We used this service to get our group of six from downtown Seward to Exit Glacier, because we did not have wheels of our own. ... Exit Glacier Guides. LeConte was an ideal glacier to study because it is really accessible for a tidewater glacier, Sutherland said. alaskan exit glacier. If you have the money and means, sailing from landscape to landscape, with day stops to hike and take in the views, is the most relaxing way to explore Alaska’s wild. If you turn the knob of climate up, like with climate change, says Sutherland, you increase the temperature of water and air and you will certainly get more melting. Exit Glacier, which the Park Service says got over 181,500 visitors last year, is not Alaska's only walk-up glacier, albeit with a walk that has been getting longer as the glacier shrivels. Exit Glacier (Seward, Alaska) This is a great choice for families to hike together. ... 405 4th Ave Exit Glacier Guides, Seward, AK 99664. Today, nearly 51 percent of the park is covered by ice. by Todays Alaska Team | May 7, 2019 | Experiencing Alaska | 0 comments. showed glaciatial striations & crevasses. Your email address will not be published. Start planning your next cruise vacation by selecting a destination and departure port. Looking for exercise, animals, and gorgeous views? Sometimes that meant the boat suddenly had to retreat from the face of the glacier, while scientists crossed their fingers that the equipment wasn’t sheared off into the water. Excellent chance of seeing black bears. Glacial ice is an amazing thing. The Exit Glacier hike gives people of all skill levels a few different options to see one of Alaska's most easily reached glaciers. Exit Glacier and its stream contain more than what may meet the eye. [citation needed] Exit Glacier got its name in 1968 when the first mountaineering party to successfully cross the icefield used it as the most convenient way down. Exit Glacier Nature Center. Some hikes are also wheelchair accessible. If a big block of ice is sitting in a bathtub and nothing else is going on, it would just be melting at a background rate. Oceanographers then had to know how quickly the sonar traveled through the fjord water to make accurate calculations. Exit Glacier has become an icon of climate change. 15 Things To Know Before Visiting Exit Glacier Alaska 1) Exit Glacier and the Harding Icefield Are Conveniently Located And Easy To Get To. Trails are quite literally everywhere, each with ample opportunity to see the local wildlife. They “babysat” a delicate radar instrument to measure the natural movement of the glacier. Whether you’re looking for a fun adventure or you’re looking to relocate, Today’s Alaska has the information you need to plan ahead. Go north from Anchorage on the Glenn Highway and at Mile 102, you can drive down to Glacier Park. Concerns regarding the issue of climate change and, in particular, the rapid retreat of glaciers around the world, have placed great importance on glacial monitoring. As we mentioned above, it’s also one of the most profound examples of the impacts of climate change in all of the National Park Service. Exit Glacier and the surrounding ice and snow are perfect for cross-country skiing, snowmobiling, or riding – carefully – an ATV. We've had a perfect safety record for 14 years, because of the care and attention we give to the training of each of our guides. Certain outfitters offer tours. These “glaciers can change much more quickly than valley glaciers because of the processes that are happening right where the glacier flows into the ocean,” says Amundson. These can cost anywhere between $200 to $600, but the views are absolutely unbeatable, and you have the opportunity to see up close areas that would be far too dangerous to visit in person. Urbanization in the area is depleting the resources these migratory birds need during their trek to nesting grounds in northern Canada and in Alaska. “When you aren’t wishing for better weather…it was a pretty awesome place to be,” says Sutherland. Learn a little more about the park by participating in a ranger-led program, which occur daily during the summer.. Option to backpack and camp overnight. “To be able to scan an entire glacier face repeatedly over the summer is not easy,” says Eric Rignot, a glaciologist at the University of California, Irvine who was not involved with the study. They calculated that the glacier melted underwater at a rate of almost 5 feet per day in May and up to 16 feet per day in August. Glaciers are an inherently dangerous environment, and Exit Glacier is no exception. Just a ten-minute drive out of Seward and open year-round, the Exit Glacier in Kenai Fjords National Park is among Alaska’s most accessible ice fields. Er führt entlang eines Flusses, vorbei an herrlichen Aussichtspunkten und es gibt schöne Wildblumen und oftmals Wildtiere zu sehen. In a new study published today in Science, a team of oceanographers and glaciologists unpeeled a new layer of understanding of tidewater glaciers—glaciers that end in the ocean—and their dynamic processes. otzi's name/age Photo by Phillip Sauerbeck on Unsplash. Exit Glacier Alaska is considered a “drive-up” glacier and one of the most popular visited Alaskan glaciers due to the convenience of getting to it. The hike itself was fairly easy and the trail is well marked. Their noting of the glacier’s retreat several years ago alerted scientists at the University of Alaska Southeast, piquing interest in better understanding melting at the glacier. Alaska's Glacier Names. A car, however, isn’t your only option. It’s part of Alaska’s Kenai Fjords National Park and home to a wild variety of animals and birds including mountain goats, bears, moose, eagles, and marmots. 1013 3rd Ave Seward Ak 99664. 13 Restaurants within 0.3 miles. Scientists spent weeks aboard the boat working 24 hours a day, with each scientist taking 12-hour shifts. You probably won’t strike it rich, but you’ll get a glimpse of what hundreds of Americans sought and experienced over a century ago when rumors of riches in Alaska spread through the lower 48. No matter your capacity, there’s a way to enjoy the glacier’s beauty. If trails aren’t your thing, don’t fret – there are dozens of exciting things to do around the glacier and in Kenai. The first successful attempt was in 1968, an attempt that succeeded in part because people finally realized that smaller, one- and two-person expeditions just weren’t going to do the job. Mountain goats scrambled on ridges above and whales frequented the fjord, with seabirds dipping into the water. One of the most popular glaciers in all of Alaska is also one of the smallest.Alaska is home to dozens upon dozens of glaciers, and nearly 40 of them reside in the Harding Icefield, the largest continuous stretch of glacier, snow, and cold in the United States. Usually less than 6 degrees Celsius, water in LeConte Bay is warm relative to the ice, and even other fjords around the world. Start studying Alaska. Ice near the glacier face can move almost 75 feet per day and knowing this speed is essential to calculate melting. Finding higher rates of submarine melting tells us that “glaciers are a lot more sensitive to ocean change than we’ve even thought.” Understanding the melting processes and calculating the amount of melt accurately is essential for planning for sea level rise. Hike as much or as little as you feel like because this is an out and back. From the 80-foot MV Stellar, oceanographers performed sonar surveys underwater, like the ones used to measure ocean depths. Just make sure to keep your distance because these gigantic deer are famously cantankerous. ... much shorter than ice sheets of antarctica/greenland because of small size. 14. The answer, frankly, is that it’s unforgettable – provided you do a little work first. But a warming climate accelerates glacier melting across the globe, potentially through melting across the surface of the glacier, but also through underwater melting. Some of this calving and glacial melt is a normal process that glaciers undergo during seasonal transitions from winter to summer, and even through the summer. A party of ten determined explorers made it across the field in the spring, finally crossing Exit Glacier’s 400-ft. high point to make it to shore on the Kenai Peninsula. “It’s a real call to action,” to better understand how these systems work. Students at Petersburg High School near LeConte Bay started collecting data about the position of the glacier’s terminus in 1983. The 7 Night Northbound Alaska & Hubbard Glacier visits Vancouver, British Columbia; Ketchikan, Alaska; Sitka, Alaska; Juneau, Alaska; Skagway, Alaska and Seward, Alaska. Calculating how fast a glacier melts requires more finesse than measuring a melting ice cube in a glass of water. If you’re looking to start exploring Alaska’s wilderness and national parks, this is the place to begin. This stunning short film examines the glacier’s dramatic impact through the voice of local guide Rick Brown. Any one of the guided hikes around the glacier can teach you about the history, flora, fauna, and ecology of the area. Because of the close proximity of our Alpine locations, we are able to offer these trips at what are the most competitive price points in Alaska. The Exit Glacier Trail ranks as one of the most popular hiking options in Kenai Fjords, in part because the Exit Glacier is one of the most accessible valley glaciers in all of Alaska. Scientists repeated their observations during two summers, obtaining multiple scans each trip. This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. Tidewater glaciers, like this one in Alaska, experience underwater melting 100 times faster than scientists previously estimated from theoretical models. We hiked to Exit Glacier with a group while staying in Seward. Exit Glacier Trail ist ein 2.2 Meilen langer, stark besuchter Rundweg in der Nähe von Seward, Alaska. You might see some ice climbers exploring this accessible glacier face. “These glaciers aren’t getting lost that fast…they’ll be around for decades to come,” says Sutherland. -Speed of a glacier may be anything from a few cm/day to 30m/day in steep slope, thick ice and warm temperatures. No … Exit Glacier Trail ist ein 2.2 Meilen langer, stark besuchter Rundweg in der Nähe von Seward, Alaska. Wildflowers and salmonberry in season. Some of it can be thousands of years old, something that sat dormant underneath the tons of ice that make up the Icefield. In Seward, Alaska, Exit Glacier is melting at an astonishing rate. 