An immense mountain face overlooks Turnagain Arm south of Anchorage, spanning about 10 miles from Bird Valley to Girdwood. Notorious for its snow avalanches in winter, the 3,000-foot slopes of Penguin Ridge provide habitat for both Dall sheep and mountain goats—one of the few places where the two species overlap. For best viewing opportunities, visit Bird Point Wayside of Chugach State Park, located about halfway between the two communities. Extensive, multi-level observation decks feature panoramic vistas and spotting scopes. For best results, scan snow-free fingers below ridgelines for white specs, then confirm with binoculars. Once you find grazing sheep or goats, use a spotting scope to zero in on single animals. Biologists say goats tend to occur to the southeast (mountain right) while sheep tend to be northwest (mountain left.) Goats will often be in the craggiest areas, with sheep venturing into meadows. Black bears are often seen too, first visible as moving black dots, especially during spring green-up. Bird Point is also a great platform to watch for beluga whales and the bore tide of Turnagain Arm.
Dall Sheep & Goat Viewing at Bird Point Wayside (Penguin Ridge)
Located 30 miles southeast of Anchorage at Mile 96.3 of the Seward Highway, Bird Point Wayside is just off the highway at the base of Bird Point peninsula into Turnagain Arm. (About five miles south of Bird and six miles north of Girdwood.) It has extensive viewing decks, interpretive kiosks and a mounted spotting scope. Parking fee of $5 or state pass required. No water. Outhouses maintained during summer season.