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Glacier Bay Nat'l Park kayaking question

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Hi to all,

Am thinking that it would be really great to paddle in Glacier Bay But am having problems finding anything but beginner/sleep on a boat kinds of trips. Anyone have any leads that I could use to gather more information...or any suggestions relative to that activity in that part of the world?

Paddled the other day in a small lake and was delighted to find that my roll is still with me! Phew!

Thanks in advance maryb

currently outside of Denali and continuing to have a great time exploring our wonderful world!

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Hi Mary, Glad to hear you're having such a great adventure!

I paddled in Glacier Bay about 18 years ago. We loaded our gear on a boat in Gustavus (the boat was taking a tour into the west arm). The boat dropped us off at a campsite near the east arm. We paddled in the east arm and then were picked up by the same boat, at the same time, 5 days later. I'd have to look at map to remember exact details. At that time, we saw 2 other small groups of kayakers in 5 days, but it was getting late in the season. Not sure about numbers of people now or is there are limits, etc.

I'd definitely recommend such a trip. It was absolutely beautiful. I imagine you could paddle from Gustavus if you want a much longer trip. The side trip into the west arm via motor at the end of our paddle trip was well worth doing for us as we had limited time. The west arm was where most of the seals were and the glaciers were spectacular and different from the glaciers in the east arm. Not sure what the glaciers are like now.

I'm not sure about access to Gustavus. I don't know if there are roads or not. If I remember correctly, there aren't. We flew in and rented equipment. Maybe you can get there via ferry? I do remember a bed and breakfast in Gustavus that served the best salmon I've ever eaten and all the vegetables/salad greens were fresh from their garden.

I think Suz paddled there a few years ago. She would have much more recent information. I know of a person who worked as a kayak guide in Glacier Bay. I don't really know him, only met him as he is a grandson of a former patient. He lives in Alaska and would have local knowledge of paddling in Glacier Bay. I might be able to get his contact information if you wanted. Suz may have much of the info you need, but let me know if you want me to try to get his e-mail address from his family.

Hope you get to do this trip. Happy traveling and paddling!


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Look up this website for info on outfitters, kayak shuttles into Glacier Bay from Gustavus (via tour boats that will drop you off along their way), lodging, etc: www.gustavus.com

Here is information from another site for getting to Gustavus from Juneau:

Ferry Service

In 2006 there was NO FERRY SERVICE running to Gustavus, either private or commercial, from anywhere, for any price... (prior to that, there was the Auk Nu Ferry, run by the Goldbelt Corporation, that sporadically ran service to Gustavus from Juneau.)

In late May of 2007, Glacier Bay Lodge and Tours (Aramark) began running a ferry between Bartlett Cove in Glacier Bay (where the lodge is located) and Auk Bay (10 miles outside of Juneau).

Here is the ferry schedule and information for 2010:

Experience the Glacier Bay Ferry! (also known as the Gustavus ferry)


Scheduled service operates on Wednesdays, Fridays & Sundays departing Bartlett Cove at 4:30 PM and arriving at Auke Bay at 7:30 PM. It then returns to Bartlett Cove at 8:00 PM arriving at 11:00 PM.


Conveniently timed for passengers departing Juneau on Alaska Airlines scheduled services, the Glacier Bay Ferry allows ample time to reach the airport for transportation home.


The fare is $75 one way/ per person and no limit on freight. (no vehicles).

Call 888 229-8687 (Glacier Bay Lodge & Tours) for more details and to purchase tickets.


1) The private company that runs the Gustavus ferry seems to make finding their updated annual ferry schedule and rates a bit of a yearly mystery. Gustavus.com always lists the last verified schedule and information possible, meaning that when we get any updated information from them, we update this page. That said, it's probably a good idea to visit their website and doublecheck before relying on the above schedule.

Hope this is helpful for planning.


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Mary, here is information on a kayak shuttle into Glacier Bay:

Public Touring/ Bay Access Vessels

We'll miss the Spirit of AdventureBaranof Wind (not linking at this time)

Managed by Glacier Bay Lodges & Tours

241 W. Ship Creek Ave., Anchorage, AK 99501

Phone: 907-264-4600 or fax: 907-258-3668

For Information & Reservations call toll free: 1-888-BAY TOUR (229-8687)

This tour is the “must-do†activity in Glacier Bay. Take the only scheduled day tour boat in Glacier Bay National Park for an experience you won’t soon forget.

See Seals!

Depart in the morning from Glacier Bay Lodge on the high-speed catamaran, Baranof Wind. As you make your way up the Bay you’ll enjoy fascinating narration about local wildlife and history.

A National Park Service naturalist will share interesting facts about the animals and their environments. The glaciers are absolutely amazing. The experience, extraordinary. Daily departures. Eight hours. Lunch and beverage provided.

It's just our opinion, but...

This boat is undoubtedly one of the best bets for backpackers and kayakers to get deep into Glacier Bay National Park -without hiring a private charter company. (see links above)

The Baranof Wind offers unforgettable days up bay for travelers and tourists of all ages, as well as ferrying kayaks and gear deep into the bay (saving hours if not days of difficult kayaking to reach the same spots).

See the official Glacier Bay National Park Link for all the details regarding backcountry passes and park regulations.

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Ummmm, Gay...I wonder if you could help me with making reservations for the new coastal National Park in Gabon? I'd like a rondavel with a sea-view, please, plus tea each day at 0545...OK? Can you guarantee that I'll see the hippos that frolic in the surf? Oh, and which birding field guide do you recommend?

You are amazing! The power of NSPN: who'd have thought it? Plus our very own MaryB, spreading the gospel according to B (Burnett) around the furthest corners of the land!

Mind you (small grudge) -- I do not remember Mary actually posting her trip on the message board! What have you got to say for yourself, Ms.B? (Of course I'm jealous -- and by the way, I believe we're still awaiting your trip report from <last> year's peregrinations...?) :D

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