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Glacier Bay National Park

Glacier Bay National Park in Alaska contains 16 tidewater glaciers, 24 million acres of wilderness, coves, fjords, estuary waters and some of the best kayaking in the world. The park is home to 230 species of birds like the Rufous Hummingbird, the Hairy Woodpecker and the Black-legged Kittiwake. Bears both brown and black make their home here. The waters in Glacier Bay National Park’s 65-mile long, Y-shaped bay team with life in the form of seals, otters, whales and fish.

Bartlett Cove is the starting place for outdoor adventure in Glacier Bay National Park. The Park headquarters is in Bartlett Cove (open from mid-May to mid-December ((907) 697-2230)) as are some free campgrounds. Bartlett Cove is a good place to rent equipment, catch a boat or start a hike, like the 1-mile Forest Loop or the more ambitious 6-mile, round-trip Bartlett Lake trail.

Glacier Bay National Park in Alaska is a water-lovers dream. The best way to see the park and its many glaciers is via boat. Goldbelt Tours offers and 8-hour tour of the bay ((907) 586-8687) and Glacier Bay Cruiseline has a 3-day/2-night package (www.glacierbaytours.com). Kayaking in Glacier Bay is an unforgettable experience, whether visitors are coming face to face with playful seals or navigating the icy waters of the Muir Inlet to the snout of the McBride Glacier. The Alesk River runs through the park, so rafters won’t be left out in the cold.

Hikers and backpackers looking to get off the beaten track can traipse along the shoreline or the glacial riverbedsin Glacier Bay National Park, but should always mind the bears.