Glacier Bay Delays Visitor Services Season Start to July 1

Glacier Bay

Citing employee and community health concerns, as well as significant disruption in travel due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Superintendent Philip Hooge announced today that Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve will push back the start of its visitor services season from Memorial Day weekend to July 1, according to a statement. 

“This rapidly evolving situation and the remote nature of the park with its limited community medical capabilities requires the park to be extraordinarily careful. These steps will allow us to minimize risk to employees, surrounding isolated communities, and potential visitors,” said Hooge.

“This year is different,” said Hooge. 

“It is increasingly clear that park visitation will be extremely low at this time, which allows park staff time to prepare and put in place procedures to mitigate risk of viral transmission between parties,” said Hooge. “Some park functions and visitor services we have offered in the past might not be doable at this time.”

Precautions the park will embrace for the foreseeable future including requiring all staff traveling to the park from outside the state to quarantine for two weeks before entering park facilities or interacting with the community. Staff members are also practicing social distancing, employing more stringent cleaning practices, and teleworking as practicable.

“These measures are a valuable investment in employee and community health,” said Hooge.

The park is required by law and regulation to manage boater traffic and backcountry use during the summer season. From May 1 through September 30, all backcountry users must receive an orientation and permit prior to their overnight trip in the park. The park also regulates boating in the park between June 1 and August 31. Per usual, park staff will process advanced notice permits and take calls starting April 1. 

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