From the base of the Homer Spit, take this 4-mile paved trail to the Nick Dudiak Fishing Lagoon. The trail is in excellent condition and is flat as a pancake for most of its length. The first mile of trail is along a broad estuary that is great for birding. Once you pass the one-mile mark you’ll be riding past fishing boats that are out of the water being worked on as well as a few shops.
Here you'll find one of the most accessible wildlife viewing areas in Alaska. The marsh is a rest area for migratory birds including trumpeter swans, rednecked grebes, golden eyes, and pintails. Also watch for beavers, moose and bald eagles. You may even spot salmon spawning in the deeper water.
This river originates from the Lakina Glacier and the southern flanks of Mt. Blackburn, spilling into the Chitina River several miles downstream. Pulling over to the side of the road just after the bridge at milepost 44, one can explore upstream for around a half-mile before getting boxed out by the forest and a narrowing of the river.
You’ll either enjoy a peaceful walk through a secluded and beautiful estuary ripe with birdlife—or have a ringside seat at the annual salmon dipnetting extravaganza, featuring hordes of crazed locals armed with 10-foot poles. The beach road emerges from the forest at a river-mouth lined by dunes, tidally influenced beach, an estuary and broad salt marsh.
Visible outside the windows of the Mat-Su Convention and Visitors Bureau, this state wildlife refuge is the result of the 1964 earthquake. Literally overnight, the land dropped by 6 to 20 feet; hay fields and pastureland became salt flats and marshland. Once home to cows and grains, the land is now prime habitat for moose, birds, and fish. Some 20,000 acres are protected in the More...
This bear viewing spot is a bit unusual because it attracts only black bears. A short 26-mile floatplane or boat ride from Ketchikan brings you to a dock where you'll then walk 1.5 miles to the viewing platform. You'll see up to 10 black bears feasting on fish near the fish ladder.
This bear viewing spot is a bit unusual because it attracts only black bears. A short 26-mile floatplane or boat ride from…
Fish Creek is remote, yet road-accessible from the small town of Hyder, which means some human traffic, but not thick crowds. A 3-mile drive or hike from town provides access to an elevated walkway beside the creek that is over ¼-mile long. What makes this area unique is the chance to see brown and black bears in close proximity as they prowl the shallows for spawning salmon.
If you’re looking for a wild oasis that’s just a 15-minute walk from downtown Anchorage, look no further than Westchester Lagoon (also known as Margaret Eagan Sullivan Park). One of the city’s most popular places, this is where locals come to play, as it has something for everyone. You’ll find access to great trails and wildlife, as well as year-round activities and events for the entire family.
This salmon viewing opportunity is located at Mile 4 of the Portage Highway. Look for a paved lot on south side of road and a Salmon Viewing sign. The viewing platform is handicap accessible and overlooks Williwaw Creek. Spawning sockeye, chum, and coho salmon arrive in late-July and remain throughout early fall with the best viewing in mid to late-August. In addition to salmon, you More...
Come visit and you might see up to 15 different kinds of mammals—from beavers to red foxes, flying squirrels, snowshoe hares, and even moose—and several species of birds. Throughout the Sanctuary’s trail system there are 14 interpretive signs, so you can learn how the birds, fish, frogs, and mammals survive in interior Alaska’s tough climate.
Accessed via the 1.5-mile long Lost Lake Trail, Moose Lake is an excellent place to visit with a camera or binoculars. Knock-kneed moose are a frequent visitors to the area and you're most likely to see them if you arrive early in the morning or about an hour before sunset.
The mild stroll around Strawberry Hill offers great views, wildlife and some historic flavor. Old military roads cover the area, providing easy walking. Adventurers can bushwhack or scramble short distances for better views of the surrounding area or get up close to WWII-era trenches and the remains of old bunkers.
As the boat pulls away from the nesting areas of the horned puffins it will turn left and again stay right next to the cliff face. You'll notice some pelagic and possibly red-faced cormorants nesting high on the cliff just after the boat turns to the left for the final stretch of Cape Resurrection.
