5 Best Hikes in Seward, Alaska

Looking for the best hikes in Seward? Seward is a beautiful city nestled between the mountains and the ocean with plenty of hiking trails that offer incredible views of the surrounding glaciers and fjords.

As the gateway to Kenai Fjords National Park, Seward is located 120 miles south of Anchorage, which is a 2.5-hour drive.

In this post, I’m going to share the best Seward hiking trails and directions on how to get to each one.

5 Best Hikes in Seward, Alaska

Traditional Land: Alutiiq (Sugpiaq); (Visit Native-Land.ca to identify whose land you live, work, and play on.)


1. Harding Icefield

Distance: 8.2 miles roundtrip
Time: 8 hours
Elevation Gain: 3,500 feet
Difficulty: Difficult

The Harding Icefield Trail is an 8.2-mile roundtrip glacier hike near Anchorage. You’ll climb the valley through cottonwood and alder forests until you make it well above treeline to a breath-taking view of the 700-square-mile Icefield.

The Harding Icefield trail can be challenging as you gain 1,000 feet of elevation with every mile.

The trail starts at the Exit Glacier Nature Center parking lot. This is actually the only land access into Kenai Fjords National Park, and the main reason the national park exists today.

Read the full trail guide: Hike Harding Icefield Trail in Seward

How to get to Harding Icefield Trail From Anchorage:

From Anchorage, head south on the Seward Highway. Follow the Seward Highway to Seward. Turn right onto Herman Leirer Road and continue onto Exit Glacier Road. Follow the road to the end and you will see the trailhead parking.

Hike Harding Icefield Trail in Seward Alaska Kenai Fjords National Park
Harding Icefield

2. Exit Glacier

Distance: 2.5 miles roundtrip
Time: 1 hour
Elevation Gain: 300 feet
Difficulty: Easy

Exit Glacier is an easy and popular hike in Seward with a well-maintained trail to follow. It’s a great option for families with small children.

The trail takes you along the banks of the glacial outflow and through the forest. It’s another great trail to visit in the Kenai Fjords National Park, which has no entrance fee.

How to get to Exit Glacier Trail From Anchorage:

From Anchorage, head south on the Seward Highway. Follow the Seward Highway to Seward. Turn right onto Herman Leirer Road and continue onto Exit Glacier Road. Follow the road to the end and you will see the trailhead parking.

Glacier Hikes Near Anchorage, Exit Glacier and Harding Icefield
Exit Glacier in Winter

3. Lost Lake Trail

Distance: 16 miles one-way
Time: 8 hours
Elevation Gain: 2,000 feet
Difficulty: Moderate

Lost Lake Trail follows an alpine ridge full of lakes and vistas. You can either start from the Lost Lake side or the Primrose side.

You’ll start off in the rainforest and gradually climb above the treeline to open landscapes. You can see everything from lakes and waterfalls to glaciers.

This trail is best used from June to September but you should check conditions because the trail may still be covered in snow.

Related: 9 Best Alaska Backpacking Trails to Thru-Hike

How to get to Lost Lake Trail From Anchorage:

From Anchorage, head south on the Seward Highway and stay left towards Seward. Turn right onto Scott Way which turns into Rough Drive. Turn left onto Heather Lee Lane. Turn right onto Hayden Lane. Continue to the Lost Lake Trailhead.

Lost Lake Trail Dale Clemens Seward Alaska
Lost Lake Trail

4. Mt. Marathon

Distance: 4.1 miles roundtrip
Time: 3 hours
Elevation Gain: 3,022 feet
Difficulty: Difficult

Mt. Marathon is a popular mountain race in Seward, Alaska that usually takes place over Fourth of July. The Hikers Trail or the Jeep Trail is the recommended route to the top.

The first mile is steep and rocky. You’ll follow the treeline, through a meadow and you’ll be rewarded with views of Seward, Resurrection Bay, and the Gulf of Alaska from the summit.

How to get to Mt. Marathon in Seward:

From Anchorage, head north on the Glenn Highway. Follow the Glenn Highway until Mile Post 147. Turn right towards the Byers Lake Campground.

5. Caines Head

Distance: 4.5 miles one-way
Time: 4 hours
Elevation Gain: 200 feet
Difficulty: Easy

Caines Head State Recreation Site has a coastal path that will take you from Lowell Point to Derby Cove, North Beach, Fort McGilvray, South Beach, and Rocky Point.

The coastal trail from Lowell Point to North Beach is about 4.5 miles one-way but you can hike to the other points beyond it. There are a few public use cabins you can reserve along the trail.

In order to hike to Caines Head, you need to know how to time your trip around Seward tides because it can only be accessed at low tide.

Read more: Hike Caines Head Callisto Canyon Cabin in Seward During Low Tide

How to get to Caines Head State Recreation Area From Anchorage:

Once you reach Seward, continue along the highway through the end of town before taking a right on Lowell Point Road. Take a left on Border Ave. and take a right on Pinnacle View Rd. Tonsina Point State Recreation Site will be on your right.

Callisto Canyon Cabin Caines Head
Callisto Canyon Cabin in Caines Head

Happy hiking!


More Hiking Trails in Seward

Other hiking trails in Seward are Bear Lake and Mt. Alice.

Where to Eat in Seward

The closest restaurants I would recommend can be found in Seward.

  • The Cookery
  • The Highliner
  • Mermaid Grotto
  • Zudy’s Cafe

Read More

Hike Harding Icefield Trail in Seward

Hike Caines Head Callisto Canyon Cabin in Seward During Low Tide

9 Best Alaska Backpacking Trails To Thru-Hike

Alaska Travel Guide


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Looking for the best hikes in Seward? Seward is nestled between the mountains and the ocean. It's located 120 miles south of Anchorage and it's the gateway to Kenai Fjords National Park. Check out these 5 best hiking trail in Seward Alaska, which is the gateway to Kenai Fjords National Park. From day hikes to overnight backpacking trips, you'll want to plan your adventure travel now. #alaskatravel #hiking #alaska

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