Plan your Visit to
Glacier Bay National Park
A Remarkably Beautiful National Park
The process of becoming a national park was quite a long ordeal for Glacier Bay National Park. It started out as a protected preserve in 1925 and throughout the years was expanded to encompass more of the state and by 1980 the area had impressed President Jimmy Carter so much that he decided to dedicate the area as a national park. Since that time visitors throughout the world have enjoyed the opportunity to visit Glacier Bay National Park and do so by arriving in a variety of different ways such as by land, by air, and even by water with many of the Alaska cruise ships making the park a popular port options.
When to go
May – June – July – August – September
Kayaking – Boating – Stunning Vistas – Fishing – Wildlife – Family – Bird-Watching – Day Trip – History – Beach – Hiking
When you arrive at Glacier Bay National Park you may be completely ready for some wilderness excitement, but your first stop will likely be Bartlett Cove. Conservationists have worked diligently to ensure that the entire park maintains its natural beauty by not developing anywhere within. The only exception to that notion is found within Bartlett Cove. This is where you can find the only developed area of the park and many of the initial attractions. Education about the park can be found within the visitor’s center and this is also the area that you want to find if you desire a guided tour by the rangers or want to know what species of animals live within the vast wilderness.
The name Glacier Bay National Park immediately beings up images of water encased by large bodies of ice. That is exactly what a large portion of the park is comprised of, but simply walking around on icebergs can be a bit treacherous, so many people opt to view some of the wilderness by paddling around in a kayak or a canoe. Even if your idea of fun is not taking on the Alaskan waterways in such a small watercraft, there are many different tours that allow you to take in the sites from a much larger vessel and without you having to pilot it.
Many places that we visit give us the ability to go sightseeing whether on foot or by car, but there are few national parks that encourage flight over the park itself. Flightseeing tours however are quite popular within Glacier Bay National Park. There is a lot to be seen in this vast wilderness and your time there may not allow you the opportunity to see all that you want to, but when you go on one of the flightseeing tours you can see much more of the area in a very small amount of time. This is also an ideal option for those that want to explore, yet may not want to actually camp within Glacier Bay National Park.
Huna Tribal House
Many years ago, the Huna tribe inhabited the area that Glacier Bay National Park now sits on. The tribe was displaced by a glacier that moved and took away the main tribal house and in honor of the past, the Huna tribe have rebuilt their tribal house right in Glacier Bay National Forest. The tribe offer visitors a unique view into the lives of their ancestors. They hope to educate future generations about the Native American history that Alaska is famous for. Your visit to Glacier Bay National Forest would not be complete without a visit to the Huna Tribal House.
What You Need to Know
Glacier Bay National Park is a truly unique environment however there are some things that you may want to consider before visiting. One of the most popular aspects of the park is the fact that visitors are encouraged to camp within the park. There are also no camping fees with two options for camping. The first option is to stay at a designated campground within the park. Bartlett Cove Campground is close to all the attractions and has a warming hut, bear resistant food caches, and firewood for the guests. The second option is the backcountry camping. Backcountry campers can choose to trek into the wilderness on foot or be dropped off by the tour boat on the shore of the wilderness.
The choice is yours whether you choose to truly rough it or have some conveniences, but no matter which choice you choose all guests are required to go through an orientation process that takes about 30 minutes. The orientation goes over the rules as to waste disposal and how to properly camp in the Alaskan wilderness. When you visit Glacier Bay National Park you get the chance to see nature how it was meant to be seen, raw and uncut. The trip is well worth the journey getting there.
[rating itemreviewed=”Glacier Bay National Park” rating=”8″ reviewer=”Adventure Review – National Parks” dtreviewed=”27 December 2016″ best=”10″ worst=”0″]The process of becoming a national park was quite a long ordeal for Glacier Bay National Park. It started out as a protected preserve in 1925 and throughout the years was expanded to encompass more of the state and by 1980 the area had impressed President Jimmy Carter so much that he decided to dedicate the area as a national park.[/rating]
Download a Glacier Bay National Park Map
Planning a trip to Glacier Bay National Park? Be sure to download the official Glacier Bay National Park map, below, or use our interactive maps to find restaurants, hotels, or activities along the route of your choosing in and around the park. Either way, don’t leave home without a map of Glacier Bay National Park. This free Glacier Bay National Park map shows park roads, attractions, and more.
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Official Glacier Bay National Park Map – Click on the Map to download