Pick up the trail right after you cross over Tatter Creek. Follow Tattler Creek upstream for 1/4 mile to a steep ravine that comes in from the left. Follow this ravine up until you reach a ridge that overlooks the Sable Pass restricted area. If you only plan to spend time on the ridge without going farther afield you may want to stock up on water in the ravine More...
Pick up the trail right after you cross over Tatter Creek. Follow Tattler Creek upstream for 1/4 mile to a…
The rocky outcrop across the Solomon River usually hosts an active golden eagle nest. Look for a huge tower of sticks and splashes of whitewash and orange lichen in the vicinity of the nest and surrounding perching sites. Built by eagles and added onto in successive years, the nest i s distinctive for its large size, construction, and shape. When not occupied by eagles, the large nest may be used by gyrfalcons.
The steep road grade on either side of Cripple River gives a good overview of the thin thread-like river that runs through the valley. Gold mining activities occurred in the upper tributaries, as evidenced by the road and horizontal ditch lines. Look for harlequin ducks paddling swift river currents in late August or September, and Pink Salmon swimming upstream to spawn.
An old road bed leading to a Solomon River overlook is a good spot to look for salmon, Dolly Varden, and Arctic grayling in late July and August. Chum salmon rarely spawn beyond here as dredging took out the pools and riffles they seek. Coho salmon spawn a little farther upriver. Say’s phoebe will launch from its nest on a secluded ledge or crevice on the cliff face to catch insects flying above the river. Northern shrike, harlequin duck, spotted sandpiper, and wandering tattler are seen from this vantage point. In some years, the cliff is occupied by common raven, rough-legged hawk, or other raptors so be careful your presence does not disturb nesting birds. The side road reconnects with Council Road at Mile 41.
Up ahead the noise and odor of the Black legged Kittiwakes will soon become apparent. These birds take advantage of the slight depressions in the rocks to build their nests. Their nest is simply some grass and mud glued to the rock wall with their own guano. These birds nest in dense aggregations as a means of protection against birds of prey.
If a Bald eagle or Peregrine falcon More...
As you approach Summit Lakes, look for common loons. Most of the time they are found at the southern end of the lakes near the shore but can be anywhere, so stop at the lodge and road pullouts to look at the lake surface. Moose can sometimes be seen in the marsh areas at the end of the lakes.
A 45-minute boat ride or quick floatplane trip from Wrangell will bring you to Anan Creek, a unique bear viewing spot because of the interaction between black and brown bears. Only 60 permits are issued per day and it's also possible to sign up for access to a small photo blind that will have you near face-to-face with bears.
A 45-minute boat ride or quick floatplane trip from Wrangell will bring you to Anan Creek, a unique bear viewing spot because…
Leaving Cape Nome, the road passes through the coastal grasslands, dunes, and meadows of a long and narrow barrier island environment. This sandy strip of land divides the protected wetlands and lagoon of Safety Sound from the unprotected marine waters of Norton Sound and the Bering Sea. The close proximity of these waters makes this one of the most dynamic and interesting places for birdlife on the road system.
A great spot on the Kenai Peninsula to see a large group of seabirds nesting is Gull Island out of Homer. This short three-mile boat ride across Kachemak Bay is great for families. You’ll also find red-faced cormorants, common murres, puffins, eagles, murrelets, sea otters, harbor seals, sea lions and even whales.
The road junction is marked by ponds and tundra meadows within sight of the coastal beachline. Loons, red-breasted merganser, long-tailed duck, scoters, gulls, and Arctic tern are common on the marine water and sometimes venture inland to ponds or tundra tussocks. Less frequently, Aleutian tern and long-tailed jaeger may be interspersed among perched glaucous and mew gulls near the road.
