Alaska Seaplanes provides service up to 6 times daily in summer and 3 times daily in winter. Charter service, weather permitting is also available.
The town of Gustavus lies on a broad plain at the entrance to Glacier Bay National Park. This vast wilderness area is bordered by the Fairweather mountain range to the West, with majestic peaks rising 15,000 feet from the sea, creating massive ice flows which carve their way to tidewater in the pristine bay.
Glacier Bay National park spans over 4,000 square miles and is designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site and Biosphere Reserve.
Recreational opportunities abound in Gustavus and Glacier Bay. A day tour boat departs Bartlett Cove (Gustavus) each morning for a seven hour tour of the bay and its glaciers. Kayaking, camping, hiking and fishing can also be found in Gustavus and Glacier Bay. Due to limited access and permit requirements, advance reservations are recommended. Alaska Seaplanes’ knowledgeable Gustavus staff can help plan your trip, and offer recommendations on lodging, tours and other activities. Alaska Seaplanes offers six roundtrip flights daily to Gustavus in the summer and three per day in the winter.
Check out a number of fishing charter services to try your hand at a good catch.
There are many options for viewing wildlife, either on your own or with a guided service. These involve a variety of animals and foliage, and either by foot, kayak, or other floating vessel.
Hiking and biking are two activities that can be easily arranged in Gustavus. Visitors can easily spend an entire day exploring the Nature Conservancy’s Forelands Preserve, beach, dock, and the back roads of Gustavus. Exploring can lead along tide lines at the beach that stretch for miles, low-tide rivers that follow the Icy Strait, riverbanks, upstream fishing holes, Lake Gustavus, and the wild beach at the end of the airport runway.
For a casual stroll, stick to the open meadows or the beach, and for a more aerobic activity, try going off-trail and try some bushwacking. If you do choose to go off-trail and make it through the dense foliage then you will be greeted with beautiful surroundings, such as streams, moss, wildlife, spruce and alder stands, young evergreens and old evergreens as well as a range of deciduous trees.
If you prefer to bike, many local accommodations provide bikes, and the flat, open terrain can provide a pleasant biking experience. For a long trip that takes just under an hour, bike to Bartlett Cove, or just bike the other areas around town. On any biking trip be prepared to see shore birds at the dock, beach, and small boat harbor as well as the Salmon river that runs through town.
Before you go on any trails it is important to keep some things in mind, such as the tide for hiking around the beach. When going off trail it is extremely important to note that the foliage is very dense and tedious to walk through. If you have not previously experienced similar trails then the trails can be quite physically exerting. It is important to plan accordingly if you go alone on the trails take a compass and anything else you may need, or think you may need. Also remember that these trails are home to various wildlife, so please, don’t leave behind any trash so that you can leave the surroundings better than you found them.
*A guide to the trails of Gustavus is available at the Beartrack Mercantile.
Gustavus/Glacier Bay Departure locations
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