Two weeks ago I decided to plan a spur of the moment trip to Alaska. I’d been in the Summer/Fall before, but never in Winter. Over the next two weeks I’ll have a lot to share about my trip. So far, the trip is off to a great start. After a really long day of flights (11 hours in all) I arrived in Anchorage around 1am. The ground was covered in a fresh coat of snow and the taxi cab’s wheels spun and slid as we headed for downtown.
On the first day in Anchorage I took a Winter Wildlife Tour operated by Salmon Berry Tours. The cost of the approximately 4 hour tour was $99 and included transportation, water and snacks and entry to the Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center. Brent, the tour guide, a Forrest Ranger, was incredibly knowledgeable and interesting. The scenery was spectacular along the Seward Highway and we stopped several times for photo ops. The first stop was at Beluga Point The guide spotted two Dall Sheep on the side of the mountain and we stopped to take pictures.
Next we headed to the Portage Glacier. We stopped by a serene pond which had frozen over and had a spectacular view of the glacier. There was no one else at the pond, so it was an even more amazing experience. Just as we left the pond the guide spotted two bald eagles. They were so close to us and so much bigger than I’d expected. One flew along the road and it was awesome to watch.
After the glacier stop we went on to the conservation center. I’d been to the center about 5 years earlier on a summer visit to Alaska and I was amazed to see how much the center had changed. You can drive your car/tour bus through the center and stop at all of the animal areas. The center has bears, elk, caribou, bison, and more. Many of the animals were injured and brought to the center, some have been born there and others were brought to help to help reintroduce endangered or almost extinct animals. The Wood Bison is one example of this reintroduction program. The center is a nonprofit organization and operates off of donations, membership and grants.
The tour was amazing and I’m so glad that Tia from Visit Anchorage suggested Salmon Berry Tours. I would highly recommend them for anyone looking for tours. In fact, they were so helpful and even planned several tours for me in Fairbanks with guides they know and trust.
Here are some of the photos that I captured