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.
For glimpses of the big Chinook salmon right inside the city’s industrial heart, check out the hatchery-seeded run at Ship Creek between late May into June. Hatchery-seeded coho salmon begin running through the same waters in late July through August.
Crystal-clear Williwaw Creek and its bank-side trail system in Portage Valley at the head of Turnagain Arm offers exceptionally good conditions for watching spawning in action. Coho, sockeye and chum salmon converge on the creek as it winds through the brushy flats beginning in mid-August, with some late-arriving fish still present after first frost in the fall.
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...
Mid May through early October
If you want to marvel at the sight of thousands of fish schooling in gigantic tanks, take the self-guided tour inside the state fish hatchery on the banks of Ship Creek east of downtown. The museum-quality observation deck offers intimate views of a complex operation that produces up to six million sport fish each year.
Salmon work hard to make their annual appearance at the Eagle River Nature Center's salmon viewing deck, leaping the abandoned beaver dam, among other obstacles. Over the years, this viewing deck has supported hundreds of photographers capturing moose, bears, eagles, and unparalleled views.
The Crooked Creek Information Center and salmon viewing platform are located on the outskirts of Valdez at Mile 0.5 of the Richardson Highway. Pink and chum salmon return to this clear water stream each summer to spawn with peak numbers seen in mid-August. Occasionally, black or brown bear can be observed feasting on the returning fish.
The Alaska Department of Fish & Game operate the Crooked Creek hatchery, adult salmon may be viewed moving up the stream and fishway into the hatchery raceways; king salmon in late June and early July and coho salmon in late August and September. Each salmon is identified and counted as it swims through the chute using an underwater video camera.
Great sockeye salmon observation site, especially in late July and early August. At other times of year it offers a moderate walk up to Ptarmigan Lake that’s great for families and features lots of bird life.
Thousands of pink salmon converge on Indian Creek each July and August, just about filling this shallow, easy-flowing stream south of Anchorage along Turnagain Arm from bank-to-bank. This amazing natural spectacle occurs in one of the easiest places to view spawning salmon in the region: No steep banks, crystal clear water and fish so close they could almost be touched.
See saltwater holding pens full of fish fry (young ones) waiting to be released into the ocean. In June and July, the water boils with swirling fish, eagles perch in almost every tree, and commercial purse-seiner fishermen capture surface fish by encircling them in long nets.
Grouse Creek runs adjacent to the Seward Highway. To access this creek, exit onto the paved pullout at mile 8.3. There's a Chugach National Forest sign here too that marks the spot. From late- July to mid-September, you will be able to view sockeye salmon with the best chance of seeing fish in mid-August.
This wildlife sweet spot is worth a visit. The Russian Lakes Trail begins off the access road to the Russian River Campground in Cooper Landing, at milepost 52 of the Sterling Highway. Get off-the-beaten path, hike two miles to the falls and enjoy the immediate reward of spectacular salmon viewing.
Slikok Creek passes under Kalifonsky Rd. and fish can be seen spawning near the culvert on both sides of the road. This is a critical habitat area and you are asked not to wander along the banks of this very sensitive stream. All viewing can be done next to the road. Best salmon viewing months are June and early-July.
Learn how the fish are raised from small alevin to fry and beyond to smolt size before being released into surrounding lakes and bays. Depending on the fish cycle, there may or may not be fish to view, so please call ahead. If there are no fish to be seen, you're welcome to look at a small photo gallery and learn about the fish production cycle, and understand why More...
This salmon viewing location includes an all-acccessible viewing platform overlooking the creek as well as viewing opportunties along Ptarmigan Creek trail. Sockeye salmon will be in the creek from late July to early October with the best viewing in mid-August. Vehicle parking is in the day use area inside Ptarmigan Creek Campground.
This remote site is accessible by boat or floatplane. Chalmers River is located about 3/4 mile north of a Forest Service public cabin on the northwest side of Montague Island in Prince William Sound. Spawning Pink and Chum salmon can be seen in the intertidal areas and a short distance upstream. Best salmon viewing times are late July through August with peak times in More...
Look for the Russian River Campground (entry fee required) and park in the day-use parking areas within campground facilities. A two mile well-maintained gravel trail leads to the viewing platform above the falls or to the angler trail along the river. Use caution for high densities of brown and black bears who are fishing for the same Sockeye and Coho salmon you are looking for. More...
The Ruth Burnett Sport Fish Hatchery stocks arctic char, arctic grayling, rainbow trout, chinook (king) salmon, and coho (silver) salmon in the Fairbanks region. All told, the fish produced by the Hatchery provide fishing opportunities for 137 landlocked lakes located within the Fairbanks, Nenana, Delta and Glennallen regions.
This remote site is six miles north of Cordova on the east shore of Nelson Bay and is accessible by boat. Most spawning occurs with pink and chum salmon in intertidal areas and a short distance upstream. Best viewing times are mid-July through late August with best viewing in early August.
There is parking at the trailhead for passenger vehicles and one or two campers. The trail is half a mile long and takes you through a mature birch forest that is carpeted with devil's club and watermelon berry plants. It's an easy walking, ideal for small children, and ends at a small camping area on a slight bluff that overlooks Bishop's Beach and Bishop Creek. There is More...
