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Glacier Bay National Park, Alaska Travel Guide

Complete Vacation, Recreation and Tourism Information

It should come as no surprise to the visitor that there are a lot of Glaciers in Glacier Bay National Park. Located just below the northeast corner of British Columbia, Glacier Bay is open only from May to September and reasonably remote. Consequently, for your own icy reception, be prepared to pay.

Cruise ships drop passengers at Bartlett Cove, still 40 miles from the nearest tidewater glacier, so getting up close enough to see the splash entails joining a high-speed catamaran tour or multi-day trips out of Gustavus, southeast of Bartlett Cove. Some shorter whale-watching and fishing charters are also available.

If you're determined to catch a glacier calving without the crowds there are other options. Small kayaking tours can be arranged out of Bartlett Cove, or some independent travelers bring their own fold-up kayaks along. It is a fairly long paddle to some of the more remote glaciers but drop-offs can be arranged in Bartlett Cove.

Rafting tours down the Tatshenshini and Alsek Rivers offer stretches of class III rapids and at high water some class IV rollers.

Camping is allowed in most parts of the park with free permits. Keep in mind that there are no trails in the backcountry, though most of the area is not off-limits to hikers who don't mind finding their own way and keeping the bears at bay.

Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve is located less than 100 miles west of Juneau and 50 miles southeast of Wrangell-St. Elias National Park and Preserve.


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