Icy Bay, Wrangell-St. Elias National Park

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Icy Bay, Wrangell-St. Elias National Park

by | Jul 20, 2018

Icy Bay is on the Gulf of Alaska coast about 154 miles (248 km) southeast of Cordova and 65 miles (105 km) northwest of Yakutat, Alaska, The bay lies within Wrangell-St. Elias National Park and Preserve.

The area was first explored on June 4, 1794, by Joseph Whidbey, a sailing master in the Royal Navy who served on the Vancouver Expedition. The bay was then blocked by the giant tidewater Malaspina Glacier that calved icebergs directly into the Gulf of Alaska. The bay was described as an indentation of the glacier face and named by Captain George Vancouver but not shown on expedition charts.

The present Icy Bay was uncovered by the retreat of the Guyot, Yahtse, and Tyndall Glaciers that stream from the Saint Elias Mountains, the highest coastal mountain range on Earth. This century-long glacial retreat has opened a multi-armed bay more than 30 miles long (48 km). Read more here and here. Explore more of Icy Bay and the coast of Wrangell-St. Elias National Park and Preserve here:

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