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Bald Eagles nesting at Chelatna Lake Lodge

Birding in Denali National Park

Alaska offers some of the finest birding opportunities in the United States, with thousands of shorebirds, impressive gatherings of bald eagles, and rare gyrfalcons. But planning a birding trip can be overwhelming given the diverse options and species.

Denali stands out as an ideal destination, boasting over 160 species, including residents and migratory birds from around the world. Their abundance in Denali varies across seasons, but a safe bet is to come during the major migration windows after early spring and before late autumn. If you’re aiming for a “Big Year”, consult the park’s Birding Checklist to track the species you can add to your list.

The Best Time for Birding near Denali

Near Chelatna Lake, it’s common to spot trumpeter swans, spruce grouse, bald eagles, willow ptarmigan, golden eagles, three-toed woodpeckers, boreal chickadees, thrushes, bohemian waxwings, golden-crowned sparrows, and white-winged crossbills. We often catch a glimpse of  ptarmigan, great-horned owls, and if you're lucky,  northern goshawk. We provide access to various bird locations via boat, hiking trails, and if you’re up for an adventure, helicopter hiking.

Day Trips in Anchorage

For guests on a true birding mission, we understand that the journey begins as soon as they get off the plane in Anchorage. That’s why we encourage you to start your birdwatching in town, before you fly out to the lodge. Near downtown, there are several renowned birding sites, provided the weather offers a suitable window. Between main street and the airport, you’ll encounter a variety of waterfowl and shorebirds along the nesting highway. We highly suggest taking short hikes on the Tony Knowles Coastal Trail or Glen Alps Trail. If you rent a car you can also travel to Chugach State Park and access a wide array of day hikes on a plethora of well maintained routes.

Your Trip

Feel free to give us a call directly if you have any birding requests. Our lodge offers a unique setting on the edge of the park with access to boats, hiking trails, and daily flightseeing or helicopter hiking tours. If you are looking for a specific bird, we will do our best to put you in the right place at the right time.