Bear Glacier

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5.0
104 reviews
Excellent
90
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jjpc16
Park City, UT10 contributions
Aug 2022
Did an all day kayaking trip with Liquid Adventures that was unbelievable. Worth the $ and would recommend to anyone. Definitely a trip you will never forget!
Written August 25, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

amyw2012
Birmingham, AL1,839 contributions
Jul 2022 • Family
This area is gorgeous and unique! The icebergs floating around are amazing This was my favorite place to visit on my entire Alaska trip. My kids say the ice also tasted delicious.
Written August 1, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Mina Rush
2 contributions
Jun 2022
Don't miss the opportunity to kayak through a field of icebergs with a fantastic Liquid Adventures Guide. We had Kristin who was not only experienced and knowledgeable, but also a lot of fun. Spencer our captain who shuttled us back and forth to the location was also knowledgeable and interesting.
Written July 5, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

PDXmilespoints
Portland, OR496 contributions
Aug 2021
Prettty amazing for sure! We went with Exit Glacier Tours and LOVED them and the actual Glacier- a highlight of our trp
Written August 15, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

2deer
Atlanta, GA167 contributions
Aug 2020
Took a kayaking tour of the glacier. Paddling among ice bergs and seals near the glacier was a once in lifetime experience. Beautiful. Calming, Majestic.
Written August 11, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Alexandra S
Anchorage, AK6 contributions
Jul 2020
We saw this glacier from the boat. Officially it is an entrace to the park. The glacier is just massive and looks amazing in the park.
Written July 9, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Anthony P
Columbus, OH118 contributions
Jul 2019
We'd visited Alaska three years ago and loved it so much we were considering going back. Vacationing in Alaska is nothing short of expensive so we weren't sure if we wanted to dish out the money to do it again. During our indecision, I was doing some research on activities in Seward & Kenai Fjords NP and stumbled across some photos & videos of Bear Glacier Lagoon. We were floored by its beauty. That pivotal moment was when we decided to return to America's Last Frontier!
Now, onto the review!
This review is more for the lagoon at the foot of Bear Glacier, than the glacier itself. Bear Glacier is quite spectacular in its own right, especially being the largest in Kenai Fjords. But spending 18 days in Alaska, it's hard not to experience several other glaciers. It’s the lagoon that really stands out! It is surrounded by snowcapped peaks to the east & west, Bear Glacier to the north, and a long, thin beach to the south, separating the lagoon from the Gulf of Alaska. The lagoon is a very deep and clear freshwater lake, fed by the glacier and its enormous icebergs. The water is blue and clear, probably due to its 600 ft. depth.
The Icebergs!
The icebergs were something out of a Spielberg movie! These things were large enough to be seen over the treetops as we approached the lagoon from the gulf. They ranged from the size of a soda bottle to the size of a supermarket.... no exaggeration! Several stood well over 100’ above the surface of the water! The various shapes and sizes were absolutely mind boggling! There were so many shades of blue! The water was so clear we could see where the icebergs below the surface just descended into the abyss… talk about the tip of the iceberg! You only see roughly 10% of it above the surface while the other 90% is below.
Getting there
Getting to Bear Glacier Lagoon requires planning. The only ways to get there is either by sea or by air. There are helicopters that frequently drop in with kayakers, and sometimes they just fly around the lake and leave. I’ve seen videos of it and it looks spectacular! There are guided kayaking tours you can take but your time on the water is limited and you’ll likely be stuck with strangers and a guide. Most people prefer this, though we rather do things on our own. There’s also a water taxi you can take to the lagoon. It’s about a 45 minute ride from town. Boats can only make it into the lagoon at high tide so you’ll either have to camp, or time your day with the tides, which is what we did. We took a WATER TAXI from SEWARD to drop us off at high tide around 7:00 am and pick us up when the tide came back in twelve hours later. It seems like a very long day, but I assure you, the hours flew by. Being surrounded by such natural beauty left us feeling like the day just slipped away so quickly. Our Captain, Louis Garding, procured our tandem kayak through a third party outfitter that lives in the forest at the lagoon during the summer months, named Ron. Once Louis dropped us off, we hiked about 30 minutes to Ron’s to pick up our kayak. It took us about an hour to get suited with drysuits, get our gear secured to the kayak, and get on the water. If you choose this option, be sure to keep an eye on the time to leave yourself enough time to get the kayak back to Ron and hike back to the pickup spot.
