Glacier Bay

Discover Glacier Bay National Park and the surrounding areas.

Explore Glacier Bay National Park’s Glaciers and Wildlife

May is a magical time to be in Glacier Bay because we have it mostly to ourselves. It is us, the bears, wolves, moose, and mountain goats. Our visit coincides with the first returning humpback whales and the thousands of migrating shore and seabirds bound for nesting sites in the Arctic. Rivers of glacial ice tumble into the sea and aquamarine icebergs drift by on the tides against a backdrop of some of the most magnificent mountains on earth.

Responding to the boom and crash of ice at the glacier front, kittiwakes and Arctic terns swirl over the churning, welling waters in search of food. Western sandpipers and other shorebirds skitter along the shorelines, poking their bills into the food-rich mud and gravel of the intertidal zone. Rafts of harlequins, surf scoters, and pigeon guillemots forage in the quiet bays before they make the final push to their nesting areas. Grizzlies and black bears emerge from their hibernation dens and can be seen bending the branches of black cottonwoods down to feed on the sweetly-resinous leaf buds, grazing on swards of lush sedges, and scraping succulent barnacles and mussels from rocks along the water’s edge. For the wildlife of Glacier Bay and the outer islands, this is truly a time of plenty.

As we, too, feast on abundant food and share the day’s discoveries over a glass of wine, there is no doubt that this is one of the best ways to experience all that Southeast Alaska has to offer! While we have a planned itinerary, each trip is unique depending upon the time of the tidal currents, the weather conditions, wildlife viewing opportunities, and the wishes of our clients.