Paddle your kayak along Glacier Bay’s dynamic shores and you’ll literally see land being created before your eyes. As receding glaciers send sapphire-blue icebergs thundering into the bay, they expose new sections of rocky shoreline. And as the weight of the ice lifts, land ringing the bay actually rises—up to an inch per year. McBride Bay, at this trip’s northernmost point, is just 50 years old. Witness it all—and much more—on this five-day, 45-mile journey.
In the spring, humpback whales breach the icy waters along with orcas and gray whales. Grizzlies, moose, and wolves patrol the forested shores year-round. Caution: As you paddle Muir Inlet, remain alert. Rolling icebergs and calving glaciers can create waves large enough to flip kayaks and dislodge careless tie-downs. Be cautious around icebergs, and view glaciers from at least a quarter nautical mile away. Be sure to beach your craft well above the waterline; in late spring (when whales fill the inlet, but before the mosquitoes arrive), the tidal exchange reaches 20 feet.
INFO Permits (free) are required May to September, as is the bear-safety session at the visitor center. (907) 697-2627; nps.gov/glba.