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Nature
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Roads
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Water
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Activities

Established Camping

Bartlett Cove Campground — Glacier Bay National Park

About

National Park Service

Glacier Bay National Park & Preserve

The National Park Service maintains a free walk-in campground in Bartlett Cove. The campground features bear-proof food caches, a fire-pit and warming shelter (with firewood provided) located in a very scenic setting along the shore, 1/4 mile south of the Bartlett Cove dock. Stays are limited to 14 days

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Location

Bartlett Cove Campground — Glacier Bay National Park is located in Alaska

Detail location of campground

Directions

The campground is located about 1/4 mile by trail from the main dock in Bartlett Cove. It has designated sites, a warming shelter, vault toilets, and bear-proof food caches. Wheelbarrows are available to help transport gear. Stop by the Visitor Information Station near the dock to obtain a free camping permit for the campground.

Address

Along the shoreline of Bartlett Cove
Bartlett cove, AK 99826

Coordinates

58.450781 N
135.8944 W

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Access

  • Walk-In
    Park in a lot, walk to your site.
  • Hike-In
    Backcountry sites.
  • Boat-In
    Sites accessible by watercraft.

Stay Connected

  • WiFi
    Unknown
  • Verizon
    Available
  • AT&T
    Available
  • T-Mobile
    Good

Site Types

  • Tent Sites
  • Group

Features

For Campers

  • Trash
  • WiFi
  • Drinking Water
  • Toilets
  • Alcohol

Reviews

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5.0

out of 5

6 Reviews

Shari  G.The Dyrt PRO User
Reviewed Oct. 6, 2022

Beautiful Campground to Start an Unbelievable Journey!

This “semi-developed” campground in the park at Bartlett Cove near the Visitor’s Center is simply stunning. Campsites are free but require a permit and short briefing at the Visitor’s Center on the backcountry bear protocol. The campground has 36 individual walk-in sites (3-group sites) and the closest are around 1/4 miles from the parking lot. The park provides wheelbarrows to help tote your camping gear to the site. I point this out because we waited until arriving at the Visitor’s Center to prep our gear and food for our sea kayak trip and the distance from our campsite and parking lot required a lot of schlepping gear, food and many, many steps. It did, however, contribute to the remote feel of the campground. 

The campsites themselves, are simply bare spots on which to pitch your tent – no picnic tables or fire rings, but there are composting toilets in the campground.  No sites in the park can accommodate camping from your vehicle or trailer, though there is at least 1 small RV park in Gustavus about 10 miles away. 

Supplies and food should be brought with you, as the options for purchasing in Gustavus are limited. The park gift shop as well as the town’s general store does sell camping fuel in the small and green canisters – these cannot be brought on any airplane if you fly in.  At the campground, all food needs to be prepared and consumed on the rocky beach, in the intertidal zone, away from the camping area so that all food smells and debris are carried away by the water and do not attract bear curiosity. Regardless of the weather, you must cook here so bringing a small rain fly is a good idea. Food must be stored in the food cache shelters scattered along the trail winding through the campsite. 

As the weather can be cold and rainy anytime during the summer the park provides warming huts which are 3 sided shelters with wood stoves that a perfect place to hang out, dry off and warm up. Firewood is both copious and free. No food consumption or preparation should be done in these shelters. Back Country camping is available anywhere within the park except areas that are closed. Rangers will provide information on campsite selection as well as a lot of other information in the mandatory backcountry briefing held twice a day(10am& 6pm at the Visitor's Center).

Check out our video of our backcountry experience in Glacier Bay here:  https://youtu.be/bYmf6GKT5kA

Month of VisitAugust
  • Review photo of Bartlett Cove Campground — Glacier Bay National Park by Shari  G., October 6, 2022
  • Review photo of Bartlett Cove Campground — Glacier Bay National Park by Shari  G., October 6, 2022
  • Review photo of Bartlett Cove Campground — Glacier Bay National Park by Shari  G., October 6, 2022
  • (11) View All
Mike L.
Reviewed Aug. 3, 2019

BEAUTIFUL!

Abundance of wildlife. Trails to hike. What an amazing place to visit.

  • Review photo of Bartlett Cove Campground — Glacier Bay National Park by Mike L., August 3, 2019
  • Review photo of Bartlett Cove Campground — Glacier Bay National Park by Mike L., August 3, 2019
J
Reviewed Oct. 1, 2017

Mini backpacking camping

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!

  • Review photo of Bartlett Cove Campground — Glacier Bay National Park by Justin S., October 1, 2017
SwitchbackKids
Reviewed Jul. 27, 2017

See Glacier Bay on a Budget

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)

Month of VisitAugust
  • Review photo of Bartlett Cove Campground — Glacier Bay National Park by SwitchbackKids , July 27, 2017
  • Review photo of Bartlett Cove Campground — Glacier Bay National Park by SwitchbackKids , July 27, 2017
  • Review photo of Bartlett Cove Campground — Glacier Bay National Park by SwitchbackKids , July 27, 2017
  • (5) View All
H
Reviewed Sep. 30, 2016

Glacier Bay primitive campsite

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.

K
Reviewed Sep. 27, 2016

A Walk in the Rainforest

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.

  • Review photo of Bartlett Cove Campground — Glacier Bay National Park by Katy D., September 27, 2016
  • Review photo of Bartlett Cove Campground — Glacier Bay National Park by Katy D., September 27, 2016
  • Review photo of Bartlett Cove Campground — Glacier Bay National Park by Katy D., September 27, 2016

Frequently Asked Questions

Does Bartlett Cove Campground — Glacier Bay National Park have wifi?

Yes, according to campers on TheDyrt.com, Bartlett Cove Campground — Glacier Bay National Park does have wifi.

Is there cell phone reception at Bartlett Cove Campground — Glacier Bay National Park?

According to campers on TheDyrt.com, Verizon signal is available, AT&T is available, and T-Mobile is good.