Roadside Wildlife Viewing Locations in South-central Alaska
You don’t have to go far to see wildlife in Alaska. In fact, you may not even have to get out of your vehicle! Moose and bears, as well as other wild animals, are not an uncommon sight on highways and roadsides. If you want to stretch your legs or take a break from the drive, Alaska’s highways are peppered with pullouts and viewing platforms where you can see land animals, a variety of shorebirds and seabirds, fish and even marine life. Many of these sites have interpretive panels, picnic areas and restrooms.
Planning ahead? Here are some of the top roadside wildlife viewing locations in Southcentral Alaska. Be careful when stopping to view or photograph wildlife. Always pull over and use pullouts and parking areas when possible.
Be Bear Aware! If you see a bear from a vehicle, do not leave the vehicle. When out in bear country, stay alert, make noise, do not approach or feed bears, keep food and smells away from bears. Please pack out all garbage and leave nothing behind.
Anchorage & Area
Beluga Point Lookout – Beluga Whales
Beluga Point has a turnout with paved parking accessible spotting scopes and interpretive panels. There are between 300 and 375 beluga whales in the Cook Inlet while the salmon are running and the whales are often spotted here from mid-July to August. Occasionally, orcas can be seen as well.
Directions: Drive 6.5 miles south of Anchorage city limits on Seward Highway, the lookout is located at mile 110.5 of the Seward Highway.
Bird Ridge Overlook – Whales, Eagles, Sheep, Black Bears
You can see wildlife in several different types of habitat in this unique spot. There are lots of parking spaces, picnic areas and some short trails.
Directions: Drive about 25 miles south of Anchorage on Seward Highway, the parking lot is located at mile 102 of the Seward Highway.
Kenai River Viewing Platform – Beluga Whales, Harbour Seals & Birds
The viewing platform overlooks an estuary and is a great spot for birdwatching. Beluga whales can sometimes be seen at the mouth of the Kenai River.
Directions: From Anchorage head one mile south of Kenai on Bridge Access Road and turn west on Boat Launch Road.
Ship Creek – Salmon & Shorebirds
Ship creek supports salmon as well as providing habitat for shorebirds. There is a footpath as well as a bridge where you can view wildlife with the cityscape in the background.
Directions: To access the Ship Creek Overlook from downtown, take E street north from West 3rd Ave. After E Street turns into North C Street and crosses a bridge over the river, take a right onto Whitney Street. Drive about 1 mile to the parking area adjacent to the Ship Creek Overlook. For the William Jack Hernandez Sport Fish Hatchery, take the Glenn Highway east about 1.5 miles from downtown. Turn left on Reeve Boulevard and watch for the parking area on your right.
Windy Corner – Dall Sheep
You can often spot Dall sheep close to the road in this area or on the cliffs above the road. This spot attracts the sheep because it is a salt lick and it is a rare opportunity to see Dall sheep from the road. There are several pullouts where you can stop.
Directions: Windy corner is located just south of Potter Marsh at mile 106 of the Seward Highway.
Hidden Creek – Bears & Salmon
Brown bears can be seen feeding on Salmon in the creek in late July and early August. Bears sometimes cross the road to get to the other side of the creek.
Directions: At mile 58 of the Sterling Highway take Skilak Lake Road for almost 4 miles. You can park on Skilak Loop Road, 100 yard on either side of the creek.
Lowell Point State Recreation Site – Humpback Whales, Sea Otters, Sea Lions & Shorebirds
The Lowell Point Road follows the coast of Resurrection Bay just south of Seward. Sea otters and Stellar sea lions can be seen from the beach at the recreation site during high tide. Watch for Humpback whales! Eagles often perch in nearby trees and plenty of seabirds and shorebirds can bee seen in the area.
Directions: Take the Seward Highway through Seward until it ends. Turn right on Lowell Point Road and drive 3.5 miles.
Moose Flats – Moose, Waterfowl & Eagles
A short boardwalk leads through wetlands along several ponds providing excellent viewing opportunities for wildlife viewing. Moose can be seen year-round. Seabirds and waterfowl are often seen here, as well as eagles, beavers and muskrats. There are picnic areas near the ponds.
Directions: At mile 78.9 of the Seward Highway turn south onto Portage Glacier Road. Moose Flats Day Use Area is 1.5 miles down the road.
Tern Lake – Shorebirds, Beavers, River Otters, Salmon, Moose, Mountain Goats, Dall Sheep & Eagles
In May and June you can see Arctic terns, mew gulls, and trumpeter swans. Beavers, otters, muskrat and salmon can be seen in the lake and Dall sheep, mountain goat and moose can be seen in the surrounding mountains. Watch for eagles in the trees.
Directions: At mile 37 of the Seward Highway, follow signs to the day-use picnic area, fish viewing deck and restrooms.
Pasagshak State Recreation Site – Grey Whales, Waterfowl, Dolphins & Bears
Spot Grey whales from the beach during their migration. Brown bear, whales, seals, dolphins, salmon and various waterfowl are but a few of the costal and marine wildlife that call the Pasagshak Bay home. There is RV camping available at the site as well.
Directions: Drive 38 miles south of the Kodiak ferry terminal on Pasagshak Road.
Crooked Creek Information Centre – Salmon & Bears
You can see pink and chum salmon from the salmon viewing platform during the summer, and occasionally even black or brown bears. To get a different view of the salmon, check out the feed from the underwater camera in the log cabin (open from mid-July to Labor Day)
Directions: The Center is located half a mile north of Valdez on the Richardson Highway.