The Quintessential Guide To Wildlife Viewing On The Alaska Highway
There are not many places in the world that rival the beauty and natural wonders of the Alaska Highway. This is why it’s no surprise that travelers from around the world flock to the north to take a road trip on this famous highway.
The attraction of driving to Alaska is not only the scenic landscapes but the incredible wildlife the visitors are almost guaranteed to spot on their journey.
The Alaska Highway is home to some of the most unique wildlife in the world and the best part is, you probably won’t even need to leave your vehicle to see it. The wide, lush areas along the road attract elk, buffalo, bear and many more.
So what kind of animals will you see while driving to Alaska?
– Black bears. These massive creatures weigh up to 330 lbs. and they can live up to 33 years. Watch for them grazing on the side of the road in grassy areas.
– Mountain goats. These animals are typically shy but you can’t deny their beauty with such bright, white coats. Look for them in mountainous areas with steep rocky cliffs.
– Grizzly bears. Female grizzly bears could weigh up to 450 lbs. while the giant males can reach up to 1,000 lbs. These majestic creatures are rare to see on the side of the road, but it’s not unheard of.
– Moose. The famous moose of Alaska can reach 7 feet tall and weigh up to a massive 1,800 lbs. In the spring-time it is common to see Moose in the ponds and wetlands near the highway with their young.
– Caribou. Also known as the reindeer of North America, the caribou are famous for their long migrations across the Alaska plains.
– Elk. Considered one of the largest terrestrial mammals in North America, the elk is part of the deer family and can grow impressively wide antlers.
These animals are just some of the many species that you’ll get to view while driving the Alaska Highway. But to make sure that you enjoy the wildlife, while staying safe, here are some simple tips that you should follow:
– Never, ever go near large mammals. Elks, moose, bison and bears in the Alaska Highway may be used to people, but they can still illicit a defensive response when startled or when they feel under threat. Never go near these animals to avoid an attack.
– Stay in your car when viewing wildlife and don’t make any noise. Animals don’t like noise or sudden movements because they usually feel threatened by them.
– Always be vigilant with your surroundings to avoid being attacked by an animal. When out in the open, make noise and always keep an eye out behind you.
– Finally, be sure never to end up between a mother and her young. This is the most dangerous place to be and may illicit an attack.
Of course, you can’t forget about taking the best photographs. It’s dangerous to get to close, so look at getting a telephoto lens for your digital camera, if you’re not just using your phone!