I’ve had a lot of questions this past year about Glacier Bay, where it is located, and the what makes Glacier Bay such a mecca for glacier enthusiasts. Southeast Alaska has what seems like endless amounts of shorelines, waterways and fjords. Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve lies west of Juneau, AK and can only be reached by plane or boat. The small town of Gustavus lies at the entrance of the Bay, and acts as the parks gatekeeper so to speak.
There seems to be confusion between two equally magnificent Alaska Ice fields. The Brady Ice field feeds all of the Glaciers that enter into Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve, which covers 5,130 square miles. Glacier Bay is highly regulated on how many vessels can enter the national park every day. These regulations are put in place to protect both the marine life, and the environment. Even with this distinction, or maybe even because of this distinction, hundreds of thousands of tourists visit this beautiful area each summer. Most notably, Glacier Bay has 7 tidewater glaciers that actively calve into the saltwater at sea level. Cruise ships that enter into the park normally “park” a safe distance away from the calving glaciers and allow tourist ample time to enjoy themselves while taking pictures and videos of all the action. The National Park Service has done a great job detailing and defining exactly what Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve is, and how and why it’s protected.
If you have more questions about Glacier Bay, or how it compares to the other geographical locations in Southeast Alaska, hit me up. I’ll be following up with more blogs covering this topic too.