Glacier-lined inlet in Southeast Alaska and site of Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve. The entrance to Glacier Bay is located about 60 miles West of Juneau, while the northern end is just a few miles South of the Canadian border. The bay is bounded on the West by the 14,000-foot Fairweather Mountains, and on the East by the Chilkat Penninsula. Glacier Bay was carved out by the Grand Pacific Glacier, which covered the entire bay until until about 200 years ago but has since receded about 65 miles (almost to the Canadian border). The only town near Glacier Bay is Gustavus, which is located on a spit of land forming the East side of the entrance to the bay. However, there is a park service station at Bartlett Cove, a small settlement at the mouth of the inlet.

Glacier Bay currently contains 16 active glaciers, of which 12 are tidewater glaciers. Among the more spectacular of these are the Muir Glacier, the Reid Glacier, the John Hopkins Glacier, and the Grand Pacific Glacier. Several other glaciers such as the Brady Glacier and the LaPerouse Glacier are within the boundaries of Glacier Bay National Park, but not actually in the bay itself.

As is the case with much of the world's permanent ice-pack, most of the Glacier Bay's glaciers are currently receding, and have already left behind a number of smaller fjords within the bay. Because of this active recession, these glaciers undergo frequent calving, leaving behind huge icebergs. While this recession has been occurring for some time now, recent scientific speculation has suggested that global warming may be at least partly responsible for the active glacial shrinking occurring in the bay.

Glacier Bay has been known of for centuries by the various tribes of Tlingit natives living in the area. In the 1850s, however, naturalist John Muir became the first American to explore the bay. The name "Glacier Bay" was given to the area in 1880 by US Navy captain Lester Beardslee. Glacier Bay was designated as a National Monument by the US government in 1925, but it wasn't until 1980 that it recieved its status as a National Park and Preserve.

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