At the northern end of the Inside Passage, 550 mi/880 km southeast of Anchorage, the Glacier Bay National Park waterway stretches for 65 mi/105 km and contains 16 tidewater glaciers. In 1980, Glacier Bay became a U.S. national park and preserve. It encompasses 3.2 million acres/1.3 million hectares and can be visited only by sea or air.
Small boats and planes generally leave from the nearby town of Gustavus. Facilities and services at the park include naturalist talks and walks, sea-kayak rentals and rustic backcountry lodges. Gustavus also has several lodges and bed-and-breakfasts. A number of companies operate whale-watching tours and fishing tours in the bay.
The park has a variety of wildlife, including marine mammals, wolves, moose, black and grizzly bears, Sitka black-tailed deer and bald eagles. The area also has a unique subspecies of black bear. Named glacial bears because of their silver-tinged fur, they are identical in size and features to the common black bear but are found only in glacial areas.
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