We started off our three week vacation in Alaska in the town of Gustavas. Due to the lack of roads connecting the town the only two options were to fly or take a ferry. We opted for a flight in; as opposed to the 6 hour ferry ride. For each of our stays throughout the trip we stayed in a centralized location. At Gustavas we rented a cabin from Cottonwood Cabins which was conveniently located a mile from the grocer, and provided bikes for getting around town. We did a few hikes and a kayak tour while in town.
After touring around town on our bikes, we made our way to a hike that led us to the site of an airplane crash. The hike is short and flat and meanders through a wonderful rain forest.
After exploring the airplane ruins we made our way to Glacier Bay National Park to explore the River trail. The trail is only 3.2 miles round trip. The hike itself was beautiful, but the river was a little disappointing. Fortunately we were able to see our first moose of the trip on the ride back.
The next day we were picked up by Glacier Bay Sea Kayaks for a half day tour near Glacier Bay. Our guide was great but the weather was cool and misty. Although we saw very little wildlife the day was entertaining and we would recommend them for sure.
The following day we booked a Glacier Tour in Glacier bay. After loading onto the boat and a 30 minute wait we were informed there was a mechanical issue. We tucked our tail and decided to hike the road back to Cottonwood Lodge 7.5 miles away. There was minimal traffic on the road so the hike wasn't terrible.
After our tour was canceled we had the day unplanned so we grabbed the bikes and packed in another hike in Glacier Bay. This one started out with a great ride to the trail head. The Bartlett Lake/Towers Trail was 6 miles round trip through another beautiful rain forest, before ending at a lake. We dubbed the lake 'Wolf Lake' because while we were there sitting on the shore, the lone howl of a wolf was all you could hear.
Overall our first leg of the journey in Gustavas was a success. We spend four days exploring the tiny town and experiencing the landscape. Even with the set backs the hikes were magnificent and the accommodations ideal. To continue the journey we took the ferry back to Juneau. The boat trip was a great way to see the landscape and save some money.