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Guided Rentals - In the Shadow of Glaciers: The John Muir Tour

 Trip Dates

 July 18-25, 2020

 Duration

 8 days

 Difficulty Level

 Experienced kayakers only.
 Advanced level.

 Price

 $ 2,100/person plus tax

 

Trip Description

In 1879, John Muir did not have the luxury of engines and propellers to reach his fabled ice mountains. And while we’re not hardy (or crazy) enough to paddle in October like he did, this adventure will get you closer to Muir’s paddle strokes than ever before.

Departing from Bartlett Cove through the Beardslee Cut, you and your guide will weave through the wildlife rich Beardslee Islands and up the east side of the lower bay. After pausing at the mouth of the East Arm where the fabled Muir Glacier stood in 1879, we’ll wrap around the southern tip of Tlingit Point and follow the route of Muir’s expedition as best we can.

When possible, we’ll investigate notable sites from the trip, including Tidal Inlet and a circumnavigation of Russell Island which was just emerging from the Grand Pacific Glacier when Muir laid eyes on it.

No Glacier Bay adventure would be complete without partaking in some of Muir’s “glacier gospel.” We’ll be sure to leave time to paddle near the Lamplugh and Reid glaciers. The trip concludes in Blue Mouse Cove where we’ll be picked up by the park tour boat and returned to Bartlett Cove.

Trip Details

You will need to arrive by early afternoon on July 17th in order to attend two mandatory meetings:

  1. The NPS Backcountry Camper Orientation is conducted daily at the NPS Visitor Information Station in BartlettCove. This orientation is one hour in duration. We ask that you attend either the 10 AM or 3 PM orientation.
  2. You will meet with your GBSK guide(s) at 5 PM at the NPS Visitor Information Station to go through your gear list, pack your food, and discuss the weather forecast, tides and the paddle itinerary of the trip.


Day 1   We’ll spend the morning in Bartlett Cove organizing and packing our kayaks. Our trip begins by paddling through the Bartlett River Cut with the high tide into the Beardslee Islands. We’ll weave through this labyrinth of islands looking for black bears, moose, seals, sea lions, sea otters, and whales before camping near the north end of the archipelago.

Day 2   We continue north past the Beardslee Islands and into the lower bay, passing through what has become a favorite spot for humpbacks. We’ll paddle along the east side, following the shadow of the Beartrack Mountains and through the emerald green waters of Spokane and South Sandy Cove.

Day 3   Our trip reaches the mouth of the East Arm on day three where, in 1879, the Muir Glacier stood as one of the unofficial wonders of the world. We’ll make camp nearby that evening.

Day 4   Leaving the lower bay behind, we’ll make our way west and north, wrapping around Tlingit Point and traversing a seldom traveled stretch of shoreline toward the geographically miraculous Tidal Inlet, a narrow fjord with spectacular steep mountains on each side. With luck the weather will be better than it was for Muir and his companions in October of 1879, when sleet, fog, and a growing ice sheet threatened to scuttle the journey.

Day 5   We’ll continue up the West Arm passing the mountain goat haven Gloomy Knob. Nearby are a couple of salmon streams and a great spot for to observe brown bears fishing. Ahead is Russell Island. Covered in alder and young spruce today, it was just emerging from the ice when Muir laid eyes on it. We’ll stop at the southern tip, as close to the spot where Muir landed as possible. We’ll take time to explore the terrain and perhaps a little bush whacking through the trees if we feel like it.

Day 6   The north end of Russell Island offers one of our favorite vistas in the park, looking north up Tarr Inlet towards Margerie Glacier and west to Lamplugh Glacier and John Hopkins Inlet. We’ll cross the West Arm and stop near the face of Lamplugh before heading south, pausing for wildlife when necessary. Our day concludes at Reid Inlet and its namesake glacier. If time allows we’ll explore the ruins of the Ibach cabin, the relic of a homesteading couple from the early 20th century.

Day 7  Our last full day will take us south along the outside of the Gilbert Peninsula and toward the mouth of Hugh Miller Inlet. We’ll camp somewhere near the pickup site and savor our final evening in the bay.

Day 8   We’ll paddle to the pick up point in plenty of time for the early afternoon arrival of the tour boat. Cruising down the bay, we’ll arrive back to Bartlett Cove by 3:30 PM where we can unpack (and shower!) before meeting for dinner at the Glacier Bay Lodge.

 

Guided Rentals - Hugh Miller Inlet

 Trip Dates

 August 5 – 8, 2020

 Duration

 4 days

 Difficulty Level

 Appropriate for all levels.

 Price

$ 1,195/person plus tax

 

Trip Description

For many visitors, the purpose of their visit is to paddle in the shadows of glaciers and fall asleep to the sounds of creaking and calving ice. However, as Glacier Bay continues to change, this becomes a greater challenge.

For those desiring peace, solitude, and wildlife, Glacier Bay Sea Kayaks offers this Hugh Miller Inlet and Scidmore Bay trip. Enjoy four days in one of the quietest and most biologically rich regions of the park. Humpback whales, seals, sea birds, eagles, bears, moose, wolves, and even orcas may be sighted in one of our favorite spots in southeast Alaska. The trip's loose itinerary allows us the flexibility to maximize wildlife viewing, exploring, or just relaxing on the rocks with a pair of binoculars. For those that really want at least a glimpse of the bay's famous glaciers, not to worry! The boat that drops us off will also visit the tidewater glaciers before we stop at Hugh Miller Inlet.

Trip Details

You will need to arrive by early afternoon on August 4th in order to attend two mandatory meetings:

  1. The NPS Backcountry Camper Orientation is conducted daily at the NPS Visitor Information Station in Bartlett Cove. This orientation is one hour in duration. We ask that you attend either the 10 AM or 3 PM orientation.
  2. After you will meet with your GBSK guide(s) at 5 PM at the NPS Visitor Information Station to go through your gear list, pack your food, and discuss the weather forecast, tides and the paddle itinerary of the trip.


Day 1   6:30 AM - Load kayaks onto the tour boat for a 7:30 AM departure and tour of Glacier Bay by boat. You will enjoy viewing the West Arm’s large tide water glaciers and inlets, sightseeing and taking photos of wildlife along the way. Lunch included on the boat. After lunch, we will be dropped off with our kayaks and camping gear. We will load our kayaks and get ourselves acquainted with the boats and rudder systems and have an easy paddle to find a good camp spot for the night.

Day 2 & 3   Explore Hugh Miller Inlet, looking for birds, wildlife and marine mammals while paddling the secluded, protected islands. If you are a birder, make sure you bring your binoculars as Hugh Miller has an abundance of sea birds to add to your accumulative ‘life list.’

Day 4   After a leisurely breakfast we will pack up and paddle towards our pick up point. Just after lunch we will be picked up by the daily tour boat and enjoy the journey back down the bay, returning to Bartlett Cove by 3:30 PM. Arrive back into Bartlett Cove, clean up and meet for dinner at Glacier Bay Lodge to discuss the trip and say our farewells.

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