Southeast Alaska Birding Trail Gustavus

Glacier Bay

The National Park offers a ranger-guided boat tour through Glacier Bay.

Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve has over 1,200 miles of shoreline, long fjords left from ancient glacial valleys and 7 active tidewater glaciers. With over 170 bird species have been observed in Glacier Bay, this area is great spot to see a tremendous variety of waterfowl, seabirds and shorebirds. The National Park offers a ranger-guided boat tour through Glacier Bay, with the chance to see calving glaciers as well as humpback whales, orcas, and other wildlife. The trip also brings the possibility of birds such as scoters, Harlequin Duck, Barrow’s Goldeneye, Pelagic Cormorant, Bald Eagle, Black Oystercatcher, Common Murre, Pigeon Guillemot, Marbled Murrelet, Kittlitz's Murrelet, Horned Puffin, Tufted Puffin, Black-legged Kittiwake, and Arctic Tern. Also be sure to watch for Kittlitz’s Murrlet around tidewater glaciers, especially after a glacial calving which can assist them with feeding opportunities.


Glacier Bay can be accessed either from a tour/charter boat departing from the public dock at the National Park Visitor Center, cruise ship or by private vessel with a permit. Experienced kayakers and wilderness campers may also want to explore Glacier Bay by sea kayak. Some tour companies can be used to arrange kayak transport to more remote portions of Glacier Bay. Check with the National Park Service for authorized tour companies. To get to the Glacier Bay Visitor Center from downtown Gustavus, head west on Gustavus Road toward Shooting Star Road (0.7 miles); turn right onto Mountain View Road and drive 2.8 miles to Park Road. Drive 4.4 miles and follow the signs to the Glacier Bay visitor center.

Tufted Puffin.
Tufted Puffin. Photo: Milo Burcham

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