What's So Special About Glacier Bay?

Image of glacier calving with NPS arrowhead and graphics overlaid. Text reads "Glimpse the Ice Ages" and "Glacier Bay National Park"
Glacier Bay is a special place. Discover why.

Wild, Resilient, and Sacred

From the bottom of the deepest glacial fjord to the summit of its highest peak, Glacier Bay 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. 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.

Thumbnail image of the Huna Tribal house and lupine wildlflowers

A Place of Homeland

For the Huna Tlingit, Glacier Bay is a place not just of new discoveries, but of reconnection with the lifeways, knowledge, and ancestors of the past.

It is a land that sustained them with a rich abundance of fish, wildlife, and plants, but more importantly a place that continues to sustain them through stories, songs, dances, and ongoing traditional practices. Although most Huna Tlingit today live across Icy Strait in the modern village of Hoonah, Glacier Bay remains their spiritual homeland. Their ancient stories and place names speak eloquently of the history of their beloved bay.


A Place of Hope

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.

A Place of Inspiration

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

  • 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.
Dynamic Change

A Land of Dynamic Change

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

  • 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.
Glacier Bay science

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!
Laws and Policies
Laws and Policies

Help us protect YOUR national park.

Visiting on a Cruise Ship?
Visiting on a Cruise Ship?

The spectacular scenery and wildlife of Glacier Bay make it a highlight of any Alaska cruise. Learn how to get the most out of your day.

The Huna Tribal House
The Huna Tribal House

A long awaited dream, Xunaa Shuká Hít stands proudly on the shoreline of Bartlett Cove. It is a place of discovery and re-connection.

Glacier Bay Beneath the Reflections
Watch The Park Movie

Glacier Bay: Beneath The Reflections

The Fairweather Visitor Guide
The Fairweather Visitor Guide

Read the latest issue of the official 40-page color visitor's guide to Glacier Bay National Park.

Last updated: March 25, 2024

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Contact Info

Mailing Address:

Glacier Bay National Park & Preserve
PO Box 140

Gustavus, AK 99826


907 697-2230

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