15 Best Places To See Moose In Alaska

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Alaska is a prime destination for moose enthusiasts, offering unparalleled opportunities to observe these majestic creatures in their natural habitat.

While moose can be found in several northern U.S. states, such as Montana, Wyoming, Maine, or Colorado, spotting them is typically rare. By contrast, during our three-week visit to Alaska, we encountered moose on five separate occasions without even trying – they were simply there, going about their daily lives.

Of course, wildlife viewing always involves a certain degree of chance, but knowing where to look can drastically improve your odds of spotting moose. If you're short on time during your Alaskan adventure, being aware of the best locations can help you make the most of your moose-seeking endeavors.

In this article, I'll share some popular spots for moose viewing in Alaska and a few lesser-known gems. And for those who prefer a guaranteed sighting, I'll even let you in on a place where you can see moose 100% of the time (though not quite in the wild).

Staying "Moose-safe"

Before introducing the list, let's take a moment to discuss safety.

While it's exciting to see moose up close, it's crucial to maintain a safe distance, especially from females with calves and males during the autumn mating season (known as the rut).

Moose can be unpredictable and may become aggressive if they feel threatened, so always prioritize your safety and respect their space.

Additionally, be cautious when driving on Alaskan roads, as moose frequently cross highways and can be difficult to spot, particularly at night.

Don't be lulled into a false sense of safety during the day. Slow down if you don't have a clear view of the road ahead. We actually had a sixth moose encounter, but I didn't count that one because a truck had just killed the moose. Fortunately, no human was hurt, but that was only because it was a relatively small moose and a big truck.

And now, let's talk locations!

Popular Spots

These locations are well-known and frequently visited by both tourists and locals alike. They offer some of the best chances to see moose in their natural habitats, making them perfect for first-time visitors and wildlife enthusiasts.

1. Denali National Park

Bull Moose in Denali National Park

Seeing moose near campgrounds and trailheads in Denali National Park is fairly common. Look between the park entrance and Savage River for a glimpse of these extraordinary animals, or visit Igloo Creek and Polychrome Overlook for more viewing chances.

You can learn more about Denali National Park by reading our guide here.

2. Kincaid Park

Moose calf in grassy Kincaid park in Anchorage in alaska

It is a gem within Anchorage, offering over 70 miles of trails through lush forests and open spaces where moose sightings are common.

Its proximity to the city makes it a popular spot for a quick nature escape. You can spot moose roaming freely, making it an excellent location for wildlife photography. People often see moose in this park, though I have to say we have tried - and failed - to find any specimens here.

3. Powerline Pass Trail, Chugach State Park

It is known for its stunning fall spectacle when moose gather for the rut. This easily accessible trail from Anchorage is a favorite for hikers and wildlife watchers.

The valley overlook, a short hike from the trailhead, is a prime spot for viewing moose during the rutting season.

4. Palmer Hay Flats State Game Refuge

It is a vital wildlife habitat north of Anchorage, offering a mix of wetlands, forests, and grasslands.

Moose are attracted to the area's abundant vegetation and relative tranquility. The refuge's landscape provides a perfect backdrop for observing these majestic animals in their natural setting.

5. Potter Marsh (Anchorage Coastal Wildlife Refuge)

Moose can be spotted frequently in and around Potter Marsh, a 564-acre fresh pond and wetland complex on the outskirts of Anchorage

A serene wetland close to Anchorage, ideal for birdwatching and moose sightings. The marsh's boardwalk allows visitors to explore without disturbing the wildlife.

Its easy access and scenic views make Potter Marsh a favorite among families and photographers.

Potter Marsh (Anchorage Coastal Wildlife Refuge) Boardwalk

6. Portage Valley

A picturesque valley offering lush habitats for moose located an hour's drive from Anchorage.

The area's trails and viewpoints offer ample opportunities for wildlife viewing. You'll enjoy the valley's scenic beauty, with its glaciers and mountains as a stunning backdrop.

7. Tern Lake

Tern Lake along Seward Highway on Kenai Peninsula in Alaska

Known for its wildlife diversity, Tern Lake is a scenic spot where moose are often seen grazing near the water. Located where the Seward and Sterling Highways meet, it's easy to get to and offers amazing views of the Kenai Mountains.

8. Kenai River Estuary

It is a crucial habitat for a variety of wildlife, including moose, which are drawn to the area's rich vegetation. While the estuary is famed for its birdlife, the surrounding wetlands also provide a peaceful retreat for moose.

9. Chena River Valley

Lastly, Chena River Valley has a reputation for being a moose hotspot. A quiet walk along the river or a drive through the Chena Hot Springs may reward you with an encounter with one of these serene giants.

Off-the-Beaten Path

These locations are perfect for adventurers looking to escape the crowds and experience Alaska's wildlife in more secluded settings.

Though they might require extra effort to reach, the rewards are unparalleled views and intimate wildlife encounters.

1. Nome & the Seward Peninsula

This remote region offers a unique Alaskan experience with its extensive road system providing access to vast tundra and forests where moose reside.

The sparse population maximizes your chances of encountering wildlife, particularly during the tranquil summer months. Here, the gentle giants meander by the winding rivers and amongst the quiet of the tundra.

2. Beach Trail Outside Gustavus

Gustavus offers a unique setting where the forest meets the ocean, offering a chance to see moose in a distinctly Alaskan coastal environment.

The beach’s tranquility and the area's natural food sources attract moose, allowing for a peaceful observation experience.

3. Lakina River Pullout, Wrangell St. Elias National Park

This spot allows adventurers to explore the wild river bottom for signs of moose and other wildlife. The area's natural beauty and isolation make it a rewarding destination for those willing to venture off the beaten path.

4. Moose Pond near Delta Junction

Set within a beautiful state recreation area, this pond and its surrounding trails offer classic Alaskan scenery and wildlife viewing. The tranquil setting and the pond's brushy edges are perfect for spotting moose in their natural environment.

100% Guaranteed Moose Viewing

For those who prefer a surefire way to see moose without relying on chance or timing, these locations offer guaranteed sightings in controlled environments.

They provide educational opportunities and close-up encounters with these magnificent creatures.

1. Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center

Here, moose mingle among other rescued wildlife in spacious enclosures resembling their natural habitat. View them safely from various vantage points within the center's grounds.

2. Alaska Zoo in Anchorage

Home to rescued and orphaned moose, the zoo allows visitors to observe these animals in a safe environment. The zoo's wildlife conservation and education efforts make it a valuable visit for anyone interested in Alaska's native species.

Timing Your Visit For Moose Viewing in Alaska

Timing your visit strategically increases the likelihood of spotting these majestic animals. Your chances of spotting a moose are high if you venture out during the coolness of early mornings or evenings during the summer.

They seek shelter from the heat in shaded, forested areas during the day, conserving energy for their foraging activities at dawn and dusk​​.

Moose are particularly active during the fall mating season, especially in September and October, making this a prime time for viewing. In winter, moose are more visible around cities, using plowed streets and sidewalks, making them easier to spot as they navigate the snowy landscape.​

When you do spot a moose, maintaining a safe distance is crucial, as they can be unpredictable, especially during calving season or when they feel threatened. So, be sure to respect their space!

Before heading out, make sure to read these moose-viewing tips to enhance your wildlife adventures.

Alaska promises a unique and memorable moose-viewing experience. Just remember to stay alert and prioritize safety!

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