Anchorage may be home to around 300,000 people, but it’s the animal population that really makes the city such an amazing place to visit. Among the Alaska wildlife local to the area are thousands of moose and Dall sheep, hundreds of bird species including dozens of nesting bald eagles, as well as brown and black bears, beluga whales, beavers, and more.
For top places to see wildlife without leaving town, keep these popular viewing spots in mind.
This six-mile swath of greenbelt runs from Westchester Lagoon to Goose Lake and Russian Jack Park. Look for moose from Lake Otis Boulevard tunnel going east.
Moose are in abundance in Powerline Pass valley and it’s not all that rare to see grizzlies or black bears too. Wolves roam the more secluded parts of the valley. The area is a good one for catching a glimpse of Alaska’s state bird, the ptarmigan.
Goose Lake near the University of Alaska Anchorage Campus is home to many Pacific loons, ducks and – as the name implies, geese.
Nestled snug into a south Anchorage neighborhood, Johns Park is a great place for birding. At the edge of the marshes along the bluffs, shorebirds such as geese and sandhill cranes may be viewed. Look for nesting bald eagles at the top of the very same bluffs.
With miles of trails to explore, the forested 1,500-acre Kincaid Park offers an excellent chance to see eagles, small mammals, and even sometimes bears.
Point Woronzof/Point Woronzof Road
View beluga whales here in late summer from the parking lot and rocky beach,. At dusk, moose come out along the road parallel to the runway of Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport.
North America’s largest native bird, the trumpeter swan, drops by here during spring and fall migrations. It’s not uncommon to spot a moose at Potter Marsh either. Guided tours are held every Saturday along the expansive boardwalk.
When hiking or cycling along this popular coastal trail keep an eyes out for moose, bears, beluga whales and eagles.
Westchester Lagoon is excellent area for bird watching, especially in spring and summer. Birders shouldn’t be surprised to encounter common loons, red-necked grebes, wigeons along with several varieties of ducks, geese and gulls.