Frequently Asked Questions About Siteseeing and Wildlife Viewing

  1. I want to see wildlife. Where do I go?Alaska Public Lands Information Centers has a Wildlife Viewing in Alaska brochure which suggests areas to view Alaska's wildlife. Staff can also recommend areas to look for moose, Dall Sheep, spawning salmon, bear, bald eagles and other popular wildlife. Detailed animal and bird info sheets are also available.

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  1. We want to see glaciers. Where can we go? Are there tours or can we see them ourselves? Several glaciers are within an easy day's drive of Anchorage.

    1. Portage Glacier, though no longer visible from the Begich-Boggs Visitor Center, is popular due to the massive icebergs that float in Portage Lake. A short (Forest Service narrated) commercial boat trip at road's end takes you to the face of the glacier.

    2. Kenai Fjords National Park provides a spectacular close-up view of Exit Glacier. An easy trail takes you to the face of this land-locked glacier, located about 12 miles north of Seward.

    3. Matanuska Glacier is about one hundred miles north of Anchorage. Good views of the glacier are available from a paved turn-out at mile 101.7 of the Glenn Highway. Access to the foot of Matanuska Glacier is via Glacier Park Resort. An admission fee is charged.

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  1. We love bears, where can we see them up close?Bears are visible almost anywhere in Alaska. You might catch a glimpse of a black or grizzly bear while hiking in Chugach State Park or Chugach National Forest. Destinations such as Denali NP, Katmai NP, McNeil River State Game Refuge, or Admiralty Island National Monument can provide even closer experiences. Alaska's bears are large and wild, and must be treated with respect. Ask for a copy of Bear Facts, Bear Viewing, or Wildlife Viewing in Alaska from the Alaska Public Lands Information Centers staff.

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  1. How do I get into the McNeil River lottery?The Alaska Department of Fish & Game holds the lottery in March. Applications come out in January. To get your name on the mailing list, call Fish & Game in Anchorage, (907) 344-0541 or mail a postcard to: Alaska Department of Fish & Game, Division of Wildlife Conservation, Attn: McNeil Lottery, 333 Raspberry Road, Anchorage, AK 99518-1599.

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  1. Where can I learn how to be safe around bears, moose and other animals? Most of what you need, you already have...common sense. Keep your distance, let them know you are there, and don't run in panic. Bear Facts is a good brochure to review. Many public lands brochures discuss how to safely enjoy Alaska's wildlife.

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  1. We want to learn more about Alaska's cultural heritage. What can you tell us?Alaska Public Lands Information Centers has general information on native groups in relation to Alaska's public lands and a reference guide to native corporations. Information is available on native interpretive sites, such as the Chugach N.F. Kenaitze Indian Tribe site on the Kenai Peninsula, or the Bering Land Bridge (BLB National Preserve). The best sources of general information would be the Museum of History and Art, Loussac Library, and groups such as TAHETA, a native arts and cultural group located in Anchorage.

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  1. We've been in Alaska a week and haven't seen a moose. Where can we go to see one? Moose can be seen almost anywhere in Southcentral Alaska, from Anchorage backyards and parks to high country meadows. Moose can be in congregations of 30 to 40 during winter in the Palmer Hay Flats area, about 40 minutes north of Anchorage. Late afternoon through the evening are good times to look for moose feeding along roadsides. Moose are highly unpredictable when crossing highways and when close to people on foot. Denali National Park recommends staying at least 75 feet from moose. You cannot outrun a moose; get behind a tree or protective obstacle. The best safety advice is to be alert; if you see a moose, keep your distance.

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Last updated: April 14, 2015

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