Beardslee Islands

Aerial view of the beardslee islands. Many forested flat islands lie before distant tall mountains.
The Beardslee Islands, a network of small islands and calm waters, lie just north of Bartlett Cove.

NPS Photo

Quick Facts

Scenic View/Photo Spot

This cluster of islands on the east side of Glacier Bay just north of Bartlett Cove was named for Lester Anthony Beardslee, a Captain and later Rear Admiral with the U.S. Navy. Beardlees was in charge of the U.S.S. Jamestown that explored much of the Alexander Archipelago in the 1880s. Today the islands are a popular destination for kayakers during the summer months. Relieved from the weight of the glaciers for the past 250 years, the land of the Beardslee Islands is rising. Shallow passage may only be navigable by kayak at high tide or might be entirely dry. Much of the waters around the Beardslees are non-motorized from 5/1-9/15 and some islands deems critical wildlife habitat are off-limits for landings and/or close approaches by anyone for part or all of the year. Whether traveling under your own steam or with an engine, know the regulations before heading toward the Beardslee.

One of the best ways to explore the Beardslee islands is by kayak. Experience wilderness in its purest form with a quiet kayak trip into the Beardslees. Kayaking in Glacier Bay is no small excursion, be sure to brush up on paddling skills, as well as being aware of tides and weather conditions.

Glacier Bay National Park & Preserve

Last updated: April 1, 2021