Glacier Bay National Park
Trip Start May 06, 2010
137Trip End Oct 14, 2010
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Where I stayed
The tour leaves at 7:00am. I had to get up very early, which isn't something I'm good at, but I made it to the boat on time. It was another cold, gray, rainy day. The tour goes the 65 miles from the Visitor Center / Glacier Bay Lodge to where the tidewater glaciers meet the bay. This point has moved a lot. 250 years ago the entire route was covered in ice.
I thought that seeing glaciers was the primary attraction of Glacier Bay but that's not the case. The glaciers are not visible from the Visitor Center or most of the 65-mile trip, or at least they weren't with the weather I experienced, Most of the trip is spent seeing the unspoiled landscape and the wildlife, which included Humpback whales, Orca (probably the same group I saw yesterday), Bald eagles, seals, sea lions, otters, Grizzly bears and many species of birds. There is a Ranger on-board to explain the wildlife and park history.
We eventually reached the glacier. We waited for a while hoping to see it calve but it didn't cooperate. The captain eventually gave up and headed back toward the Visitor Center.
The boat stopped in a number of locations to drop off or pick up sea kayakers. You can paddle around in the bay and camp in the forests. Before your trip you specify your drop-off and pick-up points. You're on your own while you're out there. I'm sure it would be a memorable experience but the thought of camping in the rain and cold wasn't appealing to me. My kayaking experience yesterday was enough for me.
I was supposed to be taking a ferry back to Juneau tonight but I'll be spending the night in Gustavus and flying tomorrow morning instead.