Bear Glacier

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5.0 of 5 bubbles105 reviews
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mnmelody
minnesota69 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jun 2024 • Family
My sister, her adult kids and I took the helicopter in kayak tour of Bear Glacier Lagoon with Liquid Adventures and it was absolutely out of this world amazing.
The helicopter ride through the mountain tops was spectacular and the kayaking tour through the icebergs was one of the coolest things I ever done in my life. Well worth every penny paid and I will definitely do it again!
Written June 21, 2024
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
3 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
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.

Olive96822
Honolulu, HI2 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jul 2011 • Friends
Upon arriving to the harbor in Seward, the Seward Water Taxi and Captain Louis Garding were waiting for us at the dock (I'm a stickler for being punctual so this was an immediate plus). He was super friendly and excited to help us load our gear onto his boat. The boat ride was warm and comfortable and along the way I looked at the extensive collection of maps of Resurrection Bay and surrounding areas that were in the cabin. I am not familiar with the wildlife in Alaska, so it was really neat that Captain Garding pointed out the birds and marine animals along the way! Half of our group was inexperienced kayakers, so when we landed and unloaded our things, Captain Garding gave us some basic tips on handling our kayaks, as well as how to navigate the river and where to go to access the lake in front of the glacier. Also, we didn't even have to get our feet wet when he dropped us on the beach. The boat just pulled right up to the beach and we off loaded our gear with comfort and ease. Without his advice our trip would have taken a lot longer and been a lot more physically demanding!!
Kayaking with the icebergs in front of the glacier was out of this world. We all kept saying, 'oh my goodness, I can't believe how amazing this is...' It truly felt like we were in a fantasy land. The views of the ice and the moutains were spectacular, and we had the whole place to ourselves!
Previous to this trip, I went on a day cruise with one of the local tour companies out to Aialik Glaciar....we were on a huge boat with a ton of people. It was a beautiful day, but I felt like we were in a theme park because it was so generic and crowded. Our trip with Alaskan Coastal Safari was so personal and special, I would recommend this company to anyone wanting to make the most of their trip to Seward and Alaska!
Overall, I am more than impressed with Alaskan Coastal Safari/Seward Water Taxi! We definitley got the most bang for our buck and I can't wait to come back up to Alaska and explore more of Resurrection Bay :)
Written July 19, 2011
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, OH128 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
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.

tshell01
Northport, NY47 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Aug 2011 • Couples
My wife and I went to Bear Glacier for a 4 hour kayaking trip. We left the Seward Airport on a helicopter going out with Adventure Sixty North. We landed right on the beach and jumped into kayaks and were paddling around massive icebergs for a few hours. When we pulled in, it was extremely foggy, but that almost created a more unique scene. A lot of the fog eventually lifted, giving us a good view of Bear Glacier itself, along with some of the surrounding mountains. Along the way, we were lucky enough to catch the back end of an iceberg calving, and we also saw about a dozen seals along the way too, which use the area as protection from any predators in the vicinity.

The only ways into bear glacier are by boat in difficult waters and at only the perfect timing of the tides. The other way is via a very quick and comfortable helicopter ride. One or two water taxi companies try to do the former, and I believe Adventure Sixty North is the only who does the latter.
Written August 14, 2011
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.

KellyAnn294
La Quinta, CA48 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Aug 2014 • Family
This is a must see while in Seward. From the parking lot (has bathrooms) it is just a one mile easy hike to the glacier. In addition to views of the glacier there are stunning scenic views.
Written September 7, 2014
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.

atoll-lover
Islamabad, Pakistan11 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jul 2011 • Friends
This was an amazing kayaking trip. I used Seward Water Taxi to get my gear and kayaks out to the glacier on day one, kayaked for four hours, set up camp on the beach, and kayaked the second day for another five hours. The water taxi picked us up at high tide on the second day and took us back to Seward. We kayaked among icebergs, through the glacier lake, and all the way up to bear glacier. The scenery was awesome.
Written July 19, 2011
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.

Jorlan
Durham, NC31 contributions
3.0 of 5 bubbles
Aug 2012 • Couples
After reading the reviews on TripAdvisor, I booked a 5-hr kayaking trip with Adventure Sixty North to kayak Bear Glacier and was a bit disappointed. As I explained in my review of Adventure Sixty, I had some mistaken idea that Bear Glacier was a huge glacier and that there were passageways to go through and ice bergs everywhere. I think that it IS big, but someone told me afterwards that it's very wide, just not very tall. When I got to the closed-off lake/lagoon, I was really disappointed. I'm not sure if it's because I went in August, but if there were no ice bergs, it would have seemed like I was just at a place with mountains and a lake. The glacier itself is not very tall and so it didn't seem very impressive. The ice bergs in the water were more impressive although even they were not as huge as I thought (maybe some were already melting?). Another problem might have been that I had already walked on the Matanuska Glacier (we ice climbed there) which seemed bigger somehow (maybe because we actually walked on it?) and the next day we saw Aialik Glacier by cruise boat and that is a much bigger glacier. In terms of photographs, if going by boat (kayak or cruise), the Aialik Glacier definitely gave better photos and looked like a whole backdrop of white. The Bear Glacier photos didn't turn out as well.
Written August 22, 2012
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.

Dean K
Anchorage, AK104 contributions
3.0 of 5 bubbles
Aug 2014 • Couples
We've been boating in the Seward area for many years and we always enjoy heading out of Resurrection Bay, past Caines Head, past Callisto Head, past the soaring and near vertical rocky shoreline, around the corner to Bear Glacier. It's an unexpected sight the first time you make the journey. The glacier itself ends behind the beach so you can't see the face from the water. Once in awhile you'll find a small iceberg floating in the bay, but rarely. More often, just small pieces of brash ice. The small river that flows from the glacier dumps into the ocean on the far right side of the beach. We've taken a small boat up the river on a couple of occasions but the entry is very tricky and dependent on the tide. The beach is unprotected and has a fairly powerful surf so landing a boat there would be quite challenging. All in all, the glacier is a great sight from afar. If you want "up close and personal" you might be better off with one of the sightseeing cruises that takes you around Cape Aialik into the Kenai Fiords National Park.
Written August 18, 2014
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.

mtcwolf
63 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Aug 2015 • Friends
This was my first glacier close up, so we were awestruck. This glacier is massive, the icebergs ghat have calves off are huge themselves. It is definitely worth a visit.
Written August 28, 2015
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 (2024)

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