Places To Visit In Glacier Bay National Park

Glacier Bay National Park has some of the world’s most attractive tidewater glaciers. This national park covers about 3.3 million acres filled with glaciers, rugged mountains, wild coastlines, deep sheltered fjords, and temperate rainforests. It is the best park for plant succession where no other parks can compete with it. The two major arms of Glacier Bay National Park are the East Arm and the West Arm. It also has more than 50 named glaciers. 

Most of the people come to the national park by a cruise ship that heads up West Arm, towards the Margerie Glacier. There are many glaciers in this national park like Caroll, Raid, Lamplugh, and Johns Hopkins glaciers. Animals like mountain goats, whales, moose, seals, brown and black bears, eagles, and many other species of birds are found in the Glacier Bay National Park.

Bartlett Cove

The only developed area in the Glacier Bay National Park, Bartlett Cove. Before 200 years, Bartlett Cove faced the snout of a long glacier which is about 100-miles. You have many options to explore this place as you can get the information about the area on your own, or with a group, or you can be as a part of rangers guided talk or hike. The beauty of Bartlett Cove and the activities that take place in this area is worth discovering. This place is accessed by a plane or boat through the town of Gustavus. 

The Outer Coast

The Outer Coast is remote, wild, and it is visited rarely by people. But it provides amazing offers for the people who wish to enjoy the challenges by exploring the wilderness. For visitors who are not interested in having this trip can take a flight over this area for the best scenic view and it is an awesome Alaskan experience. It is about 600 miles of wilderness coastline to explore, where the glaciers touch the Pacific Ocean and you can see the bears roaming around the shore. 

Visitor Centers

If you want to learn about the park, plan your visit, watch a film, meet a park ranger, browse the bookstore- you can stop by the park facilities and collect more information about the Glacier Bay National Park. 

Glacier Bay National Park Visitor Center

  • Location– On the second floor of Glacier Bay Lodge in Bartlett Cove, 10 miles from Gustavus.
  • Hours– Staffed by a Glacier Bay Park Ranger daily from 11:00 am to 4:30 pm. The desk might be closed from 1:15 pm to 3:15 pm during a guided ranger walk.  It is kept open for 24 hours.
  • Special Programs- During Summer, park rangers show films about the park, lead walks, and offer a Healing Totem Talk in the evening.
  • Exhibits that are about the park’s natural and cultural history are available in the Visitor Center.
  • Other Features– Information desk, an Alaska Geographic bookstore, underwater hydrophone listening station, and quiet reading area.

The Bay

As the name suggests, Glacier Bay National Park is full of water. Most of the area within the park is mountainous that is covered with thick rainforest, without any roads or trails. Few visitors take a hike, raft, or climb the mountains and many other visitors travel by saltwater. It is a fantastic place and exploring Glacier Bay by boat is a perfect idea. Sailboats, cabin cruisers, yachts, and skiffs have wild expanses along with sheltered coves to explore. If you wish to travel by water on your own, you can see kayaking in Glacier Bay. 

Glacier Bay is the natural waterway that starts from Alaska’s Inside Passage and goes to the tidewater glaciers which are the park’s main attractions. The park’s inlets, branches, lagoons, passages, and islands provide limited opportunities for exploration. Most visitors explore Glacier Bay from a boat and enjoy the scenery from the deck f the cruise ship along with passengers or by paddling a single kayak via inlets. 

Dry Bay: Glacier Bay National Preserve

Glacier Bay National Preserve lies along Glacier Bay’s outer coast which is about 50 miles southeast of the isolated village of Yakutat. It is surrounded by large and spectacular wildlands that are about 55,000 acres. The preserve is very popular for fishing, hunting,  and other activities. Glacier Bay National Preserve is along with Alsek Lake to the north, the Gulf of Alaska to the south, Deception Hills to the east, and the Alsek River to the west.

Community of Gustavus

Gustavus is considered to be the gateway to the Glacier Bay National Park which is located 48 air miles west of Alaska’s State Capital, Juneau which is in Southeast Alaska. The community of Gustavus is surrounded on three sides of the park. 

It spreads across the extensive plain area created by glaciers and is surrounded by mountains and icefields on three sides and the ocean on the fourth side. You can spend your time in this place with your family and can also explore Alaska at its finest. 

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