A two-hour kayak ride up Mitchell Bay toward Hasselborg Lake takes you through a serene, pristine wilderness. You’ll share the area with water birds, eagles, salmon and of course, brown bear. Portage at a U.S. Forest Service cabins to stay awhile and take in more of the incredible Tongass National Forest.
Part of the Palmer Hay Flats State Game Refuge, this trail meanders through tidal flats and wetlands. Highlights are great views of the mountains surrounding Palmer (Pioneer Peak, the Chugach and Talkeetna ranges) and excellent bird watching.
Locals love the drive along Summer Bay Road, a 7-mile stretch north of town on the western shore of Unalaska Island. This area, with coves and rolling green hills, is not only picturesque, but serves as an easily accessible place to watch for a good mix of birds - from seabirds and waterfowl to nesting eagles and breeding songbirds. (Except for winter, when the road might be closed due to snow or avalanche risk).
The Cross Admiralty Canoe Route, a 32-mile water trail between Angoon and Seymour Canal, links seven mountain lakes, trails and portages that allow for kayak and canoe travel across the island. It’s an amazing adventure for experienced independent travelers, especially with Forest Service cabins providing shelter along the way.
This is a very scenic and easy hike with great birding and flower viewing. During April and early May this is a prime location to view migrating gray whales. You can choose to make a short hike out of it or an all day excursion. Drive past the Road's End restaurant on a narrow, potholed road to a creek going under the road through a large culvert. This is Chinak Creek. Pink More...
Bear are most scarce the last twos of June.
Pack Creek is only 30 minutes by air from Juneau. The creek is on Admiralty Island, which has been protected for 80 years and has over 1,500 bears - more than all of the contiguous US combined. That's what makes this area such a hotspot for bear viewing. At times, 6-10 bears can be spotted in close proximity in the estuary. It's possible to go on your own or take a fully guided tour.
Pack Creek is only 30 minutes by air from Juneau. The creek is on Admiralty Island, which has been protected for 80 years and…
Returning south of the road to the airport (Seppala Avenue) and west of the Nome port, the beach front area offers a good view of the marine waters of Norton Sound and the barge docking area built of quarried rock from Cape Nome. Depending on the season, the open ocean view will be punctuated with passing flocks of eiders, brant, scoters, murres, auklets, cormorants, and other seabirds.
Safety Lagoon slowly narrows and mixes with wetlands, ponds, and the Bonanza River estuary. Thousands of tundra swan move through this area on their spring migration. Breeding swans move on to upland ponds to nest and raise their young, while non-breeding birds may remain all summer. In the fall, parts of the lagoon and Solomon River wetlands turn white with huge groups of swans preparing for fall migration.
Porcupines are not often seen along the main paved roads of the Kenai Peninsula. You have to get off on the gravel side roads that pass through their habitat. Tustumena Lake road travels through the Kenai Wildlife Refuge and ends at the Kasilof River campground. This road is great for viewing various birds including spruce grouse, thrushes and chickadees. Moose More...
Just beyond Mill Bay Beach is a lovely improved trail that starts a short way up Antone Way on the left. There is a nice parking area and trailhead sign. The trail parallels Island Lake Creek, which tumbles steeply through the woods over falls and boulders. This is a good place to see dippers, as well as forest birds such as winter wrens, varied thrush, chickadees, More...
Once a small dairy owned by a couple named Creamer, this land is now an extraordinary wildlife refuge. More than 100 species of birds and mammals call this wilderness home (sandhill cranes and mallards show up all summer), and there are miles of trails that meander through a variety of habitats.
Golden Gate Pass divides the gold-laden creeks and rivers to the south from Pilgrim and Kuzitrin Rivers, which are less rich sources of ore. To the east, a low, wide pass leads to the upper reaches of the Niukluk River, which flows southeast toward Council, White Mountain, and Norton Sound. This pass is a migration corridor into the Pilgrim River drainage for the Western Arctic caribou herd in years when they winter on the central Seward Peninsula. Domestic reindeer graze on open range land in summer.