• Sunset view of Glacier Bay and the surrounding Fairweather Mountains.

    Glacier Bay

    National Park & Preserve Alaska

Welcome to the Naturalist Blog

June 25, 2013 Posted by: Ranger Amanda

 As a seasonal interpretive park ranger I am lucky enough to live, work, and play in Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve.  3.3 million acres of mountains, glaciers, and ocean make up my back yard. I live on the edge of two drastically different worlds.  It is easy to paddle out into a remote wilderness where I am unlikely to see another human being.  During the work week I am an ambassador for the harbor seals, tufted puffins, even for the glaciers themselves aboard cruise ships visiting the park.  My colleagues and I board vessels to provide context for visitors during their explorations of Glacier Bay.

cruise visitors

I am often asked what brought me all the way out here to live and work in such a remote national park as Glacier Bay.  Initially the remoteness, beauty, and wildness of this place attracted my attention.  Now that I am here I am beginning to understand how truly significant Glacier Bay is.  It is in natural settings like those found here that I learn lessons the most profound and personal.  In Glacier Bay I am able to fully connect to our world.  Whether paddling a kayak through bergy bits (smaller versions of icebergs) in front of a glacier or hiking through the forest in Bartlett Cove it seems that time could very well stop moving.  The only reminders of time's passage in the forest are the playful dance of rays of light around tree trunks and the occasional trills of a bird.  As you eventually slow to natural speed you begin to notice a tiny spider diligently tending its web.  The world around you shifts into focus.  Your regular world of worries and next weeks fades into obscurity.  You become fascinated with the abundant life all around and notice that you even feel more alive.

mossy forest


Did You Know?

Red Squirrel

A red squirrel eats the seeds of about 144 spruce cones each day. This diet allows red squirrels to thrive in the spruce-dominated forests of Lower Glacier Bay. How many spruce cones do you eat each day?