An Alaskan Wildlife Adventure

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Three Amazing Alaskan Vacations To Choose From!

Summer Trips To Alaska
Grizzlies & Glaciers Tour

Winter Trips To Alaska
See The Northern Lights

Summer Trips To Alaska
Denali Discovery Adventure

Denali Adventure in Alaska Vacation
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Planning Your Alaska Vacation To See Wildlife

So you’ve decided to visit Alaska, but don’t know the best time to visit. In this case, the best thing to do is figure out what you want to do in Alaska. For example, if you want to see Alaska’s amazing wildlife, you will need to figure out the best time to visit Alaska for wildlife viewing. Fortunately, we’ve done the research for you! Read on for more information on the best time to go to Alaska!

Sea wildlife humpback whale in Alaska

Why Plan Your Alaskan Adventure Around Wildlife?

When it comes to seeing wildlife in their natural habitat, there may be no better place than Alaska. The state is home to 15 national parks, and its federally protected lands cover 163,696 square miles. Alaska provides all manner of animals with plenty of room to roam and offers ample resources for these animals to thrive in their natural habitats. The trick, however, is knowing where to go to view Alaska's native wildlife, and what time of year is best for seeing the animals you want to see!

Alaska’s Many Wildlife Seasons

What is the best time to visit Alaska for wildlife viewing? Well, it’s possible to see wildlife any time of the year in Alaska! Beginning in April, migratory birds return to their home state. The early spring growth also coaxes caribou, mountain goats, black bears, and Dall sheep from their winter hiding spots and into plain view. On the other hand, autumn is the mating season for moose, goats, caribou, and musk oxen, meaning that they are active and easily seen by tourists. Even winter offers adventurers the opportunity to see deer, sheep, and mountain goats, once the landscape is bare of vegetation.

Of course, most people think that if you’re visiting Alaska, the best time to go is during the summer. The summer months allow travelers to see a wide variety of Alaskan wildlife, including brown bears, deer and moose calves, seal calves, and birds. Summer also brings the best weather for getting outside and exploring, with average daily highs in the 60s and 70s throughout much of the state. The warm weather also brings tourists and higher prices for lodgings and tours, which is important to keep in mind when planning your trip.

Read on for more information on visiting Alaska and the best time to visit to see the wildlife you’ve always dreamed of seeing!

Best Time To See Bears In Alaska

two brown Bears in spring in Alaska playingBears in Alaska emerge from their winter denning in late March to early April, searching for food along the coast or in the forests. Coastal brown bears await the coming of the summer salmon runs, which offers them the opportunity to pack away the calories they need before the next winter season. The salmon runs begin in late June and continue throughout the summer, making the best time to visit Alaska for wildlife viewing the summer! Here are some popular bear-viewing locations:

  • Pack Creek, near Juneau, is in the heart of Admiralty Island. An estimated 1,600 brown bears live on this island, which is also known as the "Fortress of the Bears." The island's remote location and abundant food sources contribute to the thriving population of these majestic creatures.
  • Lake Clark National Park and Preserve's coastline provides coastal brown bears with a plentiful food supply during the spring and summer, making your trip to Alaska the best time to visit for bear viewing. Lake Clark's bears can often be seen foraging for clams, digging for razor clams, or catching salmon along the shores of the park.
  • Kodiak Island is home to a subspecies of brown bear, the Ursus arctos middendorfi. These brown bears are larger than their grizzly cousins, often reaching 1,600 pounds! The bears' large size and distinctive appearance make them a popular attraction for wildlife enthusiasts and photographers.
  • Denali National Park and Preserve is home to 350 brown bears. These bears are active from June through September, giving tourists plenty of options for picking the best time to go to Alaska!
  • Wolverine Creek, near Redoubt Bay, has become a popular bear-watching destination. Brown bears are abundant along the inlet during mid-to-late summer when the salmon are returning to spawn.
  • Katmai National Park and Preserve, near Homer, features spectacular bear viewing opportunities at Brooks Falls and a lodge for visitors to stay during their wildlife viewing adventures.

Best Time To Go Whale Watching In Alaska

Whale watching in alaska with humpback whalesIf whales are on your must-see list while visiting Alaska, the best time to go starts in early spring! Several species of whales make their annual journey from their winter home back to Alaska beginning in April. This annual migration includes grey whales, who pass through the waters of Ketchikan, Sitka, Kodiak, and Seward in the early spring.

By May, Alaska’s resident killer whales have become active. But if you want to see Beluga whales, the best opportunities to see these magnificent creatures happen almost all year round! Most whale-watching tours depart from ports in and around Seward, Whittier, and Juneau, but there are also plenty of other places to see these massive marine creatures!

  • Gustavus – the waters around this town are a good place to spot humpback whales!
  • Icy Strait Point – this locale is another popular spot for humpback whale watchers to gather!
  • Sitka – the waters around this town are home to humpback, killer, and other migratory whales.
  • Wrangell – this town is off the beaten path and less crowded than many other tourist ports, offering visitors some of the region’s quietest, most untouched whale-watching spots.
  • Petersburg – a prime humpback whale viewing spot during the summer months.
  • Ketchikan – if you want to see a variety of whales, visit this town to see orcas, humpbacks, and killer whales in the nearby waters as they follow the annual salmon runs.

Best Time To See Eagles In Alaska

More than half of North America’s bald eagle population lives in Alaska. They are visible to avid bird watchers regardless of season if you know where to look. In this case, the location of these birds play a part in determining the best time to visit Alaska for wildlife viewing. Here are our top three popular locations to spot the more than 30,000 eagles that call Alaska home:

  • Chilkat Bald Eagle Preserve – more than 3,000 eagles gather on this preserve near Haines to feed on spawning chum salmon from October to February. During this time, the majestic birds can be seen soaring through the sky and diving into the rivers with remarkable precision and grace.
  • Kenai Peninsula – the number of bald eagles that call the Homer Spit home has steadily increased over the years, making this location a great spot to watch the eagles. You can also see the birds circling the sky at the waterfront in Seward.
  • Denali National Park – to find eagles in Denali, head for the south side of the Alaska Range and look for them along waterways, rivers, and lakes. To increase your chances of spotting eagles in Denali, keep an eye out for their distinctive white heads and tails as they soar and swoop above the park's vast wilderness.

Once you decide what animals to see on your trip to Alaska, you can figure out the best time to visit Alaska for wildlife viewing! Then, you can research the specific locations and habitats where these animals are commonly found to maximize your chances of spotting them during your visit. From there, it's easy! Pack your bags, hop a plane, and get ready for the adventure of a lifetime!

Download all three Alaska tour brochures for tour dates and pricing.