23/07/2024

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Best Places To View Alaskan Wildlife –  Wild Side of the Last Frontier

5 min read
Best Places To View Alaskan Wildlife –  Wild Side of the Last Frontier

The last frontier, Alaska, is a place of untamed wildness and rocky beauty where the majesty of nature knows no boundaries.

Going on a wildlife-watching expedition is amongst the most exciting ways to enjoy this wonderful state. Alaska offers it all, whether you’re a serious birder, a wildlife enthusiast, or just want to connect with nature.

Join us as we explore the top viewing locations for Alaskan wildlife in this breathtaking region of North America.

Denali National Park and Preserve

Cow Moose leads Two Calves Across Road Near Denali Alaska
Photo Credit: Deposit Photos.

Our animal expedition begins at Denali National Park and Preserve in the very center of Alaska. Numerous species of animals, including grizzly bears, moose, wolves, and Dall sheep, call this famous park home. The huge arctic plains and majestic mountains of Denali make the ideal setting for observing these amazing animals.

Think about joining a guided bus excursion inside the park for the best possibilities of seeing the local animals. These overland tours depart from many destinations, making them a viable excursion from your dream cruise to Alaska. Remember to bring your camera; this place offers some of the best photo possibilities.

Katmai National Park and Preserve

Five bears salmon fishing at Brooks Falls
Photo Credit: Deposit Photos.

The Katmai National Park and Preserve should be at the top of your list if you have a soft spot for brown bears. Katmai on the Alaska Peninsula has one of the world’s most significant brown bear populations.

The best time to go is in July and early September, during the salmon season when bears gather at Brooks Falls to feast on the spawning fish. You won’t soon forget the jaw-dropping experience of seeing these enormous bears in action.

Kenai Fjords National Park

Sea Otter Preening in the Ocean in Kenai Fjords National Park in Alaska
Photo Credit: Deposit Photos.

Visit Kenai Fjords National Park for a spectacular display of marine wildlife. This park, close to Seward, features gorgeous fjords, tidewater glaciers, and a diverse marine ecology.

Join a boat tour to see the stunning coastline of the park and search for puffins, sea otters, orcas, and humpback whales. You will always remember seeing these magnificent animals against the backdrop of glacier ice.

Anan Wildlife Observatory

Momma and baby bear eating a fish in a stream
Photo Credit: Deposit Photos.

Tucked away in the Tongass National Forest, the Anan Wildlife Observatory is a hidden gem for bear enthusiasts. Accessible only by boat or floatplane, Anan Creek attracts black and brown bears during the summer salmon run.

Visiting this remote site offers an intimate, up-close view of bears as they catch fish in the crystal-clear waters. Be prepared for a truly wild experience as you watch these magnificent creatures in their natural habitat.

Sitka

Sitka humpback whale
Photo Credit: Deposit Photos.

Sitka is often the favorite port-of-call for nature lovers on Alaskan cruises because of the combination of ocean and inland activities. Silver Bay is a sheltered cover where you might see whales, sea otters, and other wildlife.

A little farther inland, you’ll find a variety of animal rescue and rehabilitation centers. At Fortress of the Bear, you’ll get up close and personal with rescued Alaskan Coastal Brown Bears and learn their stories and how the center saved them from certain death. The Alaska Raptor Center specializes in rehabilitating bald eagles so they can return to the wild. You’ll also see other birds of prey including owls, ravens, and hawks.

Chugach State Park

Chugach State Park dall sheep
Photo Credit: Deposit Photos.

Just a short drive from Anchorage, Chugach State Park offers an easily accessible escape into the wild. The park’s diverse terrain includes rugged mountains, glaciers, and coastal rainforests, making it a haven for all types of Alaskan wildlife.

Hike along its extensive trail network to spot moose, eagles, and dall sheep. Birdwatchers will delight in the opportunity to see bald eagles soaring overhead.

Glacier Bay

Bear family in Glacier Bay Alaska
Photo Credit: Deposit Photos.

Glacier Bay and the Southeast Alaskan Wilderness covers over 3.3 million acres of rugged mountains, dynamic glaciers, temperate rainforest, wild coastlines, and deep sheltered fjords.

Glacier Bay, along with Kluane, Wrangell-St. Elias, and Tatshenshini-Alsek are part of a 25-million-acre World Heritage Site that contains grizzly bears, caribou, Dall’s sheep, and the largest non-polar icefield in the world.

No wonder many people consider it a highlight of Alaska’s Inside Passage.

Kaktovik and Utqiagvik

A selective shot of two cute fluffy white polar bears playing with each other and their mother in Kaktovik, Alaska
Photo Credit: Deposit Photos.

Alaska.gov says Kaktovik and Utqiagvik (formerly called Barrow), offer opportunities for polar bear viewing-

“Though polar bears spend most of their lives on the sea ice, many gather during the ice-free period between August and October along the coast near Barter Island, where the village of Kaktovik is located. The bears generally rest on barrier islands but also venture near the village to feed on the remains of hunter-harvested bowhead whales.

Kaktovik is a small Inupiat village with a very limited number of hotel rooms, vehicle rentals, and a few other visitor amenities. Access is by small commercial or chartered aircraft, and weather-related delays are common. Most visitors come to view bears in September.”

Juneau

Bald Eagle perches in tree beside road in Juneau
Photo Credit: Deposit Photos.

Alaska’s capital, Juneau, is the only state capital not accessible by road. You must come by boat or plane to visit this coastal community. In return for its remoteness, you’re rewarded with exceptional whale-watching opportunities.

From the comfort of your heated cabin, you can watch humpback whales’ elegant and graceful dance in their natural habitat. You can also book a combination tour and see the serene beauty of the Mendenhall Glacier.

Anchorage

A large Alaskan Moose stands at the edge of the woods with baby calf
Photo Credit: Deposit Photos.

Anchorage has many wildlife view opportunities despite being Alaska’s largest city.

Scenic drives are a fabulous way to see wildlife and cover ground. Point Woronzof Road by the airport is a great place for spotting moose. The Seward Highway along Turnagain Arm is a favorite spot to see Dall sheep on the cliffs and beluga whales in the water.

Easy and accessible hiking in local parks is another way to stretch your legs and explore the natural world. Kincaid Park is a vast 1,400-acre city park with moose, bears, and eagles. Campbell Creek Estuary has wetlands along the creek that attract migrating sandhill cranes. Potter Marsh has beavers, swans, and turns in the water and boardwalks over the water to keep your feet dry.

Concluding Best Places To View Alaskan Wildlife

Alaskan Wildlife- harbor seal
Photo Credit: Deposit Photos.

Alaska’s wilderness is a sanctuary for wildlife lovers, a place where you can connect with nature on a profound level. From the towering peaks of Denali to the pristine waters of Kenai Fjords, the Last Frontier offers a wildlife-watching experience like no other.

So, pack your bags, grab your binoculars, and get ready to witness the wild side of Alaska – a land where the call of the wild echoes in every gust of wind and rustle of leaves.

 

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