Where ARE the animals?
In spring, melting snow allows plants to start sprouting in the high mountains. Many animals leave the spruce forests and travel higher to find these sweet and nutritious young plants. Heading higher also takes them away from flies and swarming mosquitoes that are common in spring and early summer.
Scan high mountainsides and rocky ridges for small white dots...these could be sheep! Wrangell-St. Elias contains one of the largest concentrations of Dall sheep in North America. Moose are often seen near willow bogs and lakes. In the fall, bears and other animals may be sighted near salmon spawning streams. Other species of large mammals here include grizzly & black bears, mountain goats, caribou, and even two herds of transplanted bison.
Stay alert and you may see a variety of smaller animals, such as snowshoe hares, arctic ground squirrels, beaver, porcupine, trumpeter swans, and foxes near roads and trails.
The Copper River Basin and Yakutat Bay areas are along major migratory routes for numerous bird species. The Park and Preserve provides wetland areas for nesting geese, trumpeter swans, ducks and other waterfowl. Both golden and bald eagles nest within the park. Year-round species include ptarmigan, grouse, ravens and a variety of owls.
The Copper River watershed provides spawning areas for three types of salmon (red, silver and king) along with rainbow trout, lake trout, grayling, steelhead, Dolly Varden and burbot.
The coastal areas of the park are habitat for abundant marine mammals, including sea lions, harbor seals, sea otters, porpoises and even whales.
Go do the Alaska Department of Fish and Game's Wildlife Viewing website, for state-wide information on when to see wildlife, tips, checklists, maps, and other useful information.