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Glacier Bay National Park & Preserve Fees & Reservations

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Glacier Bay National Park

Glacier Bay National Park (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

There are no entrance fees to Glacier Bay National Park & Preserve, which is about right really, because they say that the best things in life are free and once you’ve visited this wild and wonderful wilderness you’ll be firmly of the opinion that this place is one of the best places in life, and it’s FREE.

If you want to camp, boat, raft or partake in one of the many other visitor services at Glacier Bay National Park & Preserve you will probably need to make a reservation.

Let’s take a closer look;

If you plan to bring your own boat to Glacier Bay National Park & Preserve during the months of June through to August then you’ve gotta’ have a permit and make reservations.

If you want to camp at Glacier Bay Campground then you’ve gotta’ get a free permit, but you don’t need to make a reservation.

If you want to  raft the Alsek or Tatshenshini rivers then you need to pay for the privilege, plus get a permit and make a reservation.

Camping at Glacier Bay National Park & Preserve 

If you want to camp at Glacier Bay National Park & Preserve then you’ll have to attend a 30 minute orientation at the Bartlett Cove Visitor Center Information Station. You’ll then receive your permit and your bear resistant food containers – absolutely vital for the safety of the bears and of the visitors. You don’t have to pay for your permit but you’ve got to have one between the beginning of May and the end of September. You don’t need to have a permit to camp outside the bay area.

The only campground at Glacier Bay National Park & Preserve is only around 1/4 mile from the main dock at Bartlett Cove. There you’ll find specific sites, food caches, outhouses and a warming shelter. You’re not permitted to camp outside of the campground within a mile of Bartlett Cove.

Bartlett Cove Campground 

You don’t have to pay to camp at Bartlett Cove Campground in Glacier Bay National Park & Preserve, it’s absolutely free of charge – but you must follow a few very important campground rules – for your sake, the sake of the park and the sake of the permanent residents of the park (the bears and other critters).

  • You are permitted to camp at Bartlett Cove Campground for a maximum of 14 days only.
  • The campground is only about 1/4 mile along a trail from the Bartlett Cove main dock.
  • You must have a campground permit and an orientation in order to be permitted to camp at this campground.
  • Groups of 12 people or more may camp in the group campground.
  • You are not permitted to camp outside the campground within a mile of Bartlett Cove.
  • The Visitor Information Center has water and garbage cans.
  • All food and other scented items must be safely stored in the food caches – there are three of them at the campground.
  • You are only permitted to cook and eat within the intertidal zone – the area of beach which falls between the high and the low tide lines.
  • You must never leave any food unattended, not even for a minute.

If you don’t know what he’s saying never mind – that’s one of the very good reasons why you must never leave unattended food in Glacier Bay National Park & Preserve.

Other Glacier Bay National Park & Preserve Permits

During the summer season you’ve got to have a permit if you want to camp or boat at Glacier Bay National Park & Preserve. It’s all about keeping the visitors safe, if you’re visiting the park and you end up in an emergency situation then the park rangers will have all of the information they need to get help to you quickly. Permits also help the park staff to know just how many visitors arrive each year, and how many vessels.

  • Kayaking Permits – kayaking is a very popular way to experience the Glacier Bay National Park & Preserve. Guided kayak tours and rentals are available.
  • Private Boating Permits – it can be a great experience to visit Glacier Bay in a private boat, but if you plan to enter the bay between the months of June and August then you must have a permit.
  • Mountaineering Permits – if you are interested in mountaineering in Glacier Bay National Park & Preserve you must remember the bigger picture. You might need to get a mountaineering permit from more than just the one park.
  • Rafting Permits – you must have a rafting permit to raft the Alsek and Tatshenini River which does involve several steps. This is dangerous fun and you’ve got to know what you’re doing.
  • Filming Permits – you’ve got to have a special permit to be allowed to film in the beautiful, majestic, rugged and splendid Glacier Bay National Park & Preserve.

How about that for a story to tell your friends back home?

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