Fishing, hiking, trails, camping, hunting, wildlife, glacier cruising.
Visitors Center open daily 11:30am-9:00pm
Glacier Bay might just be the most beautiful place I have ever seen. We saw it via cruise ship and were literally awe-struck. We spent a lot of time out on deck just taking it all in and listening to the commentary of the on-board naturalist. Bring a blanket, some good binoculars, grab a lounger and prepare to be amazed. The beauty of the landscape will leave you speechless. In addition to that, wildlife abounds. You will very likely see seals, eagles and sea birds and if you’re lucky maybe even a bear and some whales. Glacier Bay is something that should be on everyone’s bucket list. I’d give it ten stars if I could.
There is a ton to see and do here, so consider making this a several day visit (there are B & B's in Gustavus, and like a true Alaska town there is no mall or fast food) or camp at one of the sites.
If you only have 1 day here then you have to choose land or sea. Our recommendation is sea (and this is a tough choice). We have been to glaciers, even hiked glaciers, but I have never in my life seen anything as majestic and moving and Glacier Bay. My son, who usually talks non-stop, was struck mute. While we took our sea tour we saw tons of seals, which was fun, but the glacier itself is something that can't be described. A park ranger was on our boat and gave a great presentation about the history of the area, native tribes, habitats and wildlife, and geology. It was informative and witty. I believe a park ranger is present on all boat tours.
If you have the time don't miss the land part. There are tons of trails and hiking. You can grab a map and go it on your own, or take guided hikes with a ranger or volunteer. Stop by the Visitor Center in the morning to go on a group guided hike. The Visitors Center also offers movies, lectures, walks, and rangers programs throughout the day. These activities are free. The center also has checklists/scavenger hunt type lists you can check off for plants and animals during your hikes/walks.
Check out the website before visiting to get schedules, maps to campsites, etc. There is something for all outdoor lovers here. The fishing is great to.