Bear Glacier Lagoon

Ron Niebrugge Alaska, Kenai Fjords, Photos, Travel 34 Comments

Can you see the kayaker?  Bear Glacier Lagoon, Kenai Fjords National Park, Alaska.

Bear Glacier Lagoon, Kenai Fjords National Park, Alaska.

Can you see the kayaker?  I paddled around this massive iceberg to include Janine on the far side of the old tunnel to put the scale in perspective. She was well back from the arch and the iceberg, so that exaggerates the appearance of scale a bit, but it wasn’t safe getting any closer – but still, this thing was huge!

This amazing place is less then 15 miles from Seward – I have been trying to get in there for years and was finally able to this week, and all I could keep thinking was wow!  The icebergs are mammoth.  Hundreds of feet long, and maybe 50 feet tall – maybe more.  Truthfully, those are just wild guesses because I have no sense of scale out there.  The place is amazing!  The place is also crazy dangerous.  Icebergs would roll or break without warning – we watched 6 seals get thrown unexpectedly into the lagoon when a berg they were resting on rolled.  The 34 degree water coupled with the fact we were the only two people in the whole area just adds to the risk.

Gosh, I had more bear and puffin photos from Lake Clark National Park I was going to post, then we went to Denali, I still have a number of wolf photos from there I wanted to share, but now I have had a couple of great days in Kenai Fjords to share!  It has been nice to have a really productive couple of weeks since I really didn’t get too much photography done in the first half of the summer – I did get a ton of office work done, but being in the field is way funner!

Comments 34

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    Thanks Rolf!

    Thanks Eric! These was no way I would go through that arch – just to by clear, I went way around to the other side, not through. 🙂 I think it could collapse any second.

  2. While we were taking this picture pieces of ice fell from the arch. It was very tempting to kayak through but NO WAY. Should I be worried, Ron just renewed my life insurance policy.

  3. Wow–that looks amazing. Bears, puffins, wolves and massive blue icebergs. You need to get out of the house more–LOL.

  4. Wow! Great shot Ron. I love the color and balance. Don’t know what’s more amazing – that it’s 15 min from home or that you had it all to yourselves!!

  5. I just found your blog and will be passing it along to my parents and sisters. Growing up, they took my sisters and I on long summer camping trips to national parks. This summer, I camped with my now-retired parents through Canada and to Alaska (I teach at a university). We logged ten thousand miles, but the Seward area was my favorite place (especially Lake Kenai) and moose my favorite animal. I am so happy that you’re taking and posting such spectacular photos of such beautiful places and animals!

    Thank you-

    Rebecca Weber

  6. Does this mean you bought a boat???!!! Just think, if you did, you could go there every day! Very cool looking iceberg and Janine, if you look close, really adds perspective.

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    Thanks so much everyone!

    @ Milo No, didn’t get a boat – although this place is why I was considering going with a jet instead of outboard. Thanks.

    @ Rebecca I’m glad you found my blog – Kenai Lake is a beautiful area.

    @ Russ – good point, I don’t know which is more amazing either!

  8. We’ve had some enormous icebergs separate from the Mendenhall this summer, but the sheer height of this thing puts them to shame. If it wasn’t for the familiar colors, surface qualities, and background rock cliffs you would have a hard time convincing me that this was Alaska and not somewhere in the Antarctic. I’ve visited so few of the great National Parks in the state that Kenai Fjords wasn’t even really on my list of “must visits”, but maybe it should be!

  9. This image is amazing! The different shades of blues of the ice are a great contrast to the red of the paddles of the kayak. I probably would have not noticed the kayak if it was not for the small portion of red. It is a great way to see the perspective between the person and the arch. I love to see great photography with the beauty of nature.

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    Hi Kent – You live in a great place with the Mendenhall Glacier so accessible, but you are right, these icebergs are of a size like I have never seen before, not even close. Definitely should be on your list of places to visit!

    Thanks Ethan!

    Thanks Molly!

  11. Hey Ron

    I’m not sure what’s crazier – the size of this thing, or that you don’t own a boat. 🙂

    Killer photo – congrats.



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  13. Ron & Janine – We don’t have many glaciers in Atlanta but I do remember the Mendenhall that Kent talks about on a previous trip to Alaska. Just wondering – Janine, just how close, actually, were you to the glacier/arch? Also, Ron – so I might have a reference for a future trip, what were your camera/lens settings? Agree with Amy – Definitely cover photo!


  14. wow!!!!!! we can see the kakayer…very amazing. The different shades of blue. You really need to see the kakayer if not you do not apreciate how huge it is.


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  16. Ron, …. very cool pic!! wow !! too bad about the danger. we will be visiting this summer and kayaking columbia glacier (Valdez) and want to kayak near Seward. For a full day trip, which do you like better: Aialik, Northwestern or Bear Glacier?

    love your website and tried to friend you in facebook.

  17. Another terrific photo this morning ( 8/3/11) on the Seward Daily News.
    Thank you very much

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    Hi JR,

    Sorry I didn’t see your comment until today. Bear Glacier is probably the coolest, but hardest and most expensive to get to . Aialik and Northwestern are very different, but hard to pick a favorite.

    @ Ann Thanks! I gave the Seward Daily News permission to repost my blog whenever they would like.

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