Hubbard Glacier is the largest tidewater glacier on the North American continent. It has been thickening and advancing toward the Gulf of Alaska since it was first mapped by the International Boundary Commission in 1895 (Davidson, 1903). This is in stark contrast with most glaciers, which have thinned and retreated during the last century. This unusual behavior is an important example of the calving glacier cycle in which glacier advance and retreat is controlled more by the mechanics of calving on the ends than by climate changes. If Hubbard Glacier continues to advance, it will close the seaward entrance of Russell Fiord and create the largest glacier-dammed lake on the North American continent in historic times.
*Adapted from the United States Geological Survey website.
Glacier Bay National Park
Most visitors to Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve spend a day in Glacier Bay on large cruise ships as part of a longer cruise originating at a major west coast city. The spectacular scenery and wildlife of Glacier Bay make it a highlight of any Alaska cruise.
What to Expect