- Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve
Infobox_protected_area | name = Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve
iucn_category = II
locator_x = 49
locator_y = 169
location = Hoonah-Angoon Census Area and Yakutat City and Borough, flagicon|Alaska
nearest_city = Juneau
lat_degrees = 58
lat_minutes = 30
lat_seconds = 0
lat_direction = N
long_degrees = 137
long_minutes = 00
long_seconds = 0
long_direction = W
area = 3,283,246 acres (13,287 km²)
December 2, 1980
visitation_num = 413,382
visitation_year = 2006
National Park ServiceThe area around Glacier Bayin southeastern Alaskawas first proclaimed a U.S. National Monumenton February 25, 1925. It was changed to Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve in 1980 by the Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act. Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve is a United StatesNational Park in the southern part of Alaska west of Juneau. The park area was included in an International Biosphere Reserve in 1986 and is part of a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The park covers 5,130 mi² (13,287 km²). Most of the park is a designated wilderness areawhich covers 4,164 mi² (10,784 km²) of the park.
No roads lead to the park and it is most easily reached by air travel. During some summers there are ferries to the small community of Gustavus or directly to the marina at Bartlett Cove. Despite the lack of roads, there are over 300,000 visitors per year, most on cruise ships.Fact|date=August 2008
Glaciers descending from high snow capped mountains into the bay create spectacular displays of ice and iceberg formation. In the last century the bay’s most famous glacier was probably the
Muir Glacier, at one time nearly 3 km (2 miles) wide and about 80 m (265 feet) tall. The Muir Glacier has receded and since the 1990s is no longer tidewater. Most visitors today see the Margerie and Lamplugh Glaciers. All of Glacier Bay was glacier-bound as recently as 1750.
The explorer Captain
George Vancouverfound Icy Strait, at the south end of Glacier Bay, choked with ice in 1794. Glacier Bay itself was almost entirely iced over. In 1879 naturalist John Muirfound that the ice had retreated almost all the way up the bay, a distance of around forty-eight miles. By 1916 the Grand Pacific Glacierwas at the head of Tarr Inlet about 100 km (65 miles) from Glacier Bay's mouth. This is the fastest documented glacier retreat ever.Fact|date=August 2008 Scientists are hoping to learn how glacial activity relates to climate changes from the retreat.
Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve includes 9 tidewater glaciers. 4 actively calve (shed)
icebergs into the bay.
Wildlife in the area includes
bears, deer, mountain goats, whales, and waterfowl.
World Heritage Site
Kluane-Wrangell-St. Elias-Glacier Bay-Tatshenshini-Alsektransborder park system comprising Kluane, Wrangell-St Elias, Glacier Bay and Tatshenshini-Alsek parks, was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Sitein 1979 for the spectacular glacier and icefield landscapes as well as for the importance of grizzly bears, caribou and Dall sheep habitat.
* Official website: [http://www.nps.gov/glba/ Glacier Bay National Park]
* [http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/72 World Heritage Site]
*wikitravel|Glacier Bay National Park
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