Southeast Alaska Birding Trail Gustavus

Tarr Inlet

Experienced kayakers and wilderness campers can also explore the area by sea kayak .

In the northern most portions of Glacier Bay National Park is Tarr Inlet and the Margerie Glacier. This active tidewater glacier is massive and approximately 21 miles long, 1 mile wide at the terminus and approximately 350 feet tall, with approximately 100 feet of the glacier below the water level. As the glacier calves it disturbs small fish and marine animals such as krill, creating great feeding opportunities for seabirds. During your trip to Tarr Inlet you are likely to see: Surf Scoter, White-winged Scoter, Black Oystercatcher, Pigeon Guillemot, Marbled Murrelet, Kittlitz’s Murrelet, Tufted Puffin, Horned Puffin, Black-legged Kittiwake, Mew Gull, Glaucous-winged Gull, Icelandic Gull, Herring Gull, Arctic Tern and Pelagic Cormorant, among other species.


Tarr Inlet can be accessed either from a tour/charter boat departing from the public dock at the National Park Visitor Center, cruise ship or private vessel with a permit. Experienced kayakers and wilderness campers can also explore the area by sea kayak and some tour companies can be used to arrange kayak transport to more remote portions of the National Park. 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 rights 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.

Pigeon Guillemots.
Pigeon Guillemots. Photo: Milo Burcham

Birding Resources:

Species Checklist:

How you can help, right now