Harrison Lagoon is on the west side of Port Wells in Prince William Sound and is accessible by boat. The stream enters on the north side of Harrison Lagoon with pink and chum salmon in it. Best viewing times are late July though late August with best viewing in mid-August. A nearby Forest Service public use cabin is available for reservations.More...
Turn on Quartz Creek Road and proceed 2 miles to Quartz Creek Campground. The stream is adjacent to the picnic area and a trail expands Sockeye and Coho salmon viewing opportunities upstream or downstream. Salmon viewing takes place from late July to early October with best viewing in early August.
Thousands of sockeye salmon migrate up Hidden Creek each year in late July and early August. With salmon come bears to feed on them. As you drive through this area, you may be able to spot bears at the Skilak Road crossing of the creek near the Hidden Lake Campground turnoff.
Stretch your legs here and check out one of the favorite rest stops for thousands of Kenai River salmon on their journey home. We’ll also seek out giant trumpeter swans, red-necked grebes, and of course, fishers of another species—humans. Here at the confluence, the two rivers reveal their source waters in a very clear visual demonstration.
King salmon enter during late-May and early-June and there are always some fish spawning in areas near the highway during early-July. Wear polarized glasses if you have them and watch for dark red kings in the riffles and deeper holes. A very limited fishing season is available on these streams during the early summer for both salmon and steelhead.
This park is the confluence of the Kenai and Moose Rivers. Take a break at this recreation site named for the English author Izaak Walton who wrote The Compleat Angler. Look for the informational sign to learn about the Moose River Archaeological Site. You will also find a hosted campground and boat launch. There's excellent fly-fishing in this area.
This is an undeveloped site that provides viewing opportunities of Sockeye salmon from Power Creek Road - four miles northeast of Cordova. Salmon will be in the creek from early July to mid-August with the best viewing in mid to late July. There is parking where the creek passes under the road.
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.
Walk out to the boardwalks along the Kenai River, learn about riverine habitat and the salmon lifecycle, and witness the timeless dance of hunter and hunted, of fish and fisher. One year-round resident here will impress you with their winter survival skills.
This is a remote fish hatchery at Lake Bay on the southern tip of Esther Island in Prince William Sound. The hatchery allows public access and tours. It is accessible by boat only. You will see pink, chum, and coho salmon. Salmon viewing at this location takes place from mid-July through September and is best in mid-August.
As you drive toward Soldotna you will see the Kenai River on your left. This river has thousands of salmon spawning in it each year. Mostly sockeye or red salmon but also coho or silver salmon, chinook or king salmon and pink or humpy salmon. After these salmon die, they float downstream and are deposited along the riverbank where they decompose and More...
From the gravel pullout on the west side of the highway, an easy 1/4 mile walk to the Sockeye salmon viewing platform awaits (not fully accessible). Salmon are in the creek from mid-July to early August with the best viewing in late July.
While on the highway look for the McKinley Lake Cabin sign and trailhead. From the trailhead, a 2 1/2 mile hike will take you to the Forest Service public cabin. Sockeye salmon viewing opportunities exist here and at the location another 75 yards past the cabin. Salmon viewing at this location is from mid July to mid August with best viewing in late July or early August.More...
Portage Valley southeast of Anchorage at the head of Turnagain Arm offers so many potential adventures that you might have to tow a trailer loaded with gear to sample them all. What will you find here? Biking, hiking, picnicking, fishing, paddling, wildlife viewing, potential iceberg sightings — plus a natural history visitor center packed with interactive displays about the ecosystem of the valley and Prince William Sound. It’s like an outdoor Disneyland just over an hour’s drive from town.
Stop at Long Lake, at mile 45.2, to see a popular spot for sockeye salmon to spawn. Every year, 18,000 sockeye salmon swim up the Chitina and Copper Rivers to spawn in Long Lake. This is a very unique run, salmon begin entering the lake as late as September and spawn until April.
Stop at Long Lake, at mile 45.2, to see a popular spot for sockeye salmon to spawn. Every year, 18,000 sockeye…
Look for the channel to a beaver pond. The channel provides access to the pond for silver salmon fry and can support up to 25,400 young salmon. The fallen trees and brush provide cover from predators. Here you will also find access to Saddlebag Glacier USFA Trail, a 3-mile trail to Saddlebag Lake, this is the best trail for mountain biking in the district.
King salmon enter Deep Creek during late May and early June and continue to spawn into early July. Watch for their dark red bodies in the riffles and deeper holes. A very limited fishing season is provided during the early summer for kings and steelheads.
Located at Mile 1.0 of the Portage Highway, this site has a short boardwalk trail along several ponds. It is a good site for observing waterfowl that nest and rear their young in the ponds and river channels.
Located at Mile 1.0 of the Portage Highway, this site has a short boardwalk trail along several ponds. It is a good site for…
Shrode Creek is at the head of Long Bay on the west side of Culross Passage on Prince William Sound. This remote site is accessible by boat or plane. A one mile trail follows the river from the head of Long Bay to Shrode Lake where you will find sockeye, chum, pink, and coho salmon. Salmon are present from mid-July to mid-September with the best viewing in mid-August. A nearby Forest More...