Spotting glaciers in Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve is definitely a suggested bucket list item, and it did not disappoint.
Things To Know About Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve:
- The Glacier Bay National Park is located in Alaska, west of Juneau and north of Sitka, Alaska.
- Main access to Glacier Bay is through water travel, and I would suggest taking an Alaskan cruise. I took an Alaskan cruise through Holland America Cruise Line, and at the start of our trip a group of park rangers, in charge of managing Glacier Bay, joined our ship. They gave presentations and pointed out wildlife, and also explained that only one cruise ship is allowed to sail through the bay at a time.
- While visiting in the summer provides the best weather for traveling through Glacier Bay, it is still chilly enough for glaciers to form and icebergs to float in the water. The temperature tends to stay in the 40s in the summer months, and you should definitely dress accordingly. If you take a cruise and plan on standing outside to view Glacier Bay (which I highly suggest), then wearing gloves, a coat, a scarf, possibly a hat, closed-toe shoes, and multiple layers will make the experience much more enjoyable.
- Margerie Glacier was the highlight of the day, as it is the biggest glacier we saw in Glacier Bay. The sight of this glacier is really amazing, and as we spent about an hour floating up to the glacier, we heard parts of it breaking off, which made loud cracking sounds.
- Besides Margerie Glaciers, there are multiple smaller glaciers, which are just as amazing, plus majestic mountains and icebergs floating through the water. If you do not get cold too easily, I would suggest sitting outside the entire trip through Glacier Bay as the scenery is not something you want to miss.
- The park rangers on board the ship would also announce any wildlife sightings throughout the day, but most of the time I could not find what they were pointing out. Other guests on the ship confirmed that they did see bald eagles and bears on the shore. I personally saw two or three adorable otters floating on their backs.
- Visiting Glacier Bay is definitely at the top of people’s bucket lists due to the amazing views, but also due to the fact it may not be around for much longer. When I spoke with a worker on board the ship he explained that he worked the Alaska route ten years ago and that the glaciers were much bigger at that time than they are today. I was not only amazed by the glaciers themselves, but also the experience of being in such a remote place among nature.