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. Day 5 Seward. Take a personal tour of the Exit Glacier area with former Chief Interpretive Park Ranger for this area, Doug Capra. The Exit Glacier isn’t the only sight to see in the area. Lichens and pioneer plants colonize rock and silt close to the ice. Instead of directing the sonar toward the ocean floor, though, they angled the sonar to collect the 3D underwater portion of the glacier face. Exit Glacier: on foot. This ice-free corridor also provided one route for humans to … Fortunately, scientists have some time to figure it out. After a day of hiking Exit, this might be just what the doctor ordered. The glacier is close to shore and sits roughly 407 feet above sea level. Once there you can touch and explore the 4 mile wide face of the glacier. Remember, The Edge of the Glacier Trail is accessible to the disabled, and still provides some of the best views. (There is a day use fee, just so you are prepared.) Exit Glacier is one of the best places in the world to see nature overtake ice. Exit Glacier is, as we mentioned, close to shore, and while a hike atop the glacier will give you the best vista, touring the shore from a kayak has sights you won’t find anywhere else. The Exit Glacier is especially notable for being a drive up glacier (similar to the Mendenhall Glacier of Juneau). Consider Marmot Meadows, which should tire you out in three good hours of beauty and stamina. 2020 National Geographic Partners, LLC. 8. Best nearby. The Harding Icefield Trail will take a full day, and not simply because it’s long, but because it’s high – you’ll be walking well over half a mile in altitude as the trail arches to its high point, far above Exit’s 400 feet. From the datasets, researchers were able to calculate a total melting rate for the underwater portion of the glacier: two orders of magnitude higher than they expected. When a plume of freshwater from surface melt enters the fjord, it hits the fjord close to the glacier face. Exit Glacier, however, is accessible all year round from a paved highway. There’s a hike for everyone, no matter your age or physical ability. Further “basic” measurements of water properties, like salinity and temperature, were necessary, Sutherland explained. A great variant of the helicopter tour is the bear-watching helicopter tour, which offers the same views, but with an eye towards seeing Alaskan grizzlies up close. Explore our cruise itineraries and choose from a variety of rooms depending on your needs and budget. This stunning short film examines the glacier’s dramatic impact through the voice of local guide Rick Brown. Guided by a ranger, it’s one of the most popular trails in Kenai. The trails are a bird-watcher’s paradise, providing clear views of warblers, magpies, jaybirds, larks, swallows, and several different types of owls. COVID Closure: Due to the Governor’s instructions issued 11/12/2020, both the Father Andrew P. Kashevaroff building (APK) in Juneau and the Sheldon Jackson Museum in Sitka are closed to the public through December 15th.Staff will continue to serve the public by e-mail and phones.Watch this space for updates. Introduction: The Portage Glacier, in south-central Alaska, is viewed by thousands of visitors annually who come to the U.S. Forest Service Begich, Boggs Visitor Center located on the road system between Anchorage and Whittier, Alaska. The glacier’s retreat is a smooth transition from one ecology to another. 4. Constant noise and making sure you don’t present a curious new smell, will keep them far afield of your presence. Bears are curious, but solitary, and would much rather avoid you than anything else. The more buoyant freshwater rises to the surface and then undercuts, or erodes the glacier face. One of the most popular ways to visit the park and glacier is by cruise. We don't have novice glacier guides leading our trips, ever. It’s ruggedly inaccessible with the easiest ways to see it by air [see my Harding Icefield page] or by sea [see my Kenai Fjords page].. Alaska is home to dozens upon dozens of glaciers, and nearly 40 of them reside in the Harding Icefield, the largest continuous stretch of glacier, snow, and cold in the United States. Exit Glacier has retreated nearly 200 feet in the past few years, and the lower trails around the ice show a clear pattern of melting and loss over the past century. But if you guessed that Exit Glacier gets its name from its retreat, you’d be wrong – but good try. The trail affords several excellent views of the glacier itself. Wildlife hikes, however, account for only half of the glacier’s interest. Glaciers have a reputation of being hard to reach, but you can drive right up to the Exit Glacier of the Harding Ice Fields! Too much ice in front of the glacier means “the boat can’t push through the ice,” says Rignot. A complex environment, the project required so many lines of data that teams of oceanographers and glaciologists collected data simultaneously at the glacier. There is a 15-20 minute hike to the face of glacier. “They’ve really discovered that the melt that’s happening is fairly dramatically different from some of the assumptions we’ve had,” says Twila Moon, a glaciologist at the National Snow and Ice Data Center at the University of Colorado-Boulder who was uninvolved with the study. You'll also get to see Kenai Fjords National Park. READ MORE: OUR GUIDE TO ALASKA’S TOP 5 NATIONAL PARKS. 