World's Best Hikes: Exit Glacier, AK

A guide's guide to her 10 favorite hikes on Earth

Adventure guide Kasey Austin has been in the business since she was six and has traveled extensively in Europe and the Americas. She leads tours of Yellowstone and Alaska for Austin-Lehman Adventures in Montana. Kasey picked 10 of her favorite hikes in the U.S. and worldwide.

Exit Glacier, Near Seward, Alaska
Located in Kenai Fjords National Park, you traverse several mountain ecosystems beginning at the trailhead shaded by towering cottonwood trees then making your way through meadow and forest up to the alpine tundra. After that you are “walking on the moon” over a stark landscape of rock and ice.  This “strenuous” trail takes 6-8 hours to hike, and you’ll gain about 1,000 feet of elevation every mile. As you ascend the trail, take in views of Exit Glacier and the extensive Resurrection River extending into the valley below. Upon reaching the summit (on a clear day), you can see for miles across the Harding Icefield and can spot peaks jutting up out of the ice. You may also see a bear or two on this trail!

8.2 miles, round trip

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