1. Potter Marsh
Birds of a feather flock together here during the spring and fall migrations, including North America’s largest native bird – the trumpeter swan. The occasional moose saunters into the water here too. Guided tours are held each Saturday along the 1,500-foot boardwalk system that extends out over the water.
2. Westchester Lagoon
A birder’s paradise from early spring to late summer, the lagoon and its islands are at the intersection of several flyways that funnel migrating shorebirds and waterfowl. Birds that can be spotted at the lagoon include common loons, red-necked grebes and wigeons along with ducks, geese and gulls.
3. Kincaid Park
The forested 1,500-acre park has miles of trails and plenty of animals along the way, including moose, the occasional bear, eagles and other small mammals.
4. Glen Alps/Chugach State Park
Moose are up and down the Powerline Pass valley, along with the occasional grizzly or black bear. Wolves also roam the hidden corners of the valley, and you can often spot the state bird, the ptarmigan, here.
5. Chester Creek Trail
The six-mile greenbelt runs from Westchester Lagoon to Goose Lake and Russian Jack Park, with moose especially visible from Lake Otis Boulevard tunnel eastward.
6. Goose Lake/UAA
Pacific loons nest at the far end of the lake from Goose Lake Park; ducks and geese frequent the park’s beach and you’ll also find moose wandering the trails to the north and east of the park.
7. Eagle River Nature Center
By its very name, this place is hopping with a full list of nature programs. Outside, there are eagles, moose, beavers and bears along Eagle River in a spectacular valley setting.
8. Point Woronzof/Point Woronzof Road
You can view beluga whales in late summer from the parking lot and rocky beach, and at dusk, the moose come out along the road that parallels the airport runway.
9. Tony Knowles Coastal Trail
Hike or ride a bike along the length of the Coastal Trail and keep your eyes open for moose, bears, beluga whales and eagles.
10. Turnagain Arm
The Seward Highway between Anchorage and Girdwood is noteworthy for animals in both directions. Glance toward the water and you’ll see beluga whales and the occasional bear; look cliffward to spot Dall sheep, especially from Mile 107 southward.
11. Beluga Point
At mile 110, about 7 miles south of Anchorage, there's a pull-out for Beluga Point. Beluga whales are often spotted here from mid-July through August as they follow the salmon running in Cook Inlet.
12. Johns Park and Coastal bluffs
This wooded park tucked into a south Anchorage neighborhood offers excellent opportunities to view a variety of nesting bird species. The trail ends at the coastal bluff, where you have to hike down to a marsh to search for shorebirds, geese, and migrating sandhill cranes. Bald eagles nest along the bluff.