Bear Glacier vs Aialik Glacier
Aialik Bay will offer more of a sealife and wildlife viewing opportunity than Bear Glacier Lagoon will normally offer. This is mostly due to the 2-3 hour water taxi transport required for access. Bear Glacier is a freshwater pro-glacial lagoon with a small strip of land, called a moraine, that separates marine life from getting in to the lagoon. If you want to see whales, Aialik Bay is your answer.
Bear Glacier is the place to paddle if you're looking to encounter larger-than-life ice burgs and dramatic scenery. Bear Glacier offers some of the most dynamic and remote kayaking environments available. The only constant here, is change. The icing on the cake is getting to see the place you've just paddled from above as we fly in and out via helicopter. This trip is truly an unforgettable, once-in-a-lifetime experience.
What will we see?
Aialik Bay and trips provide the potential to see bears, goats, orcas, humpbacks (along with other types of whales), porpoises, puffins, eagles, and a lot of spectacular coastline ending at a tidewater glacier (tidewater glaciers are actively calving glaciers that flow all the way down to the ocean).
Bear Glacier Lagoon trips provide access via scenic helicopter flight into Bear Glacier's proglacial, freshwater lagoon (A proglacial lagoon forms behind a moraine in a valley, left by a retreating glacier. Glacial ice can also create a dam to block the flow of water from a melting glacier forming a proglacial lagoon. When the dam breaks flooding occurs and carves areas of land downstream). Bear Glacier totes huge icebergs, spectacular scenery, mountain goats, seals, and also is proud to be the largest glacier in the Kenai Fjords National Park!
Is one easier to paddle?
Bear Glacier Lagoon will most often provide flatter/calmer waters than Aialik Bay. Bear Glacier Lagoon tends to be less strenuous due to the amount of icebergs & easy viewing of the glacier from our drop off. A lot of time is spent viewing the strange but beautiful iceberg's shapes and colors. On the flipside - Ailaik Bay will involve more paddling to reach the glacial destination, and can be more physically exerting dependent on the sea conditions.
Fewer people = Bear Glacier
Arriving on the train = Bear Glacier
Half Day = Bear Glacier
Big Icebergs = Bear Glacier Lagoon
Ride in a helicopter = Bear Glacier
Wildlife like whales, orcas, puffins, and other wildlife = Aialik Glacier
Boat transportation = Aialik Glacier
Full Day = Aialik Bay
Calving Glacier = Aialik Glacier