Glacier Bay National Park


From the bottom of the deepest glacial fjord to the summit of its highest peak, Glacier Bay National Park encompasses some of our continent’s most amazing scenery and wildness.

It is a land reborn, a world returning to life, a living lesson in resilience. If ever we needed a place to intrigue and inspire us, this is it.

A fjord in Glacier Bay National Park.

A fjord in Glacier Bay National Park. Photo courtesy of the NPS. Click image to enlarge.

Glacier Bay is a homeland, a living laboratory, a national park, a designated wilderness, a biosphere reserve, and a world heritage site. It’s a marine park, where great adventure awaits by boating into inlets, coves and hideaway harbors. It’s also a land park, with its snow-capped mountains, spectacular glaciers, and emerald–green forests.

From the summit to sea, Glacier Bay’s wildness is remote, dynamic and intact.

Glacier Bay is a globally significant marine and terrestrial wilderness sanctuary.

  • A place that offers human solitude and a remote wildness that is rapidly disappearing in today’s world.
  • A place of hope–for the continued wisdom, restraint, and humility to preserve a sample of wild America, the world as it was.
  • It is part of one of the largest internationally protected Biosphere Reserves in the world, and it is recognized by the United Nations as a World Heritage Site.

Long before there were written records of Glacier Bay, there were stories.


  • Tlingit elders told of an ancestral homeland covered by advancing ice. For the Tlingit, Glacier Bay is woven into the tapestry of their lives.
  • Glacier Bay is a powerful place that also inspires cultural expression in the scientist, the artist, the resident, the traveler, and those who make their livelihood from the sea.
  • Glacier Bay continues to offer inspiration as we each endeavor to explore our connections to this dynamic landscape.

Glacier Bay’s story is one of dynamic change in the wake of dramatic glacial movements.

Glacier Bay National Park in Alaska.

Photo courtesy of Kevin Harber via Flickr.

  • Glacier Bay collects many glaciers flowing from the tall surrounding mountains with abundant snowfall.
  • As recently as 1750 a single glacier thousands of feet thick filled what is now a 65-mile long fjord.
  • This glacial retreat has exposed a resilient land that hosts a succession of marine and terrestrial life.
  • Here is an opportunity to see how the physical world shapes the biological.

A Natural Laboratory

Botanist William Cooper spearheaded efforts to preserve not only a place to view glaciers, wildlife, and grandeur, but also a living laboratory to study and enjoy through the ages.

  • Glacier Bay offers unexcelled opportunities to study earth’s most fundamental geologic processes.
  • A center where researchers from multiple disciplines collaborate to conduct management and ecosystem directed research.
  • What scientists learn at Glacier Bay may one day foretell changes to the region and the world.
  • There are many exciting research projects underway in Glacier Bay National Park!