News Release

Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve Modifies Operations to Implement Local Health Guidance

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Date: April 10, 2020
Contact: Margaret Hazen, 907-697-2608

BARTLETT COVE, AK – Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve is announcing additional modifications to operations to support federal, state, and local efforts to slow the spread of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19). 

Effective immediately, the campground and warming hut in Bartlett Cove is closed to campers. Park officials are also changing the time frame for reserving advanced-notice boater permits from 60 days to 14 days prior to entry.

The decision to close the campground comes in response to multiple factors including known community spread of COVID-19 in Juneau, the main community through which virtually all air travel visitors transit to access Gustavus, Bartlett Cove and Glacier Bay proper. Per State of Alaska Health Mandate 12 that went into effect in late March, travel is prohibited between communities in Alaska except to support critical infrastructure or critical personal needs. The state and City of Gustavus also call for mandatory self-quarantine by individuals entering the state, as well as the community of Gustavus.

The dry campground has no handwashing facilities and limited staffing does not allow for routine cleaning of facilities multiple times per day. The park has no control over group composition or origin, or group numbers in tents or sites, and therefore cannot enforce social distancing practices recommended by the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention and mandated by the state. If the campground remains open it is an attractive nuisance inviting Alaskans and visitors to travel from their communities to the park and congregate in campgrounds in violation of state mandates. This emergency closer will be in effective for 60 days from April 6, 2020, the date the order was signed per Chapter 36 of the Code of Federal Regulations Part 13.50.

Citing state and local travel restrictions, as well as closure of the U.S./Canada border to non-essential travel, which includes recreational travel, park officials are shortening the time frame for reserving advance-notice boater permits from 60 days prior to 14 days. Once reserved, advanced-notice permits must be confirmed within 48 hours of scheduled entry. Permits not confirmed through the park’s Visitor Information Station by 10:00 AM on the scheduled date of entry will be canceled and made available for reissue. The goal of this measure is to shorten the time between when the reservation is made and when it might be used to better reflect existing travel restrictions. Information on how to reserve an advanced-notice permit is available at the park website: This provision will remain in effect until further notice.

The health and safety of our visitors, employees, volunteers, and community is our number one priority. The National Park Service (NPS) is working servicewide with federal, state, and local authorities to closely monitor the COVID-19 pandemic. We will notify the public when we resume full operations and provide updates on our website and social media channels.  

If contemplating a visit to a national park during this pandemic, the NPS asks visitors to adhere to guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and state and local public health authorities to protect visitors and employees. As services are limited, the NPS urges visitors to continue to practiceLeave No Trace principles, including pack-in and pack-out, to keep outdoor spaces safer and healthier.

Updates about NPS operations will be posted on Please check with individual parks for specific details about park operations.

About the National Park Service. More than 20,000 National Park Service employees care for America's 419 national parks and work with communities across the nation to help preserve local history and create close-to-home recreational opportunities. Learn more at, and on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and YouTube.

Last updated: April 10, 2020

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Glacier Bay National Park & Preserve
PO Box 140

Gustavus , AK 99826


907 697-2230

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