Point Gustavus

One of Glacier Bay's lesser-known day hikes to an impressive overlook of the bay.

Hiking Moderate

Distance
20 km
Ascent
270 m
Descent
270 m
Duration
4-5 hrs
Low Point
-1 m
High Point
16 m
Gradient
Point Gustavus Map

Point Gustavus may be a staple destination for locals, but for first-time visitors, "there is a good chance you would not find this hike," according to a former park ranger. If arriving by boat, Point Gustavus is the entrance point for the park and "sits just north of one of the most famous humpback whale-watching areas in the world," the author continues. It's an all-day outing to reach the Point Gustavus, but the out-and-back hike gives plenty of flexibility to head back whenever you'd like.

Description

This route is sometimes considered one of the secret hikes in Glacier Bay, but the trail sees enough use that it is easy to follow. It's best to arrive at the point during low tide, meaning you should begin your hike as the tide begins to go out. Rangers at the visitor center can often provide input on the trail's conditions, and it's said that they are happy to write down your information and itinerary if you plan to hike alone.

If you just arrived at the park and don't have the time to hike to Point Gustavus, consider the Forest Trail Loop instead. It originates at either the boat dock or visitor center, and returns along the beach. It is also fully-accessible between the visitor center and an overlook of a small, serene pond.

Sources: NPS dirtinmyshoes.com

Difficulty

Moderate

Hiking along trails with some uneven terrain and small hills. Small rocks and roots may be present.

Medium Exposure

2 out of 4

The trail contains some obstacles such as outcroppings and rock which could cause injury.

Remoteness

3 out of 4

Little chance of being seen or helped in case of an accident.

Best time to visit

May, June, July, August, September, October

Features

  • Wildlife
  • Picturesque
  • Wild flowers
  • Water features
  • Forestry or heavy vegetation

Similar routes nearby

Guidebooks in this area