Thing to Do

Kayak the Beardslees

an aerial image of the beardslee islands on a clear day

If you’re visiting Glacier Bay on a budget, one of the more accessible wilderness areas of the park is the Beardslee Islands. Knowledge of current tides and conditions will afford you the experience of a lifetime, within close proximity to Bartlett Cove. Wildlife abounds in this protected group of islands that are slowly rising from the water every year. Birds, marine and land mammals teem in this interplay of ocean and land geography.

Kayak or camp in pristine waters and islands!

1-3 Days
Pets are allowed on land in only a few select areas within the Bartlett Cove Developed Area, and may not be left unattended. Your pet must be leashed or physically restrained at all times. Pets are not allowed on trails, beaches, or anywhere in the backcountry, with the exception of pets that remain on board private vessels on the water.
Entrance fees may apply, see Fees & Passes information.
Beardslee Islands
Year Round
Tides are an important factor when planning a kayak adventure. Be sure to check tide predictions or speak with a ranger before embarking on your paddle.
Accessibility Information
There are no facilitites for boaters outside of the Bartlett Cove Developed Area. Most visitors access the bay by the rocky or sandy shoreline by the public dock.

Glacier Bay National Park & Preserve

photo of the front of a sea kayak pointed towards a dramatic sunset
Kayaking in Glacier Bay is an experience like no other. NPS Photo/ K. Haney
All campers (including kayakers) are required to attend a camper orientation, held daily upon request at the Bartlett Cove Visitor Information Station near the dock. This session is for your benefit: to answer your questions, provide you with a tide table, inform you of special wildlife and safety closures or to assist in planning your trip. You will be asked to fill out a backcountry registration form at that time and a wilderness survey form when you return from your trip.

Ranger Recommendation
Even in the summer months, the weather can be unpredictable and harsh in Glacier Bay. Make sure to check forecasts ahead of time, and always be prepared with extra layers and rain gear. It's also important to familiarize yourself with the tidal predictions and always store your kayak well above high tide line.

If you're not a confident paddler or just prefer to explore these waters with the guidance of a pro, concessioners in the park provide guided day and overnight kayak trips.

Last updated: February 27, 2018