Geikie Inlet, Glacier Bay

Geikie Inlet, Glacier Bay

by | Feb 16, 2019

The Geikie Glacier is now about 5 miles (8 km) inland from the head of Geikie Inlet, about 33 miles (53 km) northwest of Gustavus, Alaska. Geikie Inlet is an estuary, about 8 miles (13 km) long and trends northeast to Glacier Bay, in Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve.

In 1879, John Muir visited the inlet when the glacier filled the head of the bay. He named the glacier for James Geikie, a geologist with the Geological Survey of Great Britain. Geikie was the author of “The Great Ice Age” and other geological publications. When H.F. Reid visited Glacier Bay in 1892, he found that the Geikie Glacier had retreated so far that it had become two smaller glaciers. He retained the name “Geikie” for the more northerly of the two and called the other “Wood Glacier”. The Wood Glacier has now disappeared. In 1950 the terminus of Geikie Glacier was no longer tidal but still near the head of the inlet and the newly emerged river draining the glacier was 0.3 miles (0.5 km) long. Today the river is about 4.8 miles (7.7 km) long.

The area surrounding Geikie Inlet is home to the glacier bear, a color variant of the black bear. The glacier bear also referred to as the blue bear, is a subspecies of American black bear with silver-blue or gray hair endemic to Southeast Alaska. Little scientific knowledge exists of their total extent and the cause of their unique coloration. The subspecies was first reported by William Healey Dall in 1895. Read more here and here. Explore more of Geikie Inlet here:

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