Glacier Bay National Park Alaska

Glacier Bay National Park Alaska
Glacier Bay National Park in Alaska

Glacier Bay National Park Alaska is located in the southeastern section of Alaska. Encompassing over 3 million acres of land, Glacier Bay National Park Alaska is sometimes referred to as the Crown Jewel of the National Park system. The park gets its name from the surrounding bay area, which harbors some of the world"s most spectacular tidewater glaciers. The snow-capped mountain ranges of Glacier Bay National Park Alaska rise over 5,000 feet above the coastal beaches. There"s also excellent wildlife viewing at the park, which includes a variety of land mammals, seabirds and marine life. The Glacier Bay begins to the north off Icy Strait. It continues for over 60 miles through the mountains, and then terminates in the bare rock and glacial ice. The center of Glacier Bay National Park Alaska was once hidden under a vast ice sheet. Then, in the late 18th century, European explorers began to chart the adjacent waters. Eighty-five years later, the American naturalist and writer John Muir would discover that the glaciers had receded more than 30 miles.

The oral history of the native Tlingit tribe has established that this bay had once been ice-free. At the time, it was home to the Huna people who had inhabited the between periodic glacial advances that occurred over thousands of years. Given that the Glacier Bay and National Park offer enormous opportunities for scientific study, in 1925, it was given National Monument status.

Marine waters make up nearly one fifth of the Glacier Bay and National Park. Considering that no point of land in the park is any more than 30 miles away from the coast, terrestrial and marine life are closely interrelated. Over 200 species of fish swim in the Glacier Bay and National Park waters. These include all of the Pacific salmon species. Additionally, Dungeness, king and Tanner crab along with clams, scallops and shrimp have been harvested in the region for many centuries.

The Glacier Bay National Park Lodge offers overnight accommodations, a restaurant, and gift shop and fuel sales. Additionally, the Glacier Bay National Park Lodge features a daily vessel tour to the park"s magnificent tidewater glaciers. The Glacier Bay National Park Lodge is located in Gustavus on Bartlett Cove. Inside the lodge, you will find a main building that has a sitting area with fireplace. The Lodge has tourist class accommodations, a gift shop, and restaurant and park interpretive center. To reach the lodge, cruise along the shoreline and view the twelve tidewater glaciers, which are still active.

Top image: kimberleykv (flickr)

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