Spring provides some of the best opportunities to see semi-domestic reindeer along this section of road. Herders often move the animals closer to town during the April-May fawning season to protect the young from predation by wolves and grizzlies.
Frequently heard in spring is the winnowing sound of Wilson’s snipe made in flight by air rushing through its tail feathers. In summer the drive provides good bird watching for waterfowl, gulls, terns, and tundra species. Look in ponds for red-necked phalarope, northern pintail, wigeon, greater scaup, and Arctic tern. Long- tailed jaeger, Canada and cackling goose, sandhill crane, short-eared owl, bar-tailed godwit, whimbrel, and Wilson’s snipe are found in tundra meadows.