The National Park Service maintains a free walk-in campground in Bartlett Cove. The campground features a bear-proof food cache, fire-pit with firewood, and warming shelter located in a very scenic setting along the shore, 1/4 mile south of the Bartlett Cove dock. Stays are limited to 14 days. Learn More about the Bartlett Cove Campground
Abundance of wildlife. Trails to hike. What an amazing place to visit.
Beautiful place in Glacier Bay with lots of critters, historic cabin, views, trails, etc. This isn’t car camping since you have to walk less than a mile from the parking lot to the campsite. Make sure to bring everything you need, including water and bear protection, and definitely stop into the ranger station to learn bear safety and to secure your spot. This campsite had so much character. I think it’d be a great way to introduce kids or adults to backpacking, it adds some backcountry feel but you’re not all that far from your car and civilization if needed. Highly recommended!
Almost 90% of Glacier Bay visitors never step foot on the land; they simply visit by cruise ship, so being able to camp in this lush and rugged park was a real treat.
At the campsites, the trees were dripping with green mosses and vegetation. The provided wooden food caches made us feel secure, and the proximity to the national park could not be beat.
Since you cannot drive to this park, it was important to us to stay very close by. The lodge also provides accommodation, but the free campground cannot be beat. A free permit is required, which includes a 30-minute camper orientation that ensures you follow all the safety guidelines (such as cooking and eating out on the rocks at low tide, storing food in provided caches, etc.)
We were pleased with how much there was to do at this seemingly empty park: an array of ranger programs, kayak rentals, hiking trails, and great views of the bay from all around.
We didn’t attend the Day Cruise from the lodge, but we thought the one-day kayak rental was completely worth the cost. During our day on the water, we saw whales breaching (about a dozen times!), sea otters, sea lions, dozens of bald eagles, and brown bears on the coast. We were blown away by the wildlife.
You can read much more about our three days in the park on our blog: Switchback Kids (Glacier Bay)
Great primitive campground a short walk (less than 1/2 mile) from the parking lot. Due to all the bear activity, you need to attend an “orientation” by the rangers to learn how to safely camp in this park, including using a quaint food cache cabin, where you’re allowed to eat, etc. There is no water but there are vault toilets. This is the only place to camp here (most stay in the cabins/lodge) and one of my favorite places I’ve ever been.
This is a walk-in campground and there are wheel barrows provided for use to haul gear from the parking lot (about 1/4 mile). There is filtered water and restrooms available by the backcountry office where you obtain your free permit, but there is no running water in the campground. There are 3 caches to store food and scented items in. There are 2 outhouses and a composting toilet. Firewood is provided for use in the warming shelter or the fire ring on the beach. It is located in a temperate rainforest, so bring your rain gear! Upon arrival you should go to the backcountry office to get a permit and attend an orientation about general regulations and about staying safe in bear country.