Glaciers in Alaska's National Parks: Monitoring Change

Glaciers are a central component of the visitor experience in Alaska. Most of Alaska’s glacier- covered area lies within national park boundaries. Of Alaska’s 15 national parks, preserves and monuments, nine contain or adjoin glaciers: Aniakchak, Denali, Gates of the Arctic, Glacier Bay, Katmai, Kenai Fjords, Klondike Gold Rush, Lake Clark, and Wrangell-St. Elias.

Glaciers in Alaska’s national parks persist because of our climate―relatively wet and cold. Glaciers are changing just as the climate has changed over time, and will continue to change.

Explore these immense features by browsing the tabs at the top of the page to view the changes in glacier extent for each park followed by respective target glaciers. View a selection of videos showing how we documented changes in glaciers. Listen to local residents and park employees discuss the changes they have witnessed in glaciers near them.

Glaciers in Alaska's National Parks: Monitoring Change

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Ecoclimax is defined by Odum (1969) as the culmination state after a succession in a stabilized ecosystem in which maximum biomass (or high information content) and symbiotic function among organisms is kept per unit of available energy flow.