Grand Alaska Part II: Anchorage, Denali Highway & Kenai Peninsula: Jun 16—24, 2019

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Price: To Be Announced.
($4,195 in 2018)
Departs: Anchorage
Tour Limit: 14
Operations Manager: Erik Lindqvist
Download Previous Itinerary (2018): PDF (5.5 MB)

Route Map


Tour Leaders


Barry Zimmer

Barry Zimmer has been birding since the age of eight. His main areas of expertise lie in Nor...


Erik Bruhnke

Erik Bruhnke has loved birds since he was a child looking at chickadees. In 2008 he graduate...

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Register for this tour by phone (800/328-VENT or 512/328-5221), or by downloading a tour registration form. Signed and completed forms can be faxed, mailed, or scanned and emailed to the VENT office.

Denali Highway, Alaska

Denali Highway, Alaska— Photo: Barry Zimmer

Focus on the many special breeding birds of south coastal and interior Alaska, with excellent opportunities for seeing many of Alaska’s iconic mammals, as well as some of the most spectacular scenery that the continent has to offer.

Part II of our Grand Alaska adventure focuses on the forested interior and southern coasts of Alaska. Three days spent in the magnificent Denali Highway wilderness will acquaint us with the grandeur of the Alaska Range and some of the continent’s finest scenery. Based out of a comfortable lodge set amidst dazzling surroundings, we’ll be treated to all of the birding and much of the wildlife viewing possibilities of the Denali region without the congestion of cruise line tour buses and rampant commercialization that is coming to dominate the National Park itself. We’ll bird tall boreal forest, taiga, subalpine, and alpine habitats for Trumpeter Swan, Barrow’s Goldeneye, Surf and White-winged scoters, Horned and Red-necked grebes, Spruce Grouse, Rock (rare) and Willow ptarmigans, Northern Hawk Owl and Great Gray Owl (rare), American Three-toed and Black-backed (rare) woodpeckers, Northern Shrike, Boreal Chickadee, Bohemian Waxwing, Arctic Warbler, Smith’s Longspur (rare), White-winged Crossbill, Pine Grosbeak, and many others. Moose, Caribou, Dall’s Sheep, Grizzly, Red Fox, Beaver, and Porcupine are all good possibilities as well.

Trumpeter Swan

Trumpeter Swan— Photo: Kevin Zimmer

A boat trip to Kenai Fjords National Park will offer spectacular scenery—immense ice fields, glaciers cutting into the sea, sheer-walled fjords, fog-draped spruce forests, and rugged headlands awash with nesting seabirds. Alcids are the primary attraction with such possibilities as Kittlitz’s, Marbled, and Ancient murrelets, Rhinoceros and Parakeet auklets, Pigeon Guillemot, Horned and Tufted puffins, and Common and Thick-billed murres competing with Red-faced (rare) and Pelagic cormorants, scoters, Black Oystercatchers, and various gulls for our attention. Marine mammal viewing is typically superb, with excellent chances for seeing Humpback Whale, Orca, Dall’s Porpoise, Steller’s Sea Lion, and Sea Otter. Past tour participants have rated this boat trip as one of the true highlights of their Alaskan adventures.

Parts I and II of Grand Alaska may be taken separately or in combination. These tours, as well as the Barrow Extension, are designed to follow one another sequentially to allow participants maximum flexibility in scheduling.

Comfortable accommodations; easy to moderate terrain; mostly easy, short walks (with one or more optional longer tundra hikes to search for Smith’s Longspur) with a full-day boat trip to Kenai Fjords; some long drives; full birding days with optional post-dinner birding at some locations; cool to mild climate.