To the lover of wilderness, Alaska is one of the most wonderful countries in the world. – John Muir
Breathtakingly beautiful and ruggedly wild, Southeast Alaska’s 3.28 million acre Glacier Bay National Park is a remote wilderness with neither trails nor roads to guide explorers. Wildlife is in abundance and one can go for days in this isolated landscape without seeing a sign of another person. There are several activities within the park to truly explore all it has to offer.
A great way to see Glacier Bay is by sea kayaking. There are hundreds of miles of coastline where you can get up close and personal with the sea life: three different whale species, otters, seals and sea lions. For those with little experience kayaking, here is a listing of guides and outfitters.
The high concentration of krill in Icy Strait is the reason so many Humpback whales call this place home. Whale watching in Icy Strait or Pt. Adolphus, via kayaking or boat, is an experience not soon forgotten.
Mountaineers and climbers can self organize or utilize expert mountain guides to attempt the glaciated Fairweather mountain range, the main source of water for the areas’ glaciers. Mount Fairweather is the least climbed, not because of its elevation of 15,325 feet, but because of the long approach and coastal weather.
Glacier Bay National Park not only has big mountains, but also big rivers. The fast moving glacial rivers of Alsek and Tatshenshini start in Canada and head to Glacier Bay offering Class II – IV rapids to give water enthusiasts some of the best white water rafting around.
In this vast park there are only four maintained trails for hiking and they are all located in Bartlett Cove. Once outside this area trails become nonexistent making backpacking more challenging. The reward for those who can endure the terrain is the park at its most wild — lush alpine meadows, deep rain forests and isolated river valleys.
Glacier Bay offers a lot of red meat for explorers looking for untamed wilderness by land and by sea.