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NPS Visitor Information Station
NPS Visitor Information Station staff
NPS Storage Shed

NPS Storage Shed

NPS Camping Permits

The National Park Service (NPS) requires anyone camping in Glacier Bay National Park or the Bartlett Cove campground to obtain a camping permit. These permits are not limited and are free for both the Bartlett Cove campground and backcountry. Only one permit is needed per group.

In 2023, the NPS will offer in-person Backcountry Camper Orientations daily at 10:00 AM and 3:00 PM.  Each member of your party is required to attend the backcountry camper orientation in person at the NPS Visitor Information Station (VIS) upon arrival in Bartlett Cove. During the orientation, you will watch two required videos, fill out your backcountry permit, get free bear canisters for your food, ask any questions you may have, and find out about any special wildlife and safety closures along your paddle route.

If you would like to watch the two required videos in advance, we have included them at the bottom of this page. The videos will answer your questions on minimum impact (‘Leave No Trace’) and bear country camping in Glacier Bay. We recommend viewing them just prior to departing on your trip in order to have the details fresh in your thoughts as part of your trip preparation.

During the summer, the NPS VIS will be open from 7:00 AM to 7:00 PM daily from Memorial Day weekend thru Labor Day weekend. If you are departing on the tour boat the next morning, we ask that you arrive into Gustavus early enough in the afternoon so that you get to Bartlett Cove and get your bear canisters and permit at the afternoon 3:00 PM orientation. We will then meet you at the VIS at 5:00 PM to issue your kayaks for your up bay departure on the tour boat the next day.

You may inquire with the rangers about storing your excess gear with them at their small storage shed located next door to the VIS. Storage is free of charge and they will issue you a tag for each piece on which you will mark your name and the date of return. If you prefer secured storage, Glacier Bay Lodge will store your gear in their baggage room for a fee or for free if you are staying there before your trip.

Frequently Asked Questions on Tides & Currents may be answered in the Tides and Currents video.

For more information see the NPS website or contact the VIS at (907)697-2627.  See also the Leave No Trace website.

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