Glacier Bay

Sea Kayak in scenic Glacier Bay and use the bay as a starting point to or an ending point from other locations in the Alaska Panhandle like Sitka and Juneau.

Getting there

Glacier bay is remote and getting their is either slow or expensive.  

Travel & accommodations

  • Ferry: The Alaska Marine highway services most communities.  It takes 3-4 days to get to the major stops such as Juneau or Sitka.  However, Gustavus requires a ferry transfer in Juneau.  If the ferry connections are good, this is an efficient way to get to Gustavus.  However, connections are not always timely.  
  • Water Taxi: A water taxi can transport you and your kayaks from Juneau to Gustavus or Bartlett cove in about 4 hours, but it is expensive.
  • Direct Flight to Gustavus, AK.  You need to rent a kayak or ship your kayak.
  • Cabins for one, two, or four people are available. You can also camp on the deck (bring gorilla tape to secure your tent).  You can purchase food in restaurant or snack-bar settings. Camp stoves may not be used but hot water and microwaves are available.  

Shipping Kayaks

  • If you are riding the ferry, you can bring your kayak.
  • If you are flying, you can ship your kayak via a freight company. Frontier Freight ships directly to Gustavus, Lynden ships to Juneau, and shipping to Sitka is also available. The simplest way to package your kayak is first to wrap it in bubble wrap—use at least three layers of tough bubble wrap. Padding any protrusions, such as the cockpit combing and any protruding deck fittings is a good idea. If you are shipping a several boats to and from, they can be put on a kayak trailer and the trailer is then shipped.

Renting Kayaks

Kayaks can be rented in Glacier Bay. This simplifies logistics and may be the best option for a shorter trip. For longer trips, the cost of rental can equal r exceed the cost of bringing your own kayak.


  • Camp fuel can be purchased in Gustavus. The park reports that fuel left by other campers is often available, but the quantity uncertain.  
  • A taxi can transport you and kayaks in the Gustavus/Park Visitor Center area.  
  • Bear Spray can be shipped with kayaks, brought on the ferry, or purchased in Gustavus.
  • The park visitor center provides secure storage of equipment while you are on your trip.

On the Water

Glacier Bay

The Glacier Bay National Park website has information about paddling in the bay—transport into the bay, kayak rental, and guided trips. Permits are required for backcountry sea kayaking, and food must be stored in bear resistant containers.

Glacier Bay to Sitka

150 nm, Difficulty: Sea Kayak IV/V

The route from Glacier Bay travels down the beautiful and intricate coastline of northern Baranof Island.

  • Suitable Activities: Sea Kayaking
  • Seasons: June, July, August, September
  • Weather: View weather forecast
  • Difficulty: Sea Kayak IV/V
  • Length: 80.0 nm
  • Land Manager: Glacier Bay National Park
  • Parking Permit Required: see Land Manager
  • Recommended Party Size: 6
  • Maximum Party Size: 12
  • Maximum Route/Place Capacity: 12
Trip Reports

This is a list of titles that represent the variations of trips you can take at this route/place. This includes side trips, extensions and peak combinations. Not seeing a title that fits your trip? Log in and send us updates, images, or resources.

  • Glacier Bay to Sitka
  • Glacier Bay to Juneau

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