Illustration by Dawn Cooper
1. Moose, Denali National Park
Moose in Denali National Park © Lijuan Guo Photography / Getty
The big open spaces of Denali NP don’t always make for easy wildlife viewing, but standing – as they can – up to 2.3m at the shoulder, moose (close cousins of our European elk) are hard to miss.
2. Caribou, Arctic NWR
A bull caribou in Denali National Park © Daniel A. Leifheit / Getty
With its famous Porcupine caribou herd some 150,000 strong, the Arctic NWR could justifiably bag the label as America’s Serengeti. Perhaps a little chillier, but you won’t see as many 4x4s.
3. Humpback whale, Chatham Strait
A humpback whale breaching in the Icy Strait © Paul Souders / Getty
These are not just any humpback whales – they are bubble-netting humpback whales, and they have been the subject of a unique scientific study stretching back 20 years.
4. Brown bear, Katmai National Park
A brown bear at Brook Falls in Katmai National Park © Putt Sakdhnagool / Getty
The sight of dozens of brown bears lining up for a salmon supper is one of the world’s great wildlife spectacles – Brook Falls in September in Katmai is the place to go.
5. Bald Eagle, Homer
Bald eaglies in Alaska © Josh Miller Photography / Getty
Bald eagles, it has been remarked (in this very magazine), inhabit the small city of Homer in a density akin to the pigeons of Trafalgar Square. This is one raptor you won’t need the spotting scope for.
6. Spectacled eider, Yukon Delta NWR
A male spectacled eider © Patrick J Endres / Getty
You could go to Yukon Delta to get a glimpse of its millions of waterbirds, but the rarer spectacled eider duck – yes, a relative of our own common eider – would make for an unusual tick.