Alaska 2022. Classic Birding II. Kenai & Barrow: The Fjords & the Arctic Circle

June 17 - 23, 2022
Tour Length: 7 days Est. Spaces Left: 2

This tour covers two unique habitats in Alaska: Barrow on the Arctic Ocean; and, Kenai Fjords National Park in the Gulf of Alaska. They provide very different views of Alaska and its spectacular coastline.

Photo: Spectacled Eider by Stephan Lorenz


Future Departures:
June 17, 2023
Tour Leaders:
Max # Birders:
14 + 2 leaders
Birds; Mammals; Photography;
Relaxed ; Birding from roads and boat with short walks.
Double Accommodation:
$ 4950
[per person]
Single Supplement:
+ $ 570
$750 [per person]

Barrow is the northernmost settlement in the United States, located on the edge of the Polar Ice Cap, more than 300 miles above the Arctic Circle. Vast seas of ice extend from Point Barrow another 1,200 miles to the North Pole. From May to August, darkness never falls on Barrow as the golden glow of the midnight sun fills the sky. For birders, High Arctic species are the main attraction here. Snowy Owls are common, Spectacled and Steller’s Eiders are starting their very short breeding seasons in June, while Yellow-billed Loons also breed in the area. We’ll visit the numerous tundra ponds to look for breeding species as well as travel to Point Barrow in hopes of seeing some of the Arctic mammals – Polar Bears are fairly common during May and June. Many shorebirds, resplendent in their breeding plumages, are also possible here, with Buff-breasted, Baird’s and Pectoral Sandpipers all being regular breeders. Even Asian species such as Red-necked Stint and Curlew Sandpiper (both rare breeders) have been seen in Barrow during June, while there is always the chance for an unexpected surprise!

Then we head back to Anchorage and after a night there we make our way south along scenic Turnagain Arm and Cook Inlet, before arriving into the town of Seward. From here we’ll take a boat trip through 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 and Parakeet and Rhinoceros Auklets, and with luck the sneaky Kittlitz’s Murrelets. We also shall enjoy good chances for Humpback Whales, Killer Whale, Steller’s Sea Lions and even other sea mammals and still other seabirds.

Note: This tour can be combined with Alaska 2022. Classic I, and is a joint tour with Rockjumper Tours


  • Meeting Location



    Comfortable with private baths


    • Roundtrip flights: Anchorage to Barrow;
    • Pickup and drop-off at Barrow Airport;
    • All meals from dinner on day 1 to lunch on day 7;
    • Drinking water throughout the tour;
    • All lodgings as per the itinerary;
    • Ground transportation;
    • All taxes and reserve entrance fees;
    • All guiding services; and
    • Tips for local guides and services.


    ANY international airfares.
    • Any airfares other than stated above, taxes and visa costs;
    • Alcoholic beverages;
    • Special gratuities (guide & boat tips); and
    • Telephone calls, laundry and items of a personal nature.

  • Top Birds

    Snowy Owl, Spectacled & Steller’s Eider, Yellow-billed & Pacific Loons, Buff-breasted, Baird’s & Pectoral Sandpiper, Rufous-necked Stint, Curlew Sandpiper, Bald Eagle, Tufted & Horned Puffins, Parakeet & Rhinoceros Auklets, Kittlitz’s Murrelet (rare), Barrow’s Goldeneye, Red-necked & Horned Grebes, Swainson’s Thrushes, Pine Grosbeak, Chestnut-backed Chickadee, Sooty Fox Sparrow, Steller’s Jay, Rufous Hummingbird, Northwestern Crow, Pacific Wren

    Top Mammals

    Polar Bear, Sea Otter, Humpback, Beluga & Killer Whales, Steller’s Sea Lion, Mountain Goat, Dall Porpoise, Black & Brown Bear

    Habitats Covered

    polar ice pack, pelagic waters, rocky shorelines, boreal forests

    Expected Climate

    Colder in Barrow, 30 degrees; warmer in Kenai up to 70; can be very cold and wet on the boat

  • Other Attractions
    Suggested Clothing & Gear
    • Valid, current passport (w/ 4 blank pages)
    • Visa (if required)
    • Credit cards / cash
    • Binoculars
    • Scope and tripod (optional)
    • Sunglasses and sunscreen
    • Water bottle
    • Small umbrella
    • Small day pack / fanny pack
    • Small flashlight
    • Mosquito/insect repellant (DEET 25% or greater)
    • Itch relief cream
    • Lip screen/balm
    • Prescription drugs - carry in original packaging to avoid customs problems
    • OTC medicines (antibiotics, cold/sinus, cough drops, eye drops, analgesic (Motrin, aspirin), anti-diarrheal)
    • Toiletries
    • Hair Dryer
    • Small alarm clock
    • Field guides
    • Note pads/pens (we provide trip checklists)
    • Hiking Boots/Shoes
    • Hat with brim/visor
    • Safari (e.g., Tilly) hat
    • Rain jacket/wind breaker
    • Warm hat with visor
    • Rain hat
    • Waterproof winter jacket (Gore-tex or equivalent)
    • Warm winter jacket
    • Balaclava or full facial ski mask
    • Warm, waterproof gloves (and backup pair)
    • Glove liners
    • Long sleeve shirts (various weights)
    • T-shirts or undershirts (capilene or polypropylene)
    • Pants (fleece or wool; jeans NOT recommended)
    • Long Underwear (capilene or polypropylene)
    • PJs or shorts for lounging/sleeping
    • Wool socks (various weights) and liners.
    • GORE-TEX socks/liners for water protection and warmth
    • Sturdy, waterproof boots; NEOS are lightweight waterproof overboots
    • Moleskin for blisters
    Recommended Reading
    • National Geographic Field Guide to The Birds of North America (7th Edition)

      Jon Dunn, et. al. 2017
      National Geographic Society


  • Past Trip Reports





Kenai Fjords National Park


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