AUDUBON NATURALIST SOCIETY
JUNE 9 - 20, 2018
This trip started with a visit to Seward and a boat trip at Kenai Fjords National Park (shown here). Next we crossed Prince William Sound by ferry and then traveled north to the tiny community of Paxson, staying at the delightful Denali Highway Cabins. Next we drove across the mostly unpaved Denali Highway, eventually arriving at Denali National Park. This was a very lucky group that enjoyed many great wildlife sightings. Some highlights are shown here.
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Orcas (also known as Killer Whales)
We took the 9-hour boat tour to Northwestern Fjord, seeing glaciers and waterfalls (above), Mountain Goats (left), Harbor Seals (below), Bald Eagles (right), and more.
Sea Otters are often found right in the small boat harbor in Seward, allowing great views and photo opportunities.
Arctic Tern at Tern Lake
Dall Sheep just south of Anchorage
Red-throated Loon in Anchorage
We rode the ferry from Whittier (above left) across Prince William Sound on a gorgeous, sunny day with fabulous views all around.
The ferry landed in Valdez, the southern terminus of the Alaska Pipeline. The oil port is in view here.
We skirted the edge of Wrangell-St. Elias National Park, walking a forest path and viewing some of the park's high peaks from across the Copper River.
From Valdez we drove north along the Richardson Highway, through boreal forest and muskeg, paralleling the pipeline.
Great Horned Owl
The Richardson Highway follows the Copper River and then the Gulkana, at left, to its headwaters at Summit Lake, seen in the distance in the photo at right.
Next came a rather thorough exploration of the Alaska Range, as we traveled along the Denali Highway and then north to Denali National Park, where we rode into the park as far as the Eielson Visitor Center. Lots of great wildlife in this region! Above: Caribou (left), Willow Ptarmigan (right). At right, top to bottom: Arctic Warbler, Moose, Northern Hawk-Owl. Below: Gyrfalcon (left), Arctic Ground Squirrel (right). Bottom: Grizzly Bears of the very pale Toklat race that occurs in Denali National Park.
Dall Sheep crossing the Denali Park Road.
We found Black-backed Woodpecker (left) and Three-toed Woodpecker (right) in an area of burnt forest on the way back to Anchorage (thanks to tips from friends).
Red-necked Grebe at Lake Lucille
Common Loon at Lake Lucille
Our terrific group
Above and below, two views of the Chugach Mountains.