lush forests around this vast expanse of ice. 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. 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. In 1973 the Nixon administration proposed the Harding Icefield–Kenai Fjords National Monument as part of the ANILCA legislation. A single ranger was assigned to Seward as a local liaison. The most accessible glacier, and the only portion of the park accessible by road, is Exit Glacier. UW Mailbox 359570. [18] 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. Josh’s truck started up, then died. It was a great traverse! Sorry, your blog cannot share posts by email. The Harding Icefield receives 60 feet (18 m) of snowfall per year. 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. Joe Stock has a nicely documented discussion of this at [9] Archeological surveys have altered the early view that the area was subject to only transient occupation as evidence has accumulated of long-term use. Some of these are on native corporation lands, with a portion of the use fee going to the native community. The proposed monument totaled 300,000 acres (468.8 sq mi; 1,214.1 km2) in three areas: the icefield and two island groups. The park's glaciers have retreated through the twentieth century, exposing new lands to colonization by plant and animal life. [50][51] Cetaceans seen in park waters include orca,[52] fin whale,[53] humpback whale,[54] minke whales,[55] Dall's porpoise[56] and Pacific white-sided dolphin. [40], According to the Köppen climate classification system, Kenai Fjords National Park has a Subarctic climate (Dfc) with cool summers and year around precipitation. [26], Seward is a departure point and destination for large cruise ships from Celebrity Cruises, Holland America Line, Royal Caribbean International and others. The Harding Icefield is an expansive icefield located in the Kenai Mountains of the Kenai Peninsula in Alaska.