The Best Wildlife Viewing Spots in Fairbanks

Here are wildlife viewing opportunities in Alaska's second largest city. Look for migratory birds, moose, salmon and more.

Show Map

Best Wildlife Viewing Spots in Fairbanks

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. 

Difficulty: Easy

The Chena River­walk makes for a relax­ing self-paced stroll along the Chena Riv­er and through the most scenic parks and plazas of his­toric down­town. It’s best when flow­ers are in full bloom (July-August). The path stretch­es approx­i­mate­ly 3.5 miles between Pio­neer Park and Air­port Way, with longer options avail­able. Or — park at Immac­u­late Con­cep­tion Church or in the Down­town Trans­porta­tion Cen­ter for a short­er jaunt.

When you’re dri­ving Chena Hot Springs Road, keep in mind that it’s best not to rush. This jour­ney defines scenic route” as a one-day road trip primed for spot­ting wildlife, explor­ing a new trail­head, and pulling over to cast a line.

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.

Dai­ly tours at the Robert G. White Large Ani­mal Research Sta­tion (LARS) at Uni­ver­si­ty of Alas­ka Fair­banks pro­vide vis­i­tors with the chance to view muskox­en and rein­deer while learn­ing about ongo­ing research study­ing the adap­ta­tions enabling these arc­tic ani­mals to sur­vive and thrive in extreme­ly cold temperatures.

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.