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The Best Animal Sightings are found at the popular Alaska Zoo which has the most stunning variety of Alaska's largest, smallest, exotic, and most endangered Alaskan wildlife. The Alaska Zoo provides unprecedented access to captivating wildlife with habitats to mimic their natural setting. The Alaska Zoo is nestled under the Chugach Mountain Range and is near the entrance of the Chugach State Park and Turnagain Arm. The park contains approximately 495,000 acres of land and is one of the four largest state parks in the United States. The region contains extensive ocean shoreline, abundant lakes, massive glaciers and ice fields. Lined with rainforests strings, mountains, nearby inlets and glaciers—home to the land's distinctive animals—it's the ideal location for spotting Alaska's "Big Five": grizzlies, caribou, Dall sheep, grey wolves and moose.
The Zoo has more Alaska wildlife species than any other wildlife operations in Alaska. The Alaska Zoo is located on 25 acres and is currently home to more than 100 birds and mammals representing 50 species. The zoo has the widest variety of animals native to the state of Alaska. The Alaska Zoo offers all the adventures of an Alaskan wildlife safari with the safety and comfortable atmosphere with park settings and beautiful grounds. In addition to intimate viewing, the zoo specializes in education, research, wildlife conservation and animal rehabilitation; many of the animals currently in the zoo were found orphaned or injured.
What You Can Expect
Your journey to the Alaska Zoo but begins with a custom tour of Turnagain Arm and is a treat you won't want to miss. On the way to the Alaska Zoo you will be traveling down Alaska's most scenic stretch of highway known as Turnagain Arm. Your adventure includes a Turnagain Arm Tour with highlights listed below.
Beluga Point: Popular photo stop with panoramic views of Turnagain Arm, with possible opportunities to see Dall sheep and Beluga whales.
Portage Valley: Enjoy a meal at Portage Day Lodge and enjoy stunning hiking trails like the Trail of Blue Ice and Byron Glacier Trail. You can also rent a bicycle for a relaxing tour of the Valley. Other activities can include taking the one-hour cruise on Portage Lake up to the face of Portage Glacier and discovering the geology and natural history of Portage Valley at the Begich Boggs Visitor Center.
Turnagain Art Gallery: Owned and operated by professional, competitive wood carvers, the gallery is full of stunning sculptures, unique jewelry, deeply moving paintings and photographic prints.
Potter Marsh: With its nearly panoramic view of Turnagain arm, Potter Marsh, peppered by spruce, cottonwood and alder trees, is one of the most accessible and scenic wildlife viewing areas in Anchorage. About halfway along the boardwalk, Rabbit Creek flows underneath and provides a good spot to see spawning chinook, Coho, or humpback salmon from May to August, depending on the species. Moose also frequent the marsh year round. May and June are good times to see these large ungulates standing in the marsh foraging for new growth.
Duration: 4.5 hours transportation - - plan for a six hour day.
Round-trip shuttle service with a tour of Turnagain Arm and pick up and drop off at the Alaska Zoo.
Excluded: Entrance Fee into Alaska Zoo which averages $15.00
Tour Times: 12:30 PM.
Prior planning is best, please dress in layers, wind and precipitation are common in the mountains where the sea is close by. Remain well hydrated to ensure your comfort and maintain situational awareness of your time and surroundings for best safety.