|Fish Creek Wildlife Observation Site|
The Fish Creek Wildlife Observation Site is a day-use recreation area in the Salmon River valley near Hyder, Alaska. Both brown (Grizzly) and black bears can be observed and photographed at the site in July, August, and September as they fish for chum and pink salmon in the clear, shallow waters ...
Highland Scenic Highway
|Description: The area surrounding the Mendenhall Glacier Visitor Center is a showcase for glacial activity and wildlife and vegetation viewing. The well-developed site features an accessible visitor's center, a network of trails, restroom facilities, and other accommodations.
Mendenhall Valley is a showcase of glacial activity and due to its proximity to the port of Juneau is a prime destination for many Alaska visitors from May through September. At the end of the road is picturesque Mendenhall Glacier that ends in Mendenhall Lake. Built to blend with its surroundings the Mendenhall Glacier Visitor's Center (MGVC) is a world class facility that is open throughout the year with reduced hours in the winter season. The FS charges an entrance fee for the MGVC during the summer season, but outdoor access and viewing is possible in the immediate environs of the Center throughout the year. In addition to learning about the glacial environment of southeast Alaska, lucky visitors may be able to view mountain goats on the rugged cliffs surrounding the lake and the glacier.
Wildlife to Watch: Located in Juneau, the area is a wildlife watcher's paradise. Winter visitors may use the Visitor Center spotting scope to see wolves, foxes, and mountain goats. Summer visitors can saunter to vista point and observe Arctic terns and gulls resting and feeding, or they may watch cams that show beavers visiting dens or ducks and salmon underwater in Steep Creek, near the Center.
The fishcam provides a view of salmon moving up the creek to spawn. Salmon are in the stream from July to November, during the height of adult salmon activity, but also provides views of salmon fry feeding on insects and eggs, ducks dabbling and swimming by, occasional beavers and river otters darting past, and even bear strolling through the creek! Camera placement can vary depending on stream conditions and connects to the Visitors Center through a buried coaxial cable. This project originated in the mid-1990s as part of an Eagle Scout project. Local Juneau resident Matt Statsney coordinated efforts between the US Forest Service and local businesses to purchase and install the camera and television for public viewing. If you visit the center, you can watch the action live from a monitor in the covered viewing area adjacent to the parking lot during normal hours of operation.
A complex of trails surrounding the Center allows the visitor to observe and experience a variety of ecosystems and their attendant wildlife. Black, brown, and rarely, glacier bears are visitors to the surrounding trails. Please observe all wildlife with caution, using proper wildlife viewing ethics.
Special Tips: Mendenhall Valley includes a variety of recreation facilities. Be sure to stay within developed sites and on developed trails. The weather in southeast Alaska is often wet and cold - hypothermia can strike in any season. Wear appropriate clothing and be prepared for inclement weather. Please be aware that ice and snow can impede access on foot trails during the winter season.
Ownership: USDA Forest Service
Closest Town: Juneau, AK
Best Seasons for Wildlife Viewing: