Gustavus lies on the north shore of Icy Passage at the mouth of the
Salmon River, 48 air miles northwest of Juneau in the St. Elias
Mountains. It lies at the entrance to Glacier Bay National Park and
Preserve, adjacent to Park land. Glacier Bay Park is 3.3 million acres,
and offers 16 tidewater glaciers. It lies at approximately 58░ 24' N
Latitude, 135░ 44' W Longitude . The community is located in the Juneau
Recording District. The area encompasses 38 sq. miles of land and 18 sq.
miles of water.
Capt. George Vancouver sailed through Icy Strait in 1794, Glacier Bay
was completely enclosed by the Grand Pacific Glacier. Over the next
century, the glacier retreated some 40 miles, and a spruce-hemlock
forest began to develop. By 1916, it had retreated 65 miles from the
position observed by Vancouver in 1794. Gustavus began as an
agricultural homestead in 1914. It was once known as Strawberry Point
due to the abundant wild strawberries. The current name was derived from
Point Gustavus, which lies 7 miles to the southwest. Glacier Bay
National Monument was established by President Calvin Coolidge in 1925.
It became a National Park in 1980, with the passage of the Alaska
National Interest Lands Conservation Act.