1. She compares the ice movement to squeezing a tube of toothpaste: Once your toothpaste gets to the very end, it doesn’t have any other toothpaste blocking its progress, so it moves more quickly. This is important because at very cold temperatures the battery can freeze. Prior to that expedition, Exit Glacier had been called Resurrection Glacier. Underneath the dirt, silt, and water lies something unbelievably old, powerful, dense, and valuable… Blue Gold! Glacial ice accelerates as the ice approaches the front of the glacier, where it drops into the ocean, said Moon. Destruction of a wetland habitat along the Platte River in Nebraska has threatened an important feeding ground for the sandhill crane. It was “pretty simple in my head, and sounded good on paper,” laughs Sutherland. No matter how you measure it, the area is enormous, containing some 300 square miles of glacier (or over 1,000 square miles, if you count all the glacial ice that drains off from the central body). Time-lapse cameras were used to measure glacier flow so that they knew how fast the ice moves toward the ocean, says Jason Amundson, a glaciologist and co-author of the study at University of Alaska Southeast. If you’re simply touring the kennel, prices are cheaper, but if you’re actually riding with the dogs on the ice, you’ll likely be paying anywhere from $500 to $1,000. A short, easy hike from the visitors’ center will take you right up to Exit Glacier. One of the most popular glaciers in all of Alaska is also one of the smallest. You’ll have to make that judgment yourself, of course, but the overwhelming consensus of previous visitors is excitement and appreciation. 1. The name comes from the first successful expedition across the larger body of ice to which it belongs. Primarily a massive ice sheet, Greenland has about 200 outlet glaciers, but the water there is much colder compared to the temperature in LeConte Bay. Wait for Too Long, and You Might Miss It, Popular Types Of Fish In Alaska And How To Identify Them, Everything You Need To Know About Fly Fishing In Alaska, What Is A Float Plane: The Star Of Alaska’s Flying Fleet, Fly Fishing Basics Everyone Needs To Know: Beginner Tips And Tricks, What to Expect from Alaska Seaplane Tours When You Book One. Its height is slowly shrinking each year as the climate warms. This trail takes about a half hour to complete, and it’s easy enough for hikers of all abilities – including, if you take your time, hikers in their 60s and 70s. Board an Alaska Railroad train for a scenic day trip to the port town of Seward, Alaska. You’re probably wondering why you should even visit. 9. All three are allowed if conditions aren’t dangerous, and few things are better than taking in the views and sights from the comfort and speed of an ATV trail. The really cool part of the new method, said Sutherland, is that you can pinpoint the exact location where higher melt occurs. You’re welcome to wander the trails yourself, but a ranger-led walk is a far better option for anyone wanting to learn about glacial ecosystems. Exit Glacier, which the Park Service says got over 181,500 visitors last year, is not Alaska's only walk-up glacier, albeit with a walk that has been getting longer as the glacier shrivels. Simultaneously, a team of glaciologists camped on a ridge overlooking the glacier. “Submarine melting may matter everywhere,” says Enderlin. Greenland experiences surface melt as well as melting by tidewater glaciers. There’s More to Do than You Can Imagine, 10. Exit is still shrinking. Only three of the eight national parks in Alaska are accessible by car, and one of those three is still so remote that driving there is difficult for anything less than four-wheel drive. A new way of measuring how some glaciers melt below the surface of the water has uncovered a surprising realization: Some glaciers are melting a hundred times faster than scientists thought they were. Alaskan glaciers melting 100 times faster than previously thought, https://www.nationalgeographic.com/environment/2019/07/alaskan-glaciers-melting-faster-than-previously-thought.html, collecting data about the position of the glacier’s terminus, Alaskan glaciers primarily experience surface melt. “A considerable amount of ice that gets pushed out into the ocean melts right there where it’s in contact with the ocean…so that glacier is actually losing a lot of mass due to that melting,” says Enderlin. At over 1,100 square miles, the Harding Icefield is the largest such formation in the United States. Seward Hotels with Free Parking Pet Friendly Hotels in Seward Seward Hotels with Pools Thick stands of alder with some willow come next, followed by black cottonwood forest that slowly gives way to shade-tolerant mountain hemlock. If you’re tired of driving, however, consider…. 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