Wednesday morning we headed into Kenai Fjords national park on the only car-accessible entrance, the Exit Glacier. This was just up the road from our cabin, so we had a decent head start on most of the crowd in Seward, and by the end of the day we were glad to have it. The weather today was far better than yesterday. Mostly sunny skies with a high in the upper 60’s. We couldn’t have asked for much better.
Exit Glacier is one of the many glaciers that feeds off of the Harding Ice Field, which forms the core of Kenai Fjords. There is a trail that leads to the ice field. It’s over 8 miles round trip, and climbs about 2000 feet from the trail head. We made it about half way up, to a location called Marmot Meadows. At this point, there were signs warning hikers that an avalanche had covered the trail ahead and only those with avalanche training should proceed. Even though it appeared to be an obsolete warning, we decided this was a good place to turn around.
We did get a nice viewpoint of the glacier from the meadows though. We had a few minutes to snap a family photo and a few other pics, when suddenly the crowds started arriving. This trail is far less crowded than the main glacier overlook, which is shorter and flatter, but still, we hit several traffic jams on the way down the trail.
After the hike, we went back into town for lunch at the Smoke Stack, which is located in the Train Wreck commons, and every bit as colorful as the names imply. The kitchen is essentially a food truck, but built into an old railroad car rather than an automobile. The food was good though, and the setting at the north end of Seward harbor was tough to beat.
With tired legs and full stomachs, it was time to make the drive to Homer and the west side of the Kenai penninsula. More to come!