Glacier Bay vs Kenai Fjords

I know a few people have been to Glacier Bay so I have a few questions about this national park.

Is it possible to get lost here? I mean that in a good way…not having a steady stream of motor boat or plane traffic noise during the day. Prince William Sound was a fine combination of wilderness with the occasional boat sighting. Maybe I’m reading it wrong but Glacier Bay seems much more visited. Has anyone gone out here for a few weeks at a time? The other place at the top of our list is Kenai Fjords, but we’ve been totally seduced by glaciers!!

Thanks for any advice…Lyn

We have been to Glacier Bay
three times and the last time was four years ago.

At that time they were only allowing one cruise ship a day in.

There are several tour boats that go in on a daily basis and you might see a kayak support boat.

I think it is the type thing that you could go all day long and never see another boat, but also the next day you might see a couple.

We paddled the Beardsley Islands and literally got lost (for about a day) and wished we could have spotted another boat.

Why not call the ranger station at Glacier Bay National Park and get their take on it.



I was on a small cruise ship in Glacier
Bay at the end of August 2007. There were several large cruise ships in the area and several smaller touring expedition boats with just a few people on board.

Most of the boats seemed to congregate near the large glaciers; the smaller the boat, the closer to the glacier.

Caveat- our tour was there for only one day so you probably need a better source of info.

Looking at the general area as a kayaker, it also appeared that there were more secluded inlets where there did not appear to be any boats.

Went on a kayak cruise
on a small cruise vessel (the Wilderness Explorer) about three years ago.

I believe that was the only cruise vessel that could get into smaller inlets. It is a mother ship for kayakers.

We were out for a week and saw one (obscenely) large cruise ship. Obviously there is more traffic near Bartlett Cove, so you need some time to get away.

We were able to kayak up to a quarter mile from the glaciers (depending on berg size resulting from calving). We saw plenty of whales and sea otters and seals

This might spoil your solitude

Thanks, I knew you’d been there
Good idea to call the ranger station. I wonder if they’re still open.

We’re in the hardest stage of the trip, deciding where to go.


Email Travis
email > < . Him and his brother live up there with a sail boat and kayaks.They would be happy to give you advice.

We went to Glacer Bay in 2006

– Last Updated: Oct-17-07 7:33 PM EST –

Edit to read East Arm.

We went to the East arm where cruise ships are not allowed to go. We saw one Grand Banks style boat other than that just four other kayakers in the six days we were there. It was in Aug so we had it mostly to ourselves except for the one grizley that walked between out tent and our food and some wolves that came into our camp. We had some rope chewed up so I think the pups were teething (sp) and used my rescue rope for that.

Alaska gets in your blood
YOU’VE been BIT !!! Big time. Most people either love it here, or hate it here. Once you fall in love, you can’t get it out of your mind. Let me know if I can help on this end, contacting anyone, or sending you any info.


I’ll email him, thanks for the contact.


Did you see them?
The wolves I mean, or just their tracks? Seeing a wolf in the wild is the holy grail of my paddling partner.


Hi Donna,
Thanks again for your offer! Did you get out on the sound for a second trip after your windy, rainy one in May?


I saw brown bears (grizzlies) on the
shore but I was not close enough for a good pic.

Geike inlet for wolves.
Other than that, Misty Fjords one ran between my tent and my buddy’s. Saw the long nose shadow and heard the wail when he got to the top of a hill. Very, very cool. Saw one up close a day or two before.

I’m sure Kenai Fjords is quite lonely. Access there may be more extensive than flying into Gustavus and picking up a boat. That is the beauty of Glacier, well one of the nice things. I’ve been there twice. Each time we were rarely in sight of anybody. Saw some cruise ships now and again. Saw the park concessionaire boat now and again. Saw another set of paddlers once in a while, but mostly saw nothing but wildlife and big, oh my God scale scenery.


The only solution…
Really, is to go to both and then decide for yourself. :slight_smile:

Alaska does get in your blood, I’ve been there about 4 times, but on hiking/backpacking trips, not kayaking… 2 trips to Denali NP, one trip to do the Chilkoot, one trip for a backcountry trip to Wrangell St. Elias and a long distance bike tour.


Lyn we heard the wolves the first night

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sounded like they were all around us. We were at Mcbride and the cliffs on the other side helped make it sound that way. The second night we saw four them a couple of hundered yards away between the woods and the beach. I have picture but it was to dark to get anything other than a dark brown blob. When they left the beach the howling started. My wife was a little nervous but I thought is was so cool. To me that was better than the humpback feeding within 30 yards of our kayaks on our return to the drop off point. It was the third night that they played my rescue rope. I have pics of the tracks which were all over. I did not see the bear but the tracks where bigger than I would have thought they would be. I can't wait to go back!!!!

Kenai Fjords

I spent 10 days in Kenai Fjords last summer. If you email me privately with your questions, I’d be happy to reply. There’s lots to talk about.


I saw a lone wolf
trotting along a rocky beach in the Beardsley Islands.

It trotted parallel to me at a distance of about fifty yards for about ten seconds and then cut into the woods and disappeared.

We saw two more of them when we were hiking in Denali national Park.

Both incidents are some of the wonderful photos stored in my memory bank that unfortunately can’t be posted, but can be repeatedly looked at by me.



GB is sounding better
with every post!!


Lyn, when you buy the chart, note areas
that have a thin band of drying tidelands between deeper water and land. The tide range can be in excess of 20 ft. This does two things, first you carry stuff less distance and second, whales will be much closer to you in camp. Had some very close encounters while in camp.


Are Muir, Riggs and McBride
the only tidewater glaciers in GB? I’m looking at the chart and that’s what it looks like to me.