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Bordered by the Cook Inlet and surrounded by mountains, including North America’s tallest peak, Mount McKinley, Anchorage offers wild adventures alongside metropolitan amenities.

With ten Alaska national parks and Alaska state parks, home to many fascinating species, including bear, lynx, Dall sheep and several wolf packs, the region offers excellent opportunities for bird and wildlife watching. Amongst Anchorage’s myriad attractions are whale-watching, wilderness adventures, panoramic mountain ranges, majestic glaciers and numerous hiking trails within easy reach of the city.

With its wide-open spaces, snow-capped mountains, endless forests and sparkling inlets Alaska is the USA’s largest, and least populated, state and its finest wilderness area. The state is also home to North America’s greatest collection of glaciers, glacier viewing is one of Alaska’s top attractions, and those in southcentral Alaska are the most accessible. Glaciers can be viewed from the air, on foot or by sea – the famous Portage Glacier is just a 30-minute cruise from Anchorage. But Anchorage isn’t just stunning scenery, the area teems with wildlife and is well known for its bears.

In the summer months, few sights are as arresting as that of brown (grizzly) bears gorging on salmon swimming up river to spawn. As well as a range of land mammals, including wolf, moose and deer, there is an impressive range of marine life, whales, dolphins, seals and otters can all be seen from land or boat, and more than 470 species of birds, including bald eagles and horned puffins and rare species such as whiskered auklet, bluethroat and bristle-thighed curlew.

View suggested itineraries

Key info

  • Ideal for viewing: moose, bald eagle, beluga whale, Dall’s porpoise, humpback whale
  • Where: South-central Alaska, Alaska

Wildlife trips

This location is featured in the following itineraries:

Alaska Bear Odyssey

Combine two prime locations for seeing grizzly bears, in areas of phenomenal natural beauty. The world’s largest brown bears can be found on Kodiak Island, whilst Katmai National Park offers great opportunities to view them fishing for salmon, and here you will also find the wild volcanoes of the Valley of 10,000 Smokes.

  • When to go: Jun-Sep
  • Duration inc. flights: 12 days
  • Price inc. flights: From £7,795 pp
  • Trip type: Tailor-made trip idea

Brown Bears of Kodiak

View the grizzlies of Kodiak Island (the largest in the world) gorge on salmon that swim up the rivers to spawn. Also spending time in Katmai National Park, this trip includes time on board a private vessel to reach remote spots, and great bear encounters as they feed along the shoreline.

  • When to go: Jun-Sep
  • Duration exc. flights: 10 days
  • Price inc. flights: From £9,945 pp
  • Trip type: Group tour

Wilderness Adventure

Embark this outstanding ‘Access All Areas’ itinerary to visit Alaska’s national parks, by car, boat, plane, train and bus. Search for wolves and bears in the shadow of Mount McKinley at Denali National Park, be amazed at towering glaciers and icebergs in the Kenai Fjords, before photographing grizzlies at Brook Falls.

  • When to go: Jun-Sep
  • Duration inc. flights: 15 days
  • Price inc. flights: From £5,895 pp
  • Trip type: Tailor-made trip idea
Suggested accommodation is shown below. Please contact us for further recommendations.

Copper Whale Inn

The Copper Whale Inn is an award-winning historic bed and breakfast located in the heart of downtown Anchorage, just minutes from restaurants, shops and museums. The lounge and some of the rooms have stunning views of Cook Inlet and Alaska Range, perfect for an introduction to Alaska’s scenery and wildlife.