Alaska 2024: Denali & Kenai

Spectacular Vistas, Mammals, & Seabirds!

June 08 – 16, 2024

Tour Length: 9 days
Est. Spaces Left: Spaces available!

Trip to the spectacular Denali National Park, then Denali Highway, the most scenic road in North America; then to the Kenai Peninsula and Kenai Fjords National Park by boat.

Tour Leaders

Stephan Lorenz
Claudia Cavazos


Birds, Mammals, Marine Mammals, Photography


Double Accommodation: $5,950/person
Single Supplement: + $775
Deposit: $1000

Max Group Size

14 (2 leaders)


Easy to Moderate; a couple of moderately strenuous hikes of 1 – 2 hours.

Future Departures

June 2025

Tour Descriptions

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.

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More Details

Trip Highlights

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; Hudsonian Godwit; Golden Eagle; Northern Hawk-Owl; Gyrfalcon; Long-tailed Jaeger; Rufous Hummingbird; Black-backed and American Three-toed Woodpeckers; Arctic Warbler; Boreal & Chestnut-backed Chickadees; Bohemian Waxwing; Pacific Wren; Townsend’s, Blackpoll and Wilson’s Warblers; Pine Grosbeak; White-winged Crossbill

Top Mammals

Brown “Grizzly” & Black Bears; Wolf (rare); Caribou; Moose; Canada Lynx (rare); Wolverine (very rare); Dall Sheep; North American Porcupine; Humpback Whale; Killer Whale; Dall’s Porpoise; Steller’s Sea Lion; Harbor Seal; Sea Otter; Arctic Ground Squirrel; Hoary Marmot; American Red Squirrel

Habitats Covered

Boreal forest; tundra; mountain ranges; lakes & shorelines; Pacific Rainforest; wetlands; lagoon; glacial bays and islands

Other Attractions

Spectacular scenery and exceptional photographic opportunities

Planning for the Trip

Meeting Location

Coast Inn at Lake Hood, Anchorage, Alaska


Very comfortable hotels & lodges.


From Anchorage: 8 nights lodging, all meals from first night dinner through final day’s lunch, pelagic boat trip, transport, guides, taxes.


Alcohol, personal calls, laundry, and other personal expenses.

Expected Climate

Mild to colder on the water.

Suggested Clothing and Gear

Credit cards / cashBinocularsScope and tripod (optional)Sunglasses and sunscreenExtra eyeglasses or contact lensesWater bottleSmall umbrellaSmall day pack / fanny packSmall flashlightMosquito/insect repellant (DEET 25% or greater)Itch relief creamLip screen/balmPrescription drugs – carry in original packaging to avoid customs problemsOTC medicines (antibiotics, cold/sinus, cough drops, eye drops, analgesic (Motrin, aspirin), anti-diarrheal)ToiletriesSmall alarm clockCleaning fluids/cloths/drying clothsField guidesNote pads/pens (we provide trip checklists)Hiking Boots/ShoesMedium-weight jacketMedium-weight long pantsMedium-weight long-sleeved shirtsWarm hat with visorRain hatWaterproof winter jacket (Gore-tex or equivalent)Warm, waterproof gloves (and backup pair)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/sleepingWool socks (various weights) and liners.GORE-TEX socks/liners for water protection and warmthSturdy, waterproof boots; NEOS are lightweight waterproof overboots

Recommended Reading

  • Field Guide to the Birds of North America, 6th Edition Jon Dunn, et al. (2011); National Geographic Society
  • Shorebirds of North America, Europe, & Asia: A Guide to Field Identification Don Taylor; illustrated by Stephen Message (2006); Princeton University Press
  • Shorebirds of North America: The Photographic Guide Dennis Paulson (2005); Princeton University Press
  • The Sibley Guide to Birds David A. Sibley (2000); Knopf
  • Seabirds of the World Peter Harrison (1997); Princeton University Press
  • A Field Guide to the Birds of Japan (1982); Wild Bird Society of Japan
  • A Field Guide to the Waterbirds of Asia Bharat Bhushan, et al. (1993); Wild Bird Society of Japan
  • Birds of Russia & Adjacent Territories V. E. Flint, et al. (1984); Princeton University Press
  • A Field Guide to the Birds of China John MacKinnon & Karen Phillipps (2000); Oxford University Press
  • Birds of Europe Killian Mullarney, et al. (1999); Princeton University Press
  • Birds of Europe with North Africa & the Middle East Lars Jonsson (1992); Princeton University Press
  • The Handbook of Bird Identification for Europe & the Western Palearctic Mark Beaman and Steve Madge (1998); Princeton University Press
  • A Field Guide to the Rare Birds of Britain & Europe Ian Lewington, et al. (1991); Domino Books, Ltd.
  • New Generation to the Guide Birds of Britain & Europe Christopher Perrins (1987); University of Texas Press