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Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve

Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve - BEST Places to Picnic

PO Box 140
Gustavus, AK 99826-0140

Headquarters, General Information
(907) 697-2230
Recreational Permit Information
(907) 697-2627

Welcome to Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve!

The marine wilderness of Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve includes tidewater glaciers, snow-capped mountain ranges, ocean coastlines, deep fjords, and freshwater rivers and lakes. This diverse land and seascape hosts a mosaic of plant communities and a variety of marine and terrestrial wildlife and presents many opportunities for adventuring and learning about this unique and powerful place.

Your visit to Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve might include a glimpse of a rare bird. Or perhaps a park ranger guided walk through a temperate forest. Or it might be a day sailing up to a tidewater glacier. Or the feel of the warm sun on your back as you raft a wilderness river.

First you have to choose the experience you are looking for. Do you want to spend the day visiting the glacier area of the park? Or climb a mountain? Do you have a few hours or a few days?

Things to Do

Activities in Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve are as diverse as the park and preserve itself. Whether you have a few hours or a lifetime, whether your idea of adventure is a ranger-led walk or a bivouac in a snow cave, there is plenty to do here! This page is intended to help you plan your visit by providing a broad overview of visitor activities, with links to more detailed information for each of them.

Ranger Activities
In Yakutat and Gustavus/Bartlett Cove, the National Park Service provides exhibits, programs, and trails. Rangers also board cruise ships and tour vessels to present information about Glacier Bay and answer questions. Learn more about what to do in and near Yakutat, Gustavus, and Bartlett Cove.

Cruising Glacier Bay
As its name implies, Glacier Bay National Park is largely water. Whether on a cruise ship with thousands of other passengers or in a single kayak, most visitors experience Glacier Bay from a boat. Learn more about cruise ships, tour vessels, charter boats, and bringing your own boat to Glacier Bay.

Wilderness Adventures
Glacier Bay is above all a wilderness park and saves its greatest rewards for those who are willing to sweat a bit and sleep on the ground. Learn more about camping, hiking, backpacking, kayaking, rafting, and mountaineering.

Glacier Bay National Preserve
Glacier Bay National Preserve, northwest of the park, is managed differently than the park. Hunting, trapping, and commercial fishing are allowed here. Learn more about Dry Bay, the Alsek River, the gateway community of Yakutat, and hunting, fishing, and rafting, and mountaineering in the preserve.

Other Activities

Glacier Bay is a photographer's paradise with its abundant wildlife and many moods.

Flightseeing from nearby communities gives an aerial perspective (weather permitting). For a list of air taxi operators that provide flightseeing tours over Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve, see Area Visitor Services.

Birdwatching is a popular activity given the 240 species sighted in the park.

Sport fishing opportunities abound for both fresh and saltwater fish. Alaska State fishing regulations apply, and a valid state fishing license is required.

Did You Know?
There are no roads to Glacier Bay; you can reach the park only by air and water. Most visitors come to the park on large cruise ships.

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