Glacier Bay National Park in Alaska’s Inside Passage is located in the southeastern corner and is a marine wilderness-rich area with glaciers, mountains, coastlines, fjords, rivers, and lakes. This popular national park’s land was carved by giant glaciers that once dominated the area’s landscapes. Glacier Bay is constantly changing as glaciers have rapidly receded over the past 200 years. Many believe this is due to global climate change, and Glacier Bay has become a virtual laboratory for scientists studying the phenomenon. All Glacier Bay Alaska tours are best experienced on the water, whether by cruise ship or a small boat tour. The fjords are full of marine wildlife, such as whales, porpoises, sea lions, seals, and otters. The tidewater glaciers are easily accessed by boats, and the retreat of these glaciers opens the lands for numerous plants and animals. Glacier Bay National Park is a highlight for any Southeast Alaska vacation.
The park’s summer season is from late May to early September. Glacier Bay National Parks Headquarters is located in Gustavus, about a 30-minute flight from Juneau. The information desk at the visitor center is open from approximately 11 am to 9 pm—a small plane flight from Juneau accesses Gustavus. A day excursion to Glacier Bay is an option for guests staying in Juneau, and overnight accommodations are available both in the park and Gustavus.
Holland America and other large cruise ships visit Glacier Bay National Park as they sail through the Inside Passage. The official park entrance and Park Ranger headquarters are 8 miles from Gustavus at Glacier Bay Lodge; for guests traveling independently, staying in nearby Gustavus, or on a day trip from Juneau, Glacier Bay National Park cruises depart from Bartlett Cove.
Glacier Bay Lodge is the only lodge within the National Park boundary and consists of a main building with guest rooms on either wing. A sitting area with a fireplace, park interpretive center, gift shop, and restaurant are available to guests. The Gustavus Inn and Bear Track Inn, both located in Gustavus, are the more intimate lodging experiences for visitors to Glacier Bay, although they are not within the park boundary.