Anchorage Photography Spots

live2huntelk

Senior Member
Joined
Jul 17, 2013
Messages
260
Location
Ohio
I will be in Anchorage at the end of August 2020. I will have a day to do some sight seeing & take photos. I am mainly interested in taking photos of wildlife(moose,bear,eagles,marine life) & landscapes(mountain ranges, creeks, lakes). I am looking for good photography spots in and around Anchorage......will likely rent a car to venture out a little ways.

Post up some must see photography spots and any pictures you may have.
 

hunt'n'photos

Member
Joined
Feb 26, 2012
Messages
50
Location
Alaska
For a single day you will be pretty limited. The Turnagain Arm would fill a few of those subjects with a possibility of moose around Potter Marsh, Dall sheep along the mountains starting shortly after that, beautiful ocean and mountain views, possibility of Beluga whales along the arm, eagles and other verious birds. And if you want to see a really cool waterfall that is a short hike, google virgin creek falls in Girdwood. Falls Creek is also along the arm and is pretty cool in a couple of spots along the trail up them.
 

vermeire

Senior Member
Joined
Feb 6, 2017
Messages
107
I agree, the Seward Highway heading south out of town will give you some good opportunities. Depending on how much time you have Portage Glacier is down there. There is also the Alaska Wildlife Conversation Center which had a nice selection of animals and birds the last time I was there.

Sent from my moto z4 using Tapatalk
 

Wapiti1

Senior Member
Joined
Sep 18, 2017
Messages
1,056
Location
Indiana
You don't have a lot of choices. The Seward highway down into the Kenai is a good bet. Or north up to Talkeetna.

In Seward, you can get on a boat to see the Kenai Fjords. The conservation center, as mentioned is neat. It's a high fence area with many different animals like elk, muskox, and brown bear.

Jeremy
 
OP
L

live2huntelk

Senior Member
Joined
Jul 17, 2013
Messages
260
Location
Ohio
Thanks for the input. I had looked on Tripadvisor for photography tours for ideas - to see where they stopped. Several of the tours had the same places mentioned above.
 

Jimss

Senior Member
Joined
Mar 6, 2015
Messages
1,167
If you want to see brown bears take a hike down to the Russian River. There are often bears on the river early and late in the day. If you have an underwater lense you can get some cool salmon spawning footage in the river. If you go the other direction from Anchorage there's the Matanuska Glacier.
 

vermeire

Senior Member
Joined
Feb 6, 2017
Messages
107
I forgot about the Matanuska; you can walk/hike on that one if that's something that interests you. If you would get to Seward they have a great sea life center. Not necessarily photography specific but 2 more places of interest within your day-trip range.
 

R Miller

Senior Member
Joined
Mar 18, 2012
Messages
102
Kincaid/Earthquake Park is a vast area. The moose are there but odds can be low. It's worth a shot though, you might catch one walking down the moddle of the road as well. Highest density of moose will be at Glen Alps.
 

AkMtnRunner

Senior Member
Joined
Jul 24, 2016
Messages
232
I second R Miller's suggestions. Anchorage area can be a good bet for moose photography, maybe some birds around Potter's Marsh. However, unless you're extremely lucky with the light, Anchorage really isn't very picturesque. Try to get out of town to see the best landscapes.
 
OP
L

live2huntelk

Senior Member
Joined
Jul 17, 2013
Messages
260
Location
Ohio
I second R Miller's suggestions. Anchorage area can be a good bet for moose photography, maybe some birds around Potter's Marsh. However, unless you're extremely lucky with the light, Anchorage really isn't very picturesque. Try to get out of town to see the best landscapes.
Will do.... Thanks for the input.
 

Low_Sky

Senior Member
Joined
Nov 7, 2016
Messages
159
Location
Alaska
There are LOTS of options for a photo tour around Anchorage. I think you get the best density of subjects going south from Anchorage, but there are options to the north as well.

Powerline pass from the Glen Alps trailhead (on the hillside above Anchorage) is pretty reliable for moose. Continuing to hike from there up to the Williwaw Lakes is a great hike if you want to do some landscape photography and possibly see some Dall sheep (from a distance).

