There are a number of things to do while enjoying Glacier Bay National park. These activities include but are not limited to backpacking, birding, camping, fishing, hiking, photography, ranger led activities and wildlife watching.
Join a National Park Service ranger to explore Glacier Bay's natural and cultural history. Join a ranger to learn about the forces that once shaped this landscape - and continue to do so, see the Calendar Page. Ranger / Naturalist programs include scheduled hikes, talks and walks. These are just some of the ways to discover the diversity of the scenic, natural and historic wonders that comprise Glacier Bay National Park.
It is 65 miles from the forests of Bartlett Cove to the tidewater glaciers. This boat trip is undertaken by almost all visitors and is a highlight of Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve. Because weather conditions can occasionally cause flight cancellations, it is advisable to allow some extra travel time in your itinerary.
Located on the border between Alaska and Canada, Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve contains a huge chain of glaciers. Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve was designated a national monument in 1925. Its purpose was to preserve the glacial environment and plant communities for public enjoyment, scientific study and historic interest. Expanded several times, Glacier Bay was re-designated a national park and preserve in 1980. In 1986 the park was named a Biosphere Reserve by UNESCO.
Great tidewater glaciers, a dramatic range of plant communities from rocky terrain recently covered by ice to lush temperate rain forest, and a large variety of animals, including brown and black bears, mountain goats, whales (including humpbacks), seals and eagles can be found within the park. Also included are Mount Fairweather, the highest peak in southeast Alaska and the U.S. portion of the Alsek River.
The Alsek River and its major tributary, the Tatshenshini River, are large volume, swift glacial rivers. Beginning in the interior, it is one of a small number of river systems which breach the coast range, offering boaters uncommon environmental diversity, impressive scenery, and an outstanding wilderness experience.
Most trips began on the Tatshenshini at Dalton Post, the last road accessible put-in off the Haines Highway in Yukon Territory, Canada. From here it is 140 river miles to the normal take-out at Dry Bay, Alaska. A six-mile long canyon immediately below Dalton Post offers continuous Class III whitewater, Class IV at high water (International Scale, Classe I-VI). The remainder of the river is generally Class II with large eddies and folds at normal volumes. The Alsek River above its confluence with the Tatshenshini is Class III above Turnback Canyon. Turnback Canyon must be portaged by rafters during the summer months. Tatshenshini trips average 6 days on the water, plus additional lay-over days.
Tatshenshini-Alsek trips starting at Dalton Post travel through private Champange-Aishihik Tribal lands, Yukon Territory lands, Tatshenshini-Alsek Wilderness Provincial Park in Canada and Glacier Bay National Park. Upper Alsek trips travel through Kluane National Park, and Tatshenshini-Alsek Wilderness Provencial Park, Canada. For travel on the upper Alsek contact Kluane National Park, Parks Canada, Haines Junction, Yukon Canada Y0B 1L0, 403-632-2251.
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