Tracy Arm and Williams Cove

Aug 04, 2019 - National Geographic Sea Lion

As an primer to Southeast Alaska the day couldn’t have been more satisfying. Our introduction began with a 25-mile expedition into the Tracy Arm-Ford’s Terror Wilderness Area, carved out by the Sawyer Glacier over the course of several millennia. The active face of this tidewater glacier was just that, cracking and creaking, booming and bursting with regular calving events making for quite a show. Beside the sheer walls, mountain goats were seen foraging on the algae and kelp exposed at low tide.

In the afternoon we navigated back out of the fjord to a side arm called William’s Cove. Here the evergreen forests of Sitka spruce and western hemlock grow right down to the water’s edge. The bridge team had spotted a lone black bear further back at the water’s edge within the bay, which we were permitted to view for but a few moments before it slipped back into the dense forest. Landing then at the bay’s opposing shore, we set out on foot to hike into the temperate rainforest for the first time while other members of our expedition set out in kayaks to paddle in the serene waters of Southeast Alaska.

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About the Author

Doug Gualtieri


Doug’s passion for the natural world started at an early age in his home state of Michigan. He received two biology degrees from Central Michigan University, and later went on to get a master’s degree in conservation biology. His education led him to study a diverse range of natural sciences, with an emphasis on ecology, animal behavior, and migratory birds. Shortly after leaving the academic world, Doug migrated north to Alaska with his trusty Siberian husky, Koda. He began working as a naturalist in Denali National Park in 1999. For over seven years he has shared his love of Alaska and Denali’s six million acres with Lindblad Expeditions-National Geographic guests, as trip leader for the Denali Land Extension based at the North Face Lodge deep within the park.

About the Videographer

Dave Katz

Video Chronicler

As a family growing up in the Finger Lakes region of New York, free time was spent in the outdoors. Dave’s mother, an earth science and biology teacher turned weekend hikes into informative lessons. The beautiful gorges, lakes and forests made a lasting impression.

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