Glacier Bay Lodge
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179 Bartlett Cove Road
Gustavus, Alaska 99826
Glacier Bay Lodge is one of the most remote of America's national park lodging facilities. The reason, of course, is the remoteness of this 3.3-million-acre park. Located in the Alaska panhandle northwest of Juneau, the park is accessible only via boat or plane. The lodge sits in a Sitka spruce rainforest on scenic Bartlett Cove, approximately ten miles on a(+) More
Glacier Bay Lodge is one of the most remote of America's national park lodging facilities. The reason, of course, is the remoteness of this 3.3-million-acre park. Located in the Alaska panhandle northwest of Juneau, the park is accessible only via boat or plane. The lodge sits in a Sitka spruce rainforest on scenic Bartlett Cove, approximately ten miles on a paved road from the small gateway town of Gustavus. Although the lodge doesn't compare in style and elegance with some other national park lodges such as Yosemite's Ahwahnee or Death Valley's Furnace Creek Inn, the total experienceincluding comfortable rooms, spectacular scenery, exotic wildlife, and a general air of adventureresults in this being an outstanding destination.
The lodge has 56 rooms in a series of 19 one-story wooden buildings, each with from two to six guestrooms. Wooden boardwalks connect the guestrooms with the main lodge, separate but nearby. The guestrooms boast rustic interiors with rough-hewn wood walls and vaulted ceilings. Most rooms have a double bed plus either one or two twin beds. Some rooms classified as "view rooms" offer good or partial water views and rent for a slight premium.
The attractive main chalet-style lodge has a cathedral ceiling and comfortable sofas and chairs where guests can relax in front of a large gas fireplace. Huge windows on the building's north side offer excellent views of Bartlett Cove and the distant Fairview mountains. Meals are served in the lodge dining room or on an outside balcony. A National Park Service visitor center with interpretive displays and an auditorium are on the mezzanine.
Most people venture to Glacier Bay Lodge primarily for a tour of Glacier Bay and the outdoor activities available in this wilderness location. This includes daylong boat tours of Glacier Bay and evening whale-watch dinner tours. Both are offered by Glacier Bay Lodge and can be booked when you make your room reservation. Kayaks and bicycles are available for rent at the lodge.
Travelers who visit Glacier Bay Lodge are likely to connect through the town of Juneau, where Alaska Airlines provides daily service to Gustavus. Alaska's capital city offers a variety of things to see and do that make for a worthwhile stay of a day or more. Activities in or near the town include an 1,800-foot tram ride up Mount Roberts, scenic seaplane flights over the Juneau Icefield, and a trip north of town to the famous Mendenhall Glacier. Perhaps best of all is a tour of the Alaska Brewing Company, where guests can sample some fine brews.
David L. Scott and Kay W. Scott are the authors of . For more information about national-park lodges, visit their website.(-) Close
Expert Review of Glacier Bay Lodge
Parks and Outdoors Review of Glacier Bay Lodge
- The free park service campground is a quarter mile from the lodge's dock. It includes a warming hut and bear-resistant food storage containers. Campers can shower at the lodge.
- Visit the lodge's tour desk to arrange spectacular sea-kayaking or whale-watching trips into the park.
Family Review of Glacier Bay Lodge
- If at all possible bring some non-perishable snacks and food to keep in your room just in case. Restaurant fare is limited and there are no grocery stores nearby.
Guest quarters are separate from the main lodge and are(+) More
Guest quarters are separate from the main lodge and are comfortable but basic, with a rustic cabin ambience. Expect to entertain yourselves and possibly deal with bored kids: there are no TVs in the rooms, since the focus is on getting out of them and into the fantastic outdoor surroundings. Internet access is available in the main lodge in case you just have to check e-mail, but for the most part expect to disconnect from the rest of the world as you reconnect with nature.(-) Close
Active and Adventure Review of Glacier Bay Lodge
- Bring your own fresh fruit, yogurt, and other healthy foods.
- You don't have to go far to find the trailheads.
- Take the glacier tour on the small cruise boat called The Yukon Queen.