The Denali Highway – Wildlife Watching and Birding
The alpine tundra and lake districts are home to a fabulous diversity of wildlife. Moose, black and grizzly bears, and caribou roam the open spaces and forests. Bald eagles, gyrfalcons and long-tailed jaegers circle overhead. Trumpeter swans, ptarmigan, loons and more birdlife are common.
The BLM, which administers the highway, recommends several spots for wildlife watching. Mud Lake just out of Paxson is a clear shallow lake frequented by trumpeter swans, bald eagles, and moose. Sockeye salmon can be seen in the waters. Fiftymile Lake is another good place for spotting swans, bald eagles and moose, along with grizzly, caribou and beaver. Caribou migrate through an area west of the Susitna River.
The Tangle Lakes are prime bird-watching habitat. Red-necked Phalaropes can be seen sucking insects from the lake bottom, along with swans, wigeons and pintails.