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

    Glacier Bay

    National Park & Preserve Alaska

What's So Special About Glacier Bay?

Getaway to Glacier Bay
If you've ever dreamed of the ice age and wondered how our planet might have looked as it emerged from the grip of massive glaciers, pondered how a river of ice could carve mountains into flour or wanted to watch the birth of an iceberg, then Glacier Bay National Park is the place for you
 

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.

 

 
Glacier Bay science

Natural Laboratory

Botanist William Cooper spearheaded efforts to preserve not only a place to view glaciers, wildlife, and grandeur, but also a living laboratory to study and enjoy through the ages.

  • Glacier Bay offers unexcelled opportunities to study earth's most fundamental geologic processes.
  • A center where researchers from multiple disciplines collaborate to conduct management and ecosystem directed research.
  • What scientists learn at Glacier Bay may one day foretell changes to the region and the world.
 
hope

A Place of Hope

Glacier Bay is a globally significant marine and terrestrial wilderness sanctuary.

  • A place that offers human solitude and a remote wildness that is rapidly disappearing in today's world.
  • A place of hope--for the continued wisdom, restraint, and humility to preserve a sample of wild America, the world as it was.
  • It is part of one of the largest internationally protected Biosphere Reserves in the world, and it is recognized by the United Nations as a World Heritage Site.
 
Discovery

A Place of Inspiration

Long before there were written records of Glacier Bay, there were stories.

  • Tlingit elders told of an ancestral homeland covered by advancing ice. For the Tlingit, Glacier Bay is woven into the tapestry of their lives.
  • Glacier Bay is a powerful place that also inspires cultural expression in the scientist, the artist, the resident, the traveler, and those who make their livelihood from the sea.
  • Glacier Bay continues to offer inspiration as we each endeavor to explore our connections to this dynamic landscape.
 
Dynamic Change

A Land of Dynamic Change

Glacier Bay's story is one of dynamic change in the wake of dramatic glacial movements.

  • Glacier Bay collects many glaciers flowing from the tall surrounding mountains with abundant snowfall.
  • As recently as 1750 a single glacier thousands of feet thick filled what is now a 65-mile long fjord.
  • This glacial retreat has exposed a resilient land that hosts a succession of marine and terrestrial life.
  • Here is an opportunity to see how the physical world shapes the biological.
 
 
 
beach trail
 

Did You Know?

Iceworms do exist!

No hoax, iceworms do exist. These small, threadlike, segmented black worms, usually less than one inch long, thrive in temperatures just above freezing. Observers as far back as the 1880’s reported the tiny worms on the surface of glaciers. When sunlight strikes, ice worms burrow into the ice.