Glacier Bay National Park
Glacier Bay offers limitless opportunities for adventure and inspiration!
Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve is one of Alaska's most spectacular settings! Enjoy lofty mountain peaks, ice-sculptured fjords, an abundance of marine wildlife and, most of all, massive tidewater glaciers. Glacier Bay is a must-stop for most cruise ships sailing north through Southeast Alaska. Glaciery Bay is a 3.3 million acre park know as an icy wilderness.
In 1794 Glacier Bay was surveyed by a crew that described the area as a five-mile indent in a glacier that stretched "as far as the eye could distinguish." In 1879, scientist/naturalist John Muir visited the area and found the ice had retreated more than 30 miles, creating an actual bay. Since that time the glacier has continued to recede at a rapid rate.
In 1925 Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve was named a national monument. The area became a national park and preserve in 1980, and 2.7 million acres received wilderness designation. The park became a biosphere reserve in 1986, and the area was named a world heritage site in 1992.
Today, glaciers cover 27 percent of the Park. There are more than 50 named glaciers of which seven are active tidewater glaciers that calve icebergs into the sea. Two of these glaciers, Johns Hopkins and Margerie Glaciers, are advancing. Encircling the park to the west you can view the Fairweather Range, the highest coastal mountains in the world standing at 15,000 feet.
Marine waters make up nearly one-fifth of Glacier Bay National Park, rich with marine life, including the endangered humpback whale, orcas, threatened Stellar sea lions, harbor seals, sea otters and porpoises. In addition to marine mammals, Glacier Bay is home to a large bear population, both brown and black bears. You could also see the blue glacier bear, a rare color phase of the black. Moose, wolves, Sitka blacktail deer, mountain goats and bald eagle also thrive in Glacier Bay.