Plan Your Trip
Most people travel to Gustavus by a short jet, bush plane, or ferry ride from Juneau, Alaska’s capital. An Alaska Airlines jet services our modern airport during the summer. We are located in Alaska’s southeast “panhandle”–a stretch of protected coastline that offers the best of Alaska and America to visitors from around the world. Kayak, charter fishing and whale watching trips to the south of Gustavus offer unparalleled chances to explore the Tongass National Forest, America’s largest and wildest. To the north lies Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve, home to the greatest concentration of tidewater glaciers in the world and the most popular destination of visitors to Gustavus.
By Ferry: The Alaska Marine Highway System (AMHS) announced their 2018 Summer Sailing Schedule with weekly sailings to the community of Gustavus, the Gateway City to Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve.
During daylight hours, several year-round air taxis operate to Gustavus from Juneau and other communities in Southeast Alaska. Flight seeing, nature tour drop offs and pickups in remote areas and scheduled service to small communities in the northern panhandle are offered. A triangle tour including Skagway/Haines or Sitka, Juneau and Gustavus is an attractive time and money saver. Travellers may arrange a seat fare on an existing flight or charter the whole plane for their party of 4-6.
By Jet: Alaska Airlines make a daily round-trip from Juneau in the afternoon. This flight connects north to Anchorage and south to Seattle. Alaska Airlines is the only jet service to southeast Alaska.
Local: taxi’s, car rental, bikes and walking will get you around our small system of roads (20 miles). The drive to the national park from the airport is 9 miles. Lodgings are spread throughout Gustavus, about 5 miles square, with the approach to the beach, river and airport centralizing most services and our city park. Numerous hiking trails are accessible to the public and the paved flat road is bike paradise. An area map is available for your personal explorations at local businesses.
Gustavus Airport is State-owned with jet capability. The airport has two asphalt runways: 6,700′ and 3,010″. Alaska Airlines has daily flights in the summer and there are many small planes, corporate jets and several air taxi services that use the airport. Float planes land at Bartlett Cove and there is a 10-mile local road connecting with the airport. Air traffic is relatively high during peak summer months. Cruise ships include the Bay in their itinerary but never dock.
Gustavus Dock is used by small charter boats regularly in the summer. The dock is loading only and heavy tackle is necessary for anchoring nearby. Private boats seek better anchorage in Bartlett Cove in Glacier Bay National Park. Park Regulations limit the number of boats entering Glacier Bay, to protect the humpback whale habitat. Permits are required for boaters between June 1 and August 31, and may be obtained from the National Park Service (907-697-2268). Salmon River is tidal and has a small boat harbor and ramp for unloading freight and launching private craft. Kayaks may be rented with guides from the Gustavus Dock.
Because of the large number of tourists who arrive by boat or plane in the area, Gustavus is considered the Gateway to Glacier Bay National Park.