NPS Visitor Information Station staff
NPS Storage Shed
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 free for both the Bartlett Cove campground and backcountry, and may be obtained at the NPS Visitor Information Station (VIS) upon your arrival in Bartlett Cove.
All members of your group are required to attend the NPS Backcountry Camper Orientation, during which you will get your camping permit, file a paddle plan, and watch a video that will answer your questions on minimum impact (‘Leave No Trace’) and bear country camping in Glacier Bay. The NPS staff can advise you on any current wildlife closures along your planned route and answer any questions you might have.
You may also wish to 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 you store, on which you'll mark your name and the date of your return. If you prefer secured storage, Glacier Bay Lodge will store your gear in their baggage room for a per bag, per day fee.
The NPS offers Backcountry Camper Orientations daily at 10:00 AM, 3:00 PM and 6:00 PM. Based on the paddling itinerary you select, we suggest the following as the best NPS orientation session for you to attend.
10:00 AM or 3:00 PM Camper Orientations
For kayakers combining an up bay paddle itinerary in either arm with a round-trip drop-off and pick-up on the daily tour boat, or a one-way drop off up bay paddling back to Bartlett Cove. We ask that you arrive early enough in the day to attend either the 10:00 AM or 3:00 PM session, prior to our 5:00-7:00 PM kayak instruction. This will allow you to depart for your drop off by the tourboat the following morning, loading camping gear at 6:30 AM, departing at 7:30 AM.
6:00 PM Camper Orientations
For kayakers planning an itinerary that departs by kayak from Bartlett Cove with a one-way pick up by the tour boat or paddling the Beardslees, if you arrive on the Alaska Airlines jet, you should plan on attending the 6:00 PM NPS session that evening.We will then meet you at 9:00 AM or 2:00 PM the following day to issue you your kayak.