Alaska's Watchable Wildlife

Red Fox

Bring film, or you may not believe your eyes. From shoreline to skyline over 400 species share this land. You'll have a variety of opportunities to view Alaska's wildlife in settings of spectacular beauty.

Alaska offers the ultimate in wildlife viewing. From the mighty brown bears, to colorful puffins and curious sea otters, Alaska teams with life.

Moose & Other Impressive Land Animals

Alaska Bull Moose

Moose can be seen throughout the Southcentral region, and are common in Denali National Park, and northeast of Fairbanks. They also frequent the roadsides of Nome.

Caribou outnumber Alaskans. The largest herds spend summers north of the Brooks Range. Denali Park and the Dalton Highway are also good viewing areas. In late fall and winter, caribou can be seen along the Taylor, Richardson, and Glenn highways.

Dall Sheep

The best places to see Dall sheep include Chugach State Park, the Seward Highway, the Copper River Highway, and Denali Park.

Mountain Goats are found in the Inside Passage near Mendenhall Glacier, throughout Glacier Bay, on mountains surrounding Prince William Sound, and in the Seward area.

Alaska Brown Bear

Wild Bison may be seen year-round near Delta Junction. Musk-ox can be found in northern and western Alaska.

Alaska may be the world's best place to observe bears. Admiralty Island National Monument in the Inside Passage is home to more brown bears than the rest of the other 49 states combined. Denali and Katmai National Parks also provide prime viewing Opportunities for brown bears.

Wildlife on the Wing

Hungry Bald Eagle Chick

Over 355 bird species live in Alaska. In the Inside Passage and Southcentral, bald eagles follow the salmon runs.
Bald Eagles
asp/nps/Robert Angell
In December, eagles concentrate in Pasagshak and Kodiak. Up to 3,500 bald eagles feed on late runs of salmon in the Chilkat River near Haines.

Throughout winter, eiders, old squaw, scoters, and other ducks may be seen around Chiniak Bay on Kodiak Island.

Peregrine Falcon

Up to 20 million shore birds and waterfowl pass through the Copper River Delta near Cordova in the spring and fall. Creamer's Field in Fairbanks, and Potter's Marsh in Anchorage, are also good viewing locations. Between May and August, the Nome area hosts a variety of Asian birds, shore birds, and raptors.

For puffins and other sea birds, visit Prince William Sound, St. Lazaria Island near Sitka, Kenai Fjords National Park near Seward, the Barren Islands near Homer, and the Pribilof Islands.

Oceans of Opportunity

Gathering Walrus

Migrating gray whales pass near Kodiak in March, and can be seen near Chiniak and Narrow Cape in late November. Glacier Bay in the Inside Passage, and Prince William Sound, are ideal places to see humpback whales between June and September.

From May through October, white beluga whales follow fish into the mouth of the Kenai River. Beluga's also appear in Cook Inlet near Anchorage. In Nome, walrus and other marine mammals can be seen during May.

In spring and summer, seals and sea lions hunt small fish in the Inside Passage, while killer whales (orcas) stalk the seals and sea lions. The Pribilof Islands in Southwest are famous for colonies of fur seals.

Where to Watch, When to Watch

Horned Puffins
Robert Angell

Alaska boasts abundant wildlife and sightings are common, but in order to see the animals you must be patient. Animals follow their own schedules and may not always be where you want them to be. To see a specific animal, learn about its habitat.

For most birds and big mammals, the best times for viewing are usually early morning and evening. High tides are good for seeing beluga whales and shore birds.