Our trip to magnificent Denali National Park and the wilderness surrounding it is as much about large mammals, and a big (!) mountain, as it is about birds. With the blessing of the weather, the scenery can be beyond marvelous, and we expect to see such stellar species as Trumpeter Swan, Barrow’s Goldeneye, Pacific and Red-throated Loons, Hudsonian Godwit, Willow and Rock Ptarmigan, Gyrfalcon, Long-tailed Jaeger, Black-backed and American Three-toed Woodpeckers, Northern Hawk-Owl, Boreal Owl (very rare), American Dipper, and Smith’s Longspur, plus many species of warblers, thrushes, and sparrows in full song. Typically we also see a number of Brown “Grizzly” Bears (often sows with cubs), Caribou scattered about, some Dall Sheep, Moose, and if we are very lucky, perhaps even Wolf or Canada Lynx. We’ll also travel the Denali Highway that parallels the stunning Alaska Range for 135 miles in our quest to see as many of the region’s special birds as possible.

We head back to Anchorage and after a night there we make our way south along scenic Turnagain Arm and Cook Inlet, before arriving in the town of Seward. From here we’ll take a boat trip through the majestic Kenai Fjords National Park, one of the most spectacular parks in North America. Even just right in town, Bald Eagles are plentiful, and Sea Otters are seen swimming about playfully. Once out in Resurrection Bay and then amid glacial waters, highlights will no doubt be the thousands of alcids, including many murres, Tufted and Horned Puffins, Parakeet and Rhinoceros Auklets, Ancient and Marbled Murrelets, and with luck the sneaky Kittlitz’s Murrelets. We also shall enjoy good chances for Humpback Whales, Killer Whales, Steller’s Sea Lions, and other sea mammals and still other seabirds. We will also bird sections of the temperate, coniferous forests here with Steller’s Jays, Townsend’s Warblers, Chestnut-backed Chickadees, Pacific Wrens, Fox Sparrows, and more.

2021: Due to a landslide in 2020 - the denali Highway is closed at mile 43, hence it will not be possible to reach the Eiselson Visitor Center. Whilst our game viewing should not be impacted, the dramatic views of the bulk of the Denali massif will only be possible from much further away than usual.

This tour is offered in partnership with High Lonesome Birdtours. These are large group tours (up to 16 guests & multiple leaders), and will almost certaintly have participants from both Rockjumper and Highlonesome.

Top Birds

Trumpeter & Tundra Swans; Red-throated, Common, Pacific Loons; Kittlitz’s, Marbled, Ancient Murrelets; Red-faced & Pelagic Cormorants; Horned & Tufted Puffins; Common & Thick-billed Murres; American Golden-Plover; Whimbrel; Red-necked Phalarope; Golden Eagle; Northern Hawk-Owl; Gyrfalcon; Long-tailed Jaeger; Rufous Hummingbird; Arctic Warbler; Boreal & Chestnut-backed Chickadees; Bohemian Waxwing; Northwestern Crow; Townsend’s, Blackpoll, Wilson’s Warblers; Pine Grosbeak

Top Mammals

Brown (Grizzly Bear) & Black Bear; Wolf; Caribou; Moose; Lynx; Wolverine (rare); Dall Sheep; Porcupine; Humpback & Killer Whales; Dall Porpoise; Steller’s Sea Lion; Sea Otter; Arctic Ground Squirrel; Hoary Marmot; American Red Squirrel.

Habitats Covered

boreal & taiga forest; tundra; mountain ranges; lakes & shorelines; Pacific Rainforest; wetlands; lagoon; glacial bays and islands

Expected Climate

mild to colder on the water.

Max Group Size

14 with 2 HL Tour Leaders

Tour Pace & Walking

easy to moderate; a couple of moderately strenuous hikes of 1 – 2 hours.

Accommodation

very comfortable hotels & lodges

Ease of Birding

easy

Other Attractions

spectacular scenery. Exceptional photographic opportunities. During your free time in Anchorage, don’t miss going to Wave Bookstores on Northern Lights or downtown on 5th Avenue. They have a great selection of Alaska fiction and non-fiction! In addition, there are some excellent restaurants downtown, including Orso, Glacier Brew House, Simon & Seafort’s, and Marx Brothers.

Photographic Opportunities

excellent

What our clients say about us

Stephan Lorenz
EL - Alaska 2021

This was a great trip – way better than could even be expected. Yes, we saw Ross’s Gulls streaking across the distant horizon, but we also saw a polar bear mom and two cubs and our time in Barrow coincided with the Inupiat whale harvest. While the death of whales is always a bit sad, the opportunity to see subsistence hunters is rare these days. Stephan Lorenz has proved to be one of my favorite guides – his combination of ‘bionic eyes’ (Claudia’s report), great hearing, real understanding of bird behavior and incredible patience means he is my go-to guide for difficult species that I’ve missed on other tours (or not tried to see before because it seemed too difficult). With Stephan, I have ‘ticked’ Bachman’s Sparrow, Swainson’s Warbler, Buff-collared Nightjar, Short-tailed Albatross, Whiskered Auklet, Spectacled Eider, Emperor Goose, Bar-tailed Godwit (in Alaska), among many other much-sought after species. But Stephan and Claudia also keep every trip enjoyable. Claudia is a great birder in her own right and can set up a scope on the target bird as fast as Stephan. It is great to have two scopes set up immediately. What could be very discouraging to an older birder with poor eyesight and poor hearing like me turns out to be a delightful trip. Imagine spending hours and hours in a freezing wind staring out to an empty sea and still calling it fun. I am looking forward to traveling with Stephan and Claudia again as soon as possible.

Stephan Lorenz
CM & JM, Alaska 2018

The tour was very well organised and run. The guides, Stephan Lorenz and Dave Krueper, were excellent. They went out of their way to ensure that all the group members had a chance to see and identify the birds, especially concentrating on those they knew were life birds. Having two guides for 10 tour members was great and being in two vans for travel ensured that we all had sufficient space and window area to spread out and see everything. Even the weather was pretty good. Great tour!

Stephan Lorenz
ML, Alaska 2018

Stephen Lorenz and Dave Krueper were terrific guides. Complemented each other beautifully. Thanks so much for an incredible experience.

Stephan Lorenz
RJ - Alaska 2021

Stephan was an outstanding guide, as usual, and Claudia was a great spotter and helper. The lodging in Barrow was better than expected, as was the food there.

Stephan Lorenz
KE, Alaska 2022

The weather adversely affected the Gambell visit such that hoped for vagrants were minimal during our stay. The Siberian Express mostly failed to stop there. That was beyond anyone’s control and, thanks to the efforts of the guides, the birding experience was still very good. Stephan Lorenz did an exceptional job. Between Covid and the weather his job seemed unusually difficult but he handled things extremely well. I would definitely go on another tour with Mr. Lorenz as guide.

Alaska - Denali & Kenai: Vistas, Mammals & Seabirds 2024

08 Jun 2024 - 16 Jun 2024 (9 days)

USD5,950 - Spaces Available

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Tour Leader: Claudia Cavazos

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Tour Leader: Stephan Lorenz

Tour price (Per person): USD5,950 * GBP4,659 * EUR5,479 * AUD8,936

Single Supplement: USD775 * GBP607 * EUR714 * AUD1,164

Can be linked with: Alaska - Utqiaġvik: The High Arctic 2024

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