Region Offers Visitors Prime Spots to View Diverse Wildlife

Reed Travel Features

JUNEAU -- Nobody needs to be told that Alaska is the place to watch wildlife.

Marine creatures, umpteen species of bear, sheep, goats, bald eagles and other raptors, caribou, bison, moose and on and on.

The list of viewing opportunities is a lengthy one.

Knowing what to look for, where and when are the keys to making the most of the chances offered.

Different habitats attract different animals.

Caribou, for example, won't be found in the Inside Passage coastal region.

And do not look for bears in the Kenai National Wildlife Preserve.

Or for eagles in the Prudhoe Bay area.

Here is a partial listing outlining the prime viewing areas and what is most likely to be seen:

* Along the Alaska Marine Highway System route (Bellingham, Wash. to Juneau):

Whales (April to October).

Seals, sea otters, dolphins, sea lions (year-round).

Deer (January to March).

* Sitka National Historic Park:

Bald eagles and whales (June to September).

Pink salmon during spawning run (late August and September).

* Chilkat Bald Eagle Reserve:

Thousands of bald eagles and salmon (October to December).

*Mendenhall Glacier, Tongass National Forest:

Mountain goats (September to May).

Salmon, forest birds and bald eagles (June to August).

* Prince William Sound:

Whales (April to September).

Otters, seals, sea lions, puffins, eagles and porpoises (year-round).

* Shuyak Island State Park:

Puffins and other sea birds (mostly June to August).

Whales, otters, seals and sea lions (April to August).

* Kenai National Wildlife Refuge:

Moose and bald eagles (year-round).

Trumpeter swans and tundra swans (late April to October).

* St. Elias National Park, Wrangell:

Bison and caribou (November to April).

Dall Sheep, mountain goats and trumpeter swans (May to September).

* Campbell Tract, Anchorage:

Moose, raptors and songbirds (year-round).

* Chugach State Park:

Dall sheep, red salmon and grizzly bears (May to September).

Moose, ptarmigan and forest birds (year-round).

* Anchorage Coastal State Wildlife Refuge:

Water fowl, shore birds, bald eagles (May to early September).

King, Pink and silver salmon (June to early September).

* Denali National Park:

Dall sheep, grizzlies and caribou (May to September).

Moose, wolf, fox, ptarmigan (year-round).

* Chena River State Recreation Park:

Cow moose with calves, waterfowl (May to August).

King and chum salmon spawning (July and August).

* Kodiak National Wildlife Preserve:

Brown bears and deer (July and August).

Eagles, marine birds, goats (year round).

* Walrus Islands State Game Sanctuary:

Walrus, sea birds, sea lions and red fox (late May to August).

* Pribilof Islands, Alaska Maritime National Wildlife Refuge:

Puffins, sea birds and fur seals (late May to early August).

Reindeer (year-round).

* Nome area:

Raptors and shore birds (May to August).

Moose, reindeer and musk ox (year-round).

* Dalton Highway/Prudhoe Bay:

Loons, swans, geese and shore birds (June to August).

Caribou, Arctic fox, musk ox and ptarmigan (year-round).

* Arctic National Wildlife Refuge:

Caribou, Dall sheep, bears, raptors and Arctic birds (May to August).

Musk ox, Arctic fox and wolf (year-round).

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