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.

Tour Facts 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.
very comfortable hotels & lodges
Ease of Birding
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
Tour Route Map Client Testimonials

Gambell was great, an adventure I’ll not soon forget.

Stephan Lorenz is an exceptional guide, being both a wizard at finding and identifying birds and also dealing with people. He has a kind and funny manner that puts everyone at ease. I am glad that Rockjumper has hired him and look forward to being on some of his trips in the future.

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.

Stephan Lorenz was great. He knew every bird and plant and was helpful to me in getting the photos that I wanted.

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

Dates, Leaders and Pricing
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