The Alaska Highway is well regarded as one of North America’s great adventure routes. An ‘Into the Wild’ type of journey that tugs at the wildest heart strings of those that travel the historic route each year.
Venturing north, the highway clambers through some of the most remote, and vast wilderness on the continent. A wilderness that is home to an abundance of wildlife seemingly unmatched anywhere else. Get your camera ready!
For the nature enthusiast, travelling the Alaska Highway can be a very fulfilling experience. Our diverse, rugged, and secluded landscapes are prime habitat for many of North Americas largest mammals including Moose, Caribou, Wood Bison, Grizzly Bear and Stone’s Sheep. A wide array of other fur barring critters such as Red Fox, Wolverine, and Lynx are common place as well. Keep your eyes to the sky, the Alaska Highway hosts a plethora of birds that are both resident and migratory in nature. These include Trumpeter Swan, Sandhill Crane, Bald Eagle, Great Grey Owl, and Red-tail Hawk.
The chance to see some of the wildlife along the Alaska Highway is great throughout the year. With that being said, here are some tips to increase your odds, while doing so in a conscious manner:
- Early bird gets the worm! Try to be on the road in the early hours of the morning, just after sunrise. In the summer, much of the animal kingdom are active at this time, before the heat of the day.
- Work late! Like the early morning, the late evening is also prime time for wildlife. Going for a drive after supper often yields great results.
- Stay Ready! Encounters with wildlife are often sudden, unexpected, and brief. Have your camera ready to go at all times. Insure that the camera settings are optimized for quick motion and continuous autofocus tracking in the event that the animal might run(or fly) away.
- More eyes, more prize! Have other people in the vehicle keep their eyes out for unsuspected wildlife. The more eyes in the game, the better your odds are of seeing something hiding that you might not see otherwise.
- Stay Safe! Alway be aware of your surroundings, and other road users behind or in front of you. Avoid sudden stops, blind spots, stopping for wildlife on corners, or hills, and never stay parked on the middle of the road. Pull over, insure you are in a safe spot for passing traffic, and give the animal its respectful space.
- Keep them wild! Never feed a wild animal. Doing so can ultimately create an unnatural comfort level to vehicles, and humans, which can put the animal at risk in the future.
The following gallery is a portfolio of some of the more common animals you can expect to see on your journey, with a few notes on their nature in the related captions.
Plenty to look forward to when travelling the Alaska Highway. If you happen to photograph some wildlife along the way, we would love to see it! Follow us on Instagram @celebratealaskahighway and use the hashtag #explorealaskahighway to be featured!
-The Alaska Highway