Cruising Endicott Arm & Dawes Glacier, Alaska


Endicott Arm Fjord

Endicott Arm & Dawes GlacierTracy Arm-Fords Terror Wilderness consists of two deep and narrow fjords: Tracy Arm and Endicott Arm. Both fjords are over 30 miles (48 km) long and one-fifth of their area is covered in ice. During the summer, the fjords have considerable floating ice ranging from hand-sized to pieces as large as a three-story building. During the most recent glaciated period, both fjords were filled with active glaciers.

Endicott Arm is marked by rugged mountains, deep u-shaped valleys and towering waterfalls. At the head of the fjord is a tidewater glacier, Dawes Glacier. Keep an eye peeled for wildlife: bears, deer, mountain goats, eagles, harbor seals. A visit to the Tracy Arm-Fords Terror Wilderness, whether by boat or kayak, is an outstanding opportunity to closely observe several active tidewater glaciers surrounded by soaring mountains on all sides.

Dawes Glacier

Dawes GlacierEndicott also features a tidewater glacier, Dawes Glacier. The fjord is not quite as narrow as Tracy, as a result can be less clogged with ice and more approachable. Tracy Arm/Sawyer Glacier and Endicott Arm/Dawes Glacier are two spectacular deep-water fjords with active tidewater glaciers at their termini (Dawes, a compound glacier, is about 20 stories high and a mile across). The mouth of these sister fjords (Tracy is the north arm and Endicott the south arm) is about 50 miles south of Juneau, off Stephens Passage east of Admiralty Island, and both fjords/glaciers are accessible by cruise ship big and small. Small vessel day cruises operate daily in the summer.