Scidmore Bay is located within Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve, about 43 miles (70 km) northwest of Gustavus, Alaska. The bay is formed by the Gilbert Peninsula to the east and the Fairweather Mountains to the west. Scidmore Glacier once flowed into the bay and has now all but disappeared. All that remains is a small remnant ice field about 4 miles (6.5 km) up the Scidmore River valley.
The Scidmore Glacier is not noticed by most visitors today, but its name is a testament to one of the area’s more interesting and intrepid visitors. Eliza Ruhamah Scidmore (pronounced “Sid-more”) was an independent world traveler, writer, and diplomat. Scidmore was born in 1856 in Iowa and attended Oberlin College. She took a job writing society columns for newspapers, but wanting to travel, and in 1883 purchased a ticket to Alaska. Scidmore traveled with Captain James Carroll on the steamship Idaho through Southeast Alaska, including stops in Glacier Bay. She wrote newspaper and magazine articles about her travels and in 1885 published the first Alaska travel guide called “Alaska, its Southern Coast and the Sitkan Archipelago”, followed in 1890 by “Guide to Alaska and the Northwest Coast”.
Her articles and travel logs shared the grandeur and adventure of Alaska with western tourists, opening Alaska to tourism. She joined the National Geographic Society in 1890, soon after its founding, and became a regular correspondent and later the Society’s first female trustee. Read more here and here. Explore more of Scidmore Bay here: