Designated wilderness areas exist in national parks from coast to coast, but many of them can be described as "islands of wildness surrounded by development." Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve is a rare exception, "a wild place within the context of equally wild and sometimes wilder surroundings," and the park has prepared a document that "clearly defines the current status of and threats to the park's wilderness character.
Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve
Timing often is happenstance, but with Earth Day arriving next week, word of high mercury levels in fish in national parks from Alaska to Colorado is particularly sobering. In some cases, the levels exceed limits OKed for human consumption.
In the summer of 2005 a killer whale calf was found dead in Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve, and the discovery led to an unusual opportunity. Very few complete killer whale skeletons are known to be on display anywhere in the country, and now, after an impressive cooperative effort, the articulated skeleton has gone on public display near the park.
Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve protects 3,283,000 acres of spectacular Alaskan scenery, so even some pretty spectacular geologic events in remote sections of the park can go unnoticed for a while. Thanks to remote sensing equipment, however, scientists have confirmed that "largest known landslide on Earth since 2010" occurred in the park earlier this month.
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.
You can make your reservation at Glacier Bay Lodge in Glacier Bay National Park without fear of the lodge being closed. The National Park Service has reached a two-year extension with ARAMARK Parks and Destinations to continue operating the lodge on the shores of Bartlett Cove.
There's been some occasional debate about the appropriate number of large cruise ships in Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve, but the visitors aboard the daily tour boat Baranof Wind last Friday are probably glad the 1,260-passenger Statendam was in the area. Mechanical problems left the smaller vessel dead in the water in a remote area, but her passengers were safely carried back to port by the cruise ship.
It sounds like a great time to be in Glacier Bay National Park whale watching. Park officials have ordered cruise ships to reduce their speeds due to "extremely high humpback whale densities."
There are restaurants in and near national parks that serve up some mighty fine food, but not all of them offer an outstanding view to go with your meal. What are your choices for the restaurant with the best view in or near a national park?