The kayaking
The kayaking here was superb… better than we could have dreamed of! For one, the weather was great. It was probably 75 degrees with very few clouds. The day before and the day after were filled with rain so we were really blessed to have such a great day. Once we were on the water, we paddled toward the glacier, stopping many times to take in the beauty of the icebergs with their many shapes, sizes, and colors. Don’t be fooled into thinking the glacier is an easy, quick paddle…. It’s much further away than it looks. While paddling around the north side of an island we noticed we had some curious friends swimming about 50 feet away... seals! They would poke their heads above water, then dip back below the surface. A few minutes later we noticed a large, flat iceberg with about 20 seals. We tried to move as slowly and quietly as possible, but we unfortunately must have spooked one of them. Once it took off toward the water, the rest followed. We certainly didn’t mean to scare any of them when they were only trying to rest :-(
The closer we got to the glacier and the west side of the lagoon, the bigger the icebergs got. These things we indescribable in size! Our water taxi captain had told us that some we so big that they actually we sitting on the bottom of this 600’ deep lake. Unbelievable! We got to about ½ mile from the glacier and felt that we shouldn’t get any closer, plus it was nearing the time for us to start heading back. We’ve kayaked in several places, but there just is no comparison!
Beware
Now, with all that said about how beautiful this place is, I must give you some words of caution.
The icebergs are majestic and may seem harmless just floating around in the lagoon. They can easily lure visitors in close with their beauty. Do not be fooled! In our short time there we heard many of them crack, pop, tumble, and roll. In each incident, by the time we were able to point our cameras to record the action, it was over, with nothing more than some waves to telling us where it happened. The sound these things make are referred to as “white thunder.” That is an appropriate phrase because thunder is exactly what it sounds like. The glacier make similar sounds, sometimes actually sounding like gunfire. If you YouTube this place, you’ll see videos of people getting so close that they actually touch the icebergs. Please do not put yourself and your loved ones at risk by getting sucked into a dangerous situation for a selfie. If you’re next to one when it decides to roll or collapse, you have no chance. If you aren’t hit by falling or shifting ice, the wave it creates can knock you out of your kayak. With a water temperature of only 33 degrees, you’ll have little chance of survival unless you have a drysuit on and can be pulled from the water quickly. People die here! Please read safety warnings on the lagoon posted by the National Park Service. However tall and/or wide an iceberg is, you should stay twice that distance away. You’ll still get some great photos! Stay at least ½ mile from the glacier. During our stay in Alaska, there were three tourists killed in Valdez Glacier Lake (which we also visited) by falling ice from the glacier. Keep in mind that Bear Glacier is 100% wilderness. There are no restrooms or cell service. Other than a few hidden tents in the forest, there is no sign of human activity. If things go south, you have very little to no help.

A must do!
All things considered, this experience was truly on of the greatest! We would like to return to Alaska to do this again. I didn’t mean to write a book, but we were just so enamored with this amazing place!
Written September 9, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

work-to-travelMI
Grand Rapids, MI332 contributions
Aug 2019
This tide water glacier is large, almost like those of Glacier Bay NP, and also has enormous icebergs calving off at times.
Written August 16, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Tina B
Portland, OR109 contributions
Aug 2019
It's melting, sad. It's also beautiful and worth the view from a boat or kayak. We saw it both ways, through Seward Ocean travels and Liquid Adventures via kayak.
Written August 15, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Cathyh152
Northeast, MO27 contributions
Aug 2019
We kayaked here and it was just gorgeous. The trip was through Liquid Glaciers. Well worth the money to see this
Written August 13, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

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BEAR GLACIER: All You Need to Know BEFORE You Go (with Photos)

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