Oh the Animals on the Alaska Highway!

We’ve never seen so many wild critters in their natural habitat! No fences, no national park crowds, just furry and feathered non-human animals on the Alaska Highway doing their thing in the warm summer air. These wood bison are just one example.

Stats for All the Animals on the Alaska Highway

When we did our Alaska Highway trip research there was one thing Alcan Highway veterans kept telling us: “We saw more animals in British Columbia and the Yukon than in Alaska itself!” So far this has held up in our experience.

Between the British Columbia border and Beaver Creek in the Yukon, here’s the count of what we’ve seen:

17 Brown or Black Bears
3 Grizzly Bears

animals on the alaska highway
Do you know how to tell a grizzly from a black bear?

1 Wolf
4 Swans
1 Caribou
6 Bald Eagles

animals on the alaska highway
You would never guess bald eagles were endangered.

1 Moose
24+ Bison
14 Dall or Little Horn Sheep

animals on the alaska highway
Sheep at Stone Mountain Summit are worth the wait.

1 Pine Marten
11 Beavers
and counting!

Whether we’re on the road or just hanging out at camp, I’ve jotted down the mammals we’ve seen. The only ones I’m not tracking are ordinary rodents and rabbits. But the others, well they’ve taken our breath away. There’s nothing like watching these big and little critters doing their thing without a care in the world.

animals on the alaska highway
Some bears scamper away, some don’t care when you’re near.

My friend TC tells me that seeing a wild wolf is pretty rare. They’re shy because humans did such a bang-up job killing them off. “It’s Northern Magic!” when you see one, she says. I hope that’s a sign of good things to come. 

As a bonus, tourists have been pretty civilized around the animals. They’ll stop their car on the side of the road and admire from a distance, but that’s about it. So far we haven’t seen any idiot tourists taking selfies with bison or bears. We’re hoping it stays that way. Any bets?


4 thoughts on “Oh the Animals on the Alaska Highway!”

  1. I still can’t believe you saw a wolf! And the photo you sent this morning of mama bear and cubs is priceless. What a treat to see so much roadside wildlife that isn’t roadkill!!

    • Sssh, don’t tell anyone I have video of of Mama Grizzly and her cubs. Coming soon! And yeah, by the way we’ve only seen about one or two roadkills since coming up here. Those animals are smarter than their lower 48 counterparts.


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