Photo Credit: Hugh Rose

The Best Wildlife Viewing Spots in Cordova

Here’s our list of the best wildlife viewing spots in Cordova. Search for salmon, shorebirds, and more.

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Best Wildlife Viewing Spots in Cordova

Salmon Viewing Spots

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.

While on the high­way look for the McKin­ley Lake Cab­in sign and trail­head. From the trail­head, a 2 12 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. 

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. 

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. 

Best Birding Locations

Eagles, shorebirds and more

Con­sid­ered one of Alaska’s top bird­ing events, this annu­al fes­ti­val dur­ing ear­ly May cel­e­brates the arrival of more than 5 mil­lion migra­to­ry birds on the Cop­per Riv­er Delta east of Cordova.

Every year, mil­lions of shore­birds migrate from South Amer­i­ca into Alas­ka where they stop to rest and feed on the Cop­per Riv­er Delta mud flats at Hart­ney Bay. Locat­ed about 5 miles south of Cor­do­va near the end of Whit­shed Road, the mud­flats are host to thou­sands of West­ern Sand­piper dur­ing high tide dur­ing the first sev­er­al days of May each year. Addi­tion­al­ly, the Cop­per Riv­er Delta near Ala­ganik Slough is an excel­lent loca­tion to find…  ...more

Difficulty: Easy

Locat­ed at Mile 17 of the Cop­per Riv­er High­way. An acces­si­ble board­walk leads vis­i­tors to stun­ning views of both the expan­sive wet­lands of the Cop­per Riv­er Delta and the sur­round­ing moun­tains. A wide vari­ety of wet­land ani­mals includ­ing trum­peter swans, moose, brown bear, and shore­birds can be seen in the area, espe­cial­ly dur­ing the spring and fall. The first half of this trail is paved with geoblock, so that it does not have a negative…  ...more