In 1794 explorer Captain Vancouver sailed into Icy Strait. He found Glacier Bay covered with ice and barely noticeable. That ice was more than 4,000 feet thick. 1879 John Muir found that the ice had retreated 48 miles up the bay and by 1916 the Grand Pacific Glacier had retreated 65 miles from Glacier Bay's mouth. The rapid retreat is only found here in Southeast Alaska and scientists are studying the area to try and determine the cause.
Glacier Bay National Park includes 16 tidewater glaciers, 12 that actively calve icebergs into the bay. The glaciers seen today are remnants of a general ice advance "the Little Ice Age" that began about 4,000 years ago. We saw a total of 8 glaciers and hundreds of icebergs on our way to Grand Pacific Glacier today.
(Photos will be posted when Internet access becomes available.)