Cruising Tracy Arm.
Tracy Arm is a fjord in Alaska near Juneau located about 45 miles south of Juneau and 70 miles north of Petersburg, Alaska, off of Holkham Bay and adjacent to Stephens Passage within the Tongass National Forest. Many cruises include a stop at Tracy Arm and its twin North and South Sawyer Glacier, either as a compliment to viewing at College Fjord or as a replacement for Glacier Bay as the sole glacier viewing stop on a round-trip Inside Passage cruise out of Seattle or Vancouver.
Named after Civil War general Benjamin Franklin Tracy, Tracy Arm Fjord is an approximate 30 mile long fjord, a narrow inlet created by glacial activity, with nearly a quarter of its area covered in ice. In fact, it encompasses some of Alaska’s largest glaciers, including the twin Sawyer glaciers, which often expel enormous chunks of ice into the waters below in a magnificent process known as calving.
Rugged mountains dominate the landmass of the area with steep valleys sparkling with high waterfalls. A young Alaska rain forest of spruce and hemlock grows to an elevation of about 1,500 feet. Wildlife includes brown and black bears, mountain goats, wolves, a few Sitka black-tailed deer, and many smaller furbearing animals. Harbor seals rear their young on ice floating in the fjords, and whales and sea lions are often seen in the water. Bald eagles and shorebirds are common near the coastline.
Cruising Sawyer Glacier. Tracy Arm is the name of the fjord that leads up to the two faces of Sawyer Glacier. Instead of a large bay, the fjord walls are narrow and craggy, with steep rock faces that contain multiple waterfalls. The closer you get[…]