Bartlett Cove Campground

Sure, the lodge would sure be comfortable, and the Bed and Breakfasts in Gustavus sound inviting, but hey, you are on adventure.  And when it comes to saving money, you sure canít beat free!  Tent camping in this beautiful area would be ideal, and if that option had been explained to us, we sure would have taken advantage. 

The campground is not more than a half mile from the Glacier Bay Lodge.  Take the shuttle bus to the lodge and walk through the lodge, exiting through the back door.  The back deck has a staircase that drops down to a trail.  Follow the trail to the left along the coast about a half a mile.  There will be a trail into the forest to the left with a sign indicating the campground. 

Although the campground is free, one must still register. Registration takes place at the Visitor Information Station near the dock behind the lodge.  The campground never fills up.  There is a primitive outhouse and some food lockers to protect your food from bears.  Although the grounds are primitive, campers still have access, for a small fee, to the public showers and laundry in the building next to the lodge.  There is a covered area for cooking and campers can use the wood stored in this area.  An axe is provided for splitting the wood.  Most campers make their fires in the inner-tidal zone on the coast.  There is also water available on the grounds.

As I walked out of the campground back to the lodge one evening a porcupine walked right up to the tree next to me and climbed right up past me.  I was amazed to watch how the fat critter climbed with short stubby little arms that pulled the weight of his body up from limb to limb, much in the same way a little child climbs a tree.

For those looking for a short but wonderful hike, the Forest Trail Loop begins next to the campground.  It is about a mile long, and very easy to walk.  The loop is quite level and the last quarter mile is a boardwalk.  When the trail meets the road again, turn to the right and walk up the road a short distance.  Across the road from the employee residences on the left side of the road the trail starts again.  This will lead back to Glacier Bay Lodge.  The Ranger leads guided tours along this trail.  The times of these guided walks are posted in the campground bulletin board.

I was fortunate to have met up with John, a visitor from Colorado, who was camping there in the campground.  He had been there for about four days and we had the privilege of paddling with him on the evening kayak tour.  John had not seen any bears in the campground during his visit.  Campers have done such a good job making sure that food and good smelling things are stored in the bear-proof  lockers that bears have not learned they can get an easy meal in this campground.

For more information about this campground, visit the National Park Service's Website at  

Last Visited: July 2000

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