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Glacier Bay:
Grand Pacific & Reid Glaciers

Skagway-Hoonah-Angoon Census Area of the Unorganized Borough, Alaska, USA (August 1995)

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Grand Pacific Glacier

Grand Pacific Glacier and Small Icebergs

Grand Pacific & Reid Glaciers

The Grand Pacific Glacier heads in the St. Elias Mountains and trends east into British Columbia, then southeast to the head of the Tarr Inlet along the Alaska - Canada border. While the glacier completes its slow-motion journey in Alaska, the bulk of it extends into British Columbia's Tatshenshini-Alsek Provincial Park. It is about two miles wide where it enters the water.

Grand Pacific Glacier

Sailing up to Grand Pacific Glacier under the Alaskan Flag

The glacier was named by John Muir in 1879. When Harry Fielding visited in 1892 he found that it had receded so far that it had become three distinct glaciers. The largest and most northerly retained the name Grand Pacific and the middle one became Johns Hopkins Glacier. The Harrington Expedition of 1899 named the smallest and southernmost of the three Reid Glacier in honor of the earlier expedition.

More information about the Grand Pacific Glacier can be found through the United States Geological Survey.

Reid Glacier

Approaching Reid Glacier

Reid Glacier was named as described in the previous paragraph. Harry Fielding Reid was a geology professor from Johns Hopkins University among other places. He led expeditions to Glacier Bay in 1890 and 1892.

Reid Glacier

Reid Glacier Closeup

One of the impressive features of the terrain near this glacier is that it has been thoroughly scoured and laid barren by natural forces. A thick layer of ice flows down to the sea through a landscape that resembles the surface of an extraterrestrial planet.

More information about the Reid Glacier can be found through the United States Geological Survey.