Glacier Bay Kayaking Adventure
Glacier Bay is the story of a land recently unburdened of unimaginable tons of rock and ancient ice. This makes for an exciting adventure into the world of grinding glaciers and expanding ecosystems. As kayakers exploring this newly made landscape, we’ll be privileged to experience the raw power and stunning beauty of this dynamic setting.
Surveyed by Captain Vancouver in 1793 Glacier Bay wasn't actually a bay then but an indentation in the shoreline. In 1879 John Muir discovered the ice had retreated more than 30 miles creating the start of what we now call Glacier Bay. By 1916, the main glacier credited with carving the bay, Grand Pacific Glacier, had melted back 60 miles. This glacial retreat has exposed a land ready to foster a succession of marine and terrestrial life.
Calving glaciers, majestic mountains, the late spring emergence of wildlife and colonizing plant communities await us on our expedition into the incomparable Glacier Bay National Park.
Expedition Details — Glacier Bay
Location: East Arm, Glacier Bay National Park
Duration: Six days and five nights
Paddle Distance: 5 to 15 miles per day.
Activities: Paddling, Hiking, Glacier viewing, photography, great meals
Highlights: McBride Glacier, wilderness solitude, wildlife viewing, calving ice and icebergs, world-class sea kayaking
Schedule and Prices: May 26-31, 2016. $2989 per person.
Book Your Trip: go to Trip Reservations to book your trip today, or call 1-800-KAYAKER!
Trip Description — Glacier Bay East Arm, May 26-31, 2016
Our Glacier Bay Expedition offers adventurous travelers of all experience levels the chance to explore the park from the intimacy of a small group. As we paddle, hike, and camp through one of Alaska’s most breathtaking and iconic destinations, we’ll be among only a handful of visitors to Glacier Bay National Park who step ashore or glide silently through its pristine waters.
Our 6-day/5-night adventure begins with a boat-trip from Bartlett Cove to Muir Point, near the entrance of Glacier Bay’s East Arm. The East Arm is one the Bay’s best locations for wilderness solitude and travel – much of it is designated for non-motorized travel during the summer. After being dropped off with our kayaks and expedition gear, the boat leaves us and we slip into our kayaks - and the wilderness!
Muir Inlet, the main thoroughfare through the East Arm, was named after John Muir - a pioneer in the study of glaciers and their importance in sculpting our landscapes. Muir traveled to Glacier Bay many times in the late 1800’s, witnessing glaciers in action and building upon his theory of glaciology. Muir Inlet is home to thriving populations of wildlife, each species finding its habitat amidst the recently de-glaciated inlet. In late May, when the alpine and higher elevations are often blanketed by snow, brown and black bears, moose, and mountain goats can be seen at or near sea level, feasting on the tender young shoots of colonizing plants. Harbor seals, porpoise, and the occasional orca or humpback whale surface nearby, feeding on the fish and other marine life which has followed the face of the retreating glaciers into the Bay.
As we kayak deeper into the park, the McBride Glacier beckons. Jewel of the East Arm, the McBride is an active tidewater glacier, calving tremendous blocks of ice into the bay. The sights and sounds of the thundering glacier emphasize the incredible forces at work in the park – and put all that we have seen and experienced into perspective. The last two days of the expedition will be spent exploring the area around McBride, and the nearby Riggs Glacier. With the ice and rock of the upper Bay fresh in our minds, we’ll be picked up by boat for the ride back to Bartlett Cove and Gustavus.
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