Encounter A Humpback Whale Out Of The Water At Glacier Bay National Park Next Year

Visitors to Glacier Bay National Park in 2014 will be able to stand before the second-largest whale skeleton on display in the world. NPS graphic.

Come the summer of 2014 you'll be able to see a 45-foot-long humpback whale out of the water at Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve.

The whale in question, "Snow," died back in 2001 in a collision with a cruise ship in the national park. But after her carcass decomposed on a beach, park staff and area residents began work on cleaning and preserving the massive skeleton.

In October 2012, Glacier Bay officials contracted with a professional whale reconstruction entity to prepare the skeleton to become an articulated outdoor exhibit. When the skeleton goes on display, it will be the second-largest humpback whale skeleton on display in the world, topped only by a 49-foot skeleton in Newfoundland, according to the Park Service.

At Glacier Bay, a roofed, open-sided exhibit shelter is being built to house the skeleton, located on a trail along the shore near the visitor information station.

To see some living humpbacks, you need only to walk the beach along Bartlett Cove near the Glacier Bay Lodge. To increase your odds, take a ride on the daily interpretive catamaran that runs the length of Glacier Bay.

The Park Service has been monitoring humpback whales at Glacier Bay since 1985 and typically views more than 200 whales in Glacier Bay each summer.