Glacier Bay National Park & Preserve

Along the coast of southeast Alaska lie a park and preserve filled with snow- and ice-covered mountain peaks, narrow fjords, bays, harbors, scattered islands, a temperate rainforest of spruces and hemlocks, and numerous glaciers. 

According to Tlingit oral history and investigation, Glacier Bay had been home to the Huna people between periods of glacial advances over thousands of years. A little over 200 years ago, what is now Glacier Bay was then a glacier more than 4,000 feet thick and extended more than 100 miles to the St. Elias Mountain Range. Less than 100 years later, the glacier had retreated 48 miles. Early in the 20th century, it had drawn back 65 miles from the bay's mouth. Such rapid retreat is known nowhere else. Today, icebergs continue to calve (break off) into the bay.

If You Go

Glacier Bay's varied terrain offers an array of activities for both the more and less adventurous. If you plan to get around on foot, bring boots. There are three maintained trails in the park: a short walk through the forest, a five-mile river trail, and a lake trail that passes through a rainforest.

Kayaks are a popular way to explore the coast and backcountry. Rent a kayak and paddle along the extensive shoreline to view wildlife. Inland, if you can navigate the swift, glacial Alsek and Tatshenshini Rivers, you'll be rewarded with marvelous scenery, environmental diversity, and bear, moose, and sheep sightings. Guided day and overnight kayak trips offer structure and supervision. If you prefer a smoother ride, many tour operators conduct day-long cruises around the bay. Several whale-watching excursions promise sightings of humpback, gray, minke, and orca whales.

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Trips

Exploring Alaska's Coastal Wilderness

Cruise aboard National Geographic Sea Bird. Discover a land of fjords and islands teeming with wildlife, featuring a Glacier Bay National Park excursion. Extend your journey into Denali National Park and Preserve. Rooms will be released on October 15. Book by December 31 and receive complimentary round-trip airfare between Seattle and Alaska!

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WHAT DO YOU THINK?

Nick

September 10, 2014

i went to glacier bay for summer it was awesome

joe

January 14, 2014

i love it, i wish i could live there

sally

February 7, 2013

I love the whales and glaciers

Sally

February 7, 2013

I had an amazing time seeing the whales and wildlife. Also I enjoyed hiking the trails.

Maggie

September 12, 2012

Visited Glacier Bay and were on a small boat. Did kayaking. Saw many brown bears and one Glacier (Blue) bear. Saw eagle pairs perched in trees. Whales came so close we could smell their herring breath. Great to visit Gustavus. Next summer we plan to solo kayak the eastern arm. Such an amazing place.

an

December 17, 2011

I loved the trip so much!

John

November 10, 2011

This place is awesome! I went on a carnival cruise and we stayed in the bay awhile just to look at the glaciers. There is a lot of wildlife like killer whales and the glaciers are beautiful! I reccomend this place to any age!

CharB

November 10, 2011

We cruised through Glacier Bay on the Island Princess, almost soundlessly because everyone was in awe. What a wonderful experience. The glaciers were simply breathtaking. We enjoyed the sea otters, whales, etc., but the glaciers themselves defy description. We also enjoyed having park rangers come aboard and educate us about the glaciers and everything we were seeing

Kim

November 10, 2011

We just returned from a cruise on the MS Zuiderdam! The 2 Park Rangers were amazing onboard as they gave commentary on the wonderous scenery we were seeing! Ranger Dave showed us his unbelievable camping trip with a beautiful Black Bear following him along the way. What an incredible place! We will definately return again!!

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