2nd Class City
in the Hoonah-Angoon Census Area
- Current Population
- Population Comment
- 2013 Department of Labor Estimate
- Pronunciation/Other Names
- (gus tay' vuhs)
- Community's Judicial District
- Recording District
Geography and Climate
- Gustavus lies on the north shore of Icy Passage at the mouth of the Salmon River in the St. Elias Mountains, 48 air miles northwest of Juneau. It is surrounded by Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve on three sides and the waters of Icy Passage on the south. Glacier Bay Park is 3.3 million acres and offers 16 tidewater glaciers.
- The area's maritime climate is characterized by cool summers and mild winters. Summer temperatures range from 52 to 63 °F and winter temperatures from 26 to 39 °F.
- Community Map Available
- Map URL
- Sq Mi Land
- Sq Mi Water
History and Culture
- When Capt. George Vancouver sailed through Icy Strait in 1794, Glacier Bay was completely covered 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 is located on a flat area formed by the outwash from the glacier, and the area is still growing. 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 (including Gustavus) was established by President Calvin Coolidge in 1925. After many appeals, the homesteaders were able to keep their land, and the Gustavus area was excluded from the monument. It became a national park in 1980 with the passage of the Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act. The City of Gustavus was incorporated on April 1, 2004.
- Gustavus is a community with a number of seasonal-use homes for Juneau residents. The nearby Glacier Bay Park is a major recreation and tourist attraction in Southeast. Many of the residents who have relocated here chose Gustavus for the lifestyle, the nearness to natural resources, the beauty of the area, and subsistence activities.
- Federally Recognized Tribe
Facilities, Utilities, and Health Care
- Municipal Facilities & Utilities
- Disposal and Recycling Center; Landfill, Library; Volunteer Fire Department; Gustavus Community Network - Internet.
- Gustavus has a state-owned airport with jet capability. The airport has two asphalt runways: one 6,721' long and 150' wide and the other is 3,146 long and 60' wide. Alaska Airlines has daily flights in the summer, and there are many small planes, corporate jets, and air taxi services that use the airport. Float planes land at nearby Bartlett Cove. The state ferry provides limited service. Air traffic is relatively high during peak summer months, and cruise ships include the bay in their itinerary. There is a 10-mile local road connecting Bartlett Cove with the airport. Freight arrives via air or landingcraft. Small boats and small ferry boats regularly dock in Gustavus in the summer. Tours are available from Bartlett Cove, Gustavus, and Juneau. Because of the large number of tourists who arrive by boat or plane in the area, Gustavus is considered the gateway to Glacier Bay National Park.
- State Ferry
- Cargo Barge
- Road Connection
- Community's Senate District
- Community's House District