Taking the Seward highway south out of Anchorage along the Turnagain Arm, you have the chance to see some Dall sheep up close, usually ewes and juveniles. They'll be looking skinny and ratty during the summertime, but they're still a wild sheep. You'll know when/where to look up because any time they're down close to the highway the wildlife watchers will be stopping traffic. Along the way, you'll pass Potter Marsh, just south of Anchorage, which is a popular waterfowl watching/photo spot. Just pull right off the highway for ducks/geese/swans if they're there.

Continuing down the Seward Highway, there are lots of hiking trails around Girdwood. A good option if you're pressed for time and want to see some mountains up close is to ride the tram at the Alyeska Resort. It takes you to the top of the mountain in a few minutes, and from there you are free to hike around. You have a great vantage of the mountains and Turnagain Arm, and can see several glaciers from the top of the resort. You can frame your photos so nobody has to know you paid for the ride up. If you have more time, you can hike the Girdwood end of the historic Crow Pass trail. This gets you right into some very impressive mountains and you have the chance to see Dall sheep or mountain goats here.

The Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center is further down the Seward Highway, toward Portage. They have a lot of interesting critters if you don't mind the high fences. Moose, reindeer, muskox, elk, bison, grizzlies, maybe a few others I'm forgetting.

Just past the conservation center is Portage Valley. There are beautiful hiking trails here, lots of hanging glaciers in the adjacent mountains, and you can take a tour boat ride to the end of Portage Lake to see/photograph the face of the Portage Glacier. You can also get a look at the glacier in the summertime by driving through the tunnel to the Whittier side, and hiking over Portage Pass.

If you end up all the way in Whittier or Seward, you'll have access to the harbors and all the nautical stuff. Boats, sea otters, birds, etc.

Good accessible spots north of Anchorage include Eagle River Nature Center, Hatcher Pass, Matanuska Glacier.

 
Last edited:
OP
L

live2huntelk

Senior Member
Joined
Jul 17, 2013
Messages
260
Location
Ohio
@Low_Sky thanks for the detailed information....it is appreciated. I have done a fair amount of googling, check out Trip Advisor forums, and Youtube on Glen Alps and Turnagain Arm as far as moose and other wildlife. Your post validates some of the limited research that I have been able to find. That moose picture is spectacular.....it would icing on the cake to photograph a moose of that caliber.....my expectations are antlers in the next tier down. Thanks again for giving specific information that I can put a plan together with.
 
OP
L

live2huntelk

Senior Member
Joined
Jul 17, 2013
Messages
260
Location
Ohio
.I have read the parking lot fills up fast at Powerline Pass/Glen Alps and there is no parking along the road. Considering parking availability and locating moose or other wildlife to photograph; would it be better to get there first thing in the morning or try and get there a few hours before sunset?
 

Low_Sky

Senior Member
Joined
Nov 7, 2016
Messages
159
Location
Alaska
.I have read the parking lot fills up fast at Powerline Pass/Glen Alps and there is no parking along the road. Considering parking availability and locating moose or other wildlife to photograph; would it be better to get there first thing in the morning or try and get there a few hours before sunset?
Alaskans like to sleep in. In August there is no “sunrise” or “before it gets too hot” incentive to wake up early.
If you’re there on a weekday, you’ll have ample parking before the after work crowd. On a weekend, I’ve never had trouble getting a parking spot if I show up before 10:00a.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

Low_Sky

Senior Member
Joined
Nov 7, 2016
Messages
159
Location
Alaska
One last point, not sure what your experience level or photo equipment is like, but there is a decent camera shop in Anchorage. Stewart Photo, located downtown. They have a pretty good selection of rental gear. If you're serious about wanting to shoot some wildlife but don't have or want to travel with a big lens, you can rent glass from them for pretty reasonable rates.
 
OP
L

live2huntelk

Senior Member
Joined
Jul 17, 2013
Messages
260
Location
Ohio
Thanks for mentioning.....I have checked them out online and plan on calling them. I am pretty good on camera gear.....Sony a7rIII and have the GM lens....wide angle to telephoto.
 
Top