Glacier Bay National Park
  • Daily Expedition Reports
  • 15 Jul 2021

Glacier Bay National Park, 7/15/2021, National Geographic Quest

  • Aboard the National Geographic Quest
  • Alaska

Glacier Bay is the rare national park only reachable by air or water, like most of southeastern Alaska, as there are no roads. The name is fitting, as there are over 1,000 glaciers in the park, seven of which terminate into the bay. One of these spectacular rivers of ice meeting the sea is Johns Hopkins Glacier, time spent at the face proved fruitful when several chunks of ice dramatically fell to the sea. The sound of calving is distinct and unforgettable, like a car crashing. These icebergs are then used by harbor seals to haul out to rest and pup. Hundreds of these true seals could be seen relaxing in banana pose on these fresh pieces of ice. An amazing start to a full day in Glacier Bay National Park.

The day was packed with wildlife viewing, including the elusive killer whales. Coastal brown bears, mountain goats, sea otters, Kittlitz murrelets, tufted puffins, common murres, Stellar sea lions, and humpback whales all offered up incredible sightings and photo opportunities. A leisurely hike at Bartlett Cove after dinner gave everyone a chance to stretch their legs and burn some energy. Evidence of previous glaciation and retreat, in the form of kettle lakes and erratics were the highlights on the walkabout. This short trek provided the perfect ending to an outstanding day.  

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