Comparing Alaska's National Parks
Location: Inside Passage.
Known for: Massive tidewater glaciers that are often "calving" (sending sheets of ice plunging into the bay).
Biggest crowds: May through September.
Accessibility: Though you can't drive to them, you can catch the glaciers in almost every other way; boats and helicopters are the main ones.
Why kids like it: The calving iceberg sends tons of water and spray skyward, propelling mini-tidal waves outward. What hikers say: There's wilderness here, too, and it's a wonderland for naturalists of all persuasions.
Location: South Central Alaska. Known for: A rare up-close view of blue tidewater glaciers as well as some remarkable ocean wildlife.
Biggest crowds: Summer.
Accessibility: Limited, unless you charter a boat or plane, or take a tour.
Why kids like it: If you take a tour boat, you can be sure of seeing otters, sea lions, bald eagles, and on occasion, humpback whales and orcas.
What hikers say: Check out the trail to the vast Harding Icefield.