Photographs of Seward, Alaska

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I took this shot about 100 yards from our camp and describes our time in Seward. Breaking storms! We finally got some good weather in Seward!

I took this shot about 100 yards from our camp and describes our time in Seward. Breaking storms! We finally got some good weather in Seward!

I’ve already told you about our camp at Hope so in this post I’ll tell you about our camp in Seward. My main goal in going to Seward was to take the short hike back to the Exit Glacier which is a small finger of the Harding Icefield in the Kenai Fjords NP. To find a campsite I searched through the Milepost around Seward and easily found one on mile 3.7 of the Seward Highway (Seward is mile 0). Fortunately, there are several designated campsites along Herman Leirer Rd. Because it’s the road you take to Exit Glacier, it’s well marked and easy to spot; just look for the sign to Exit Glacier.
This is our camp on the river gravel bar looking west toward Exit Glacier (it's just around the corner out of sight). I believe that if you can get access, you can always camp on a gravel bar. There was no water anywhere near us so it's safe and easy driving.

This is our camp on the river gravel bar looking west toward Exit Glacier (it’s just around the corner out of sight). I believe that if you can get access, you can always camp on a gravel bar. There was no water anywhere near us so it’s safe and easy driving.

Along the way there is a section with many designated campsites that are free and available on first-come-first-serve basis. As we drove along all the ones we would have wanted were already taken and I began to worry, but then we came to one with 2 very large boulders blocking it. Since we were running out of options, we stopped to look at it. They boulders had been placed in exactly the right way to leave room for a car or RV to get around them. I have pictures of it at the bottom of the post.
I took this from the river looking east about 100 yards from our camp.

I took this from the river looking east about 100 yards from our camp.

It turns out that it was access to the gravel bar along the river. We walked a 30 feet out to the gravel bar and looked up and down and saw 2-3 people out camped on it and also found a sign saying it was part of the free campsites and listing the rules—one of which was there was an 8 day stay limit. We weren’t going to be there that long so we decided to stay there so we set up camp.
From our camp looking north. I'm using a wide angle to get the whole mountain in. It was huge and beautiful!

From our camp looking north. I’m using a wide angle to get the whole mountain in. It was huge and beautiful! The path to the road was the dark spot in front of us on the left side of the picture.

Most of the rivers in Alaska are glacial and broad wide gravel riverbeds like this one are very common. Over the millennia the river will wander back and forth across the valley turning it all into a gravel bar with numerous channels, most of them now dry. With reasonable caution you can easily drive almost any vehicle on one of these and while we were there we saw several cars searching for a campsite all around it till they found the one they wanted. If you are near Seward, this is THE place to camp! There are beautiful mountains on both sides of the river and at both ends of the valley. Without any doubt, this was the prettiest camp I’ve ever had! The first four pictures in the post are looking at the 4 directions from our camp
This is the mountain directly to the south of us.

This is the mountain directly to the south of us.

Unfortunately we didn’t have internet so we wound up driving into Seward to get it. I need a pretty fast signal with all the photo uploads I do so I ended up going into the Starbucks at the Safeway there to use their WIFI. It worked out fine.
We liked our campsite so much we ended up staying there for 6 nights. The first few were waiting out the rain and then we got lucky and the weather improved and we got some pretty nice days. On one of those we went back and did the hike to Exit glacier. I’ve been to Seward probably a hundred times in my life and yet I’d never seen Exit Glacier before.
Exit Glacier

Exit Glacier

Sometimes that’s the problem with being a local, you never really see your home area. For example, I asked my son if he wanted to a take a flight-seeing trip over Mt. McKinley with me and his answer was, “Why would I; I can go out and see it on any clear day.” And that has always been my thinking as well.” I’ve seen thousands of glaciers, why would I go out of my way to see this one?” This whole trip is basically to do all the “touristy” things I’ve left undone.
Wide shot of Exit Glacier.

Wide shot of Exit Glacier. The great majority of rivers in Alaska are glacial fed. Follow them back and you sill find a glacier. This water is about 33 degrees F. Minutes ago it was ice.

We hiked Exit Glacier and I must admit it was a disappointment. It’s always been a small glacier but recently it has shrunk so much it’s pretty unimpressive. But it’s an easy hike so I didn’t mind. There is a much longer and much more difficult hike to an overview of the Harding Icefield I would have loved to do, but I honestly thought it would do damage to my knee and I am in such poor shape it would have been very difficult.
The town of Seward is tightly squeezed between the mountains and the ocean. I think it is a gorgeous little town! A must-see for any Alaska visit.

The town of Seward is tightly squeezed between the mountains and the ocean. I think it is a gorgeous little town! A must-see for any Alaska visit.

Of course, I’m including some scenery shots of around our camp and the roads around Seward. This time though I’m including some shots of the town of Seward itself because it is one of the prettiest towns I’ve ever been in. As always, I hope you enjoy them.
The town of Seward owns the coastline inside the town and they've turned the whole thing into an RV park. You can park your rigs nose right into the ocean looking across the bay to big, beautiful mountains. There are also plenty of tent sites.

The town of Seward owns the coastline inside the town and they’ve turned the whole thing into an RV park. You can park your rigs nose right into the ocean looking across the bay to big, beautiful mountains. There are also plenty of tent sites.

They also put in plenty of parks for every bodies use. I took this shot from one of the cities parks.

They also put in plenty of parks for every bodies use. I took this shot from one of the cities parks.

This is an area for tent camping right on the coast.

This is an area for tent camping right on the coast.

sew-rvs-use
Camping rates for 2014.

Camping rates for 2014.

This is looking from the road toward the gravel bar. Enough room for a bus or RV if you go slow. But a long rig could high-center or drag it's tail in the dips. You may not be able to go very far.

This is looking from the road toward the gravel bar. Enough room for a bus or RV if you go slow. But a long rig could high-center or drag it’s tail in the dips. You may not be able to go very far.

This is looking out at the road from the gravel bar. Because its a gravel bar there is no chance of getting stuck. But there are some dips you have to work around or avoid. Even a car can go for miles on it though.

This is looking out at the road from the gravel bar. Because its a gravel bar there is no chance of getting stuck. But there are some dips you have to work around or avoid. Even a car can go for miles on it though.

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3 Comments

  1. Bonette

    Loved it !!!n want to correspond with you !……..God Bless

  2. coffeewitholiver

    I don’t know if you will ever see this comment, Bob. I just wanted to say that I love this “going to Alaska” series, and the photographs are beautiful. I spent 5 months in SE Alaska and loved it. Thank you for sharing your trip. 🙂

    • Bob

      Thanks coffeewitholover, I loved that trip! It’s funny how I lived there over 40 years but never di th normal touristy things. Now I have!
      Bob

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