Seeing the giant ungulates is often a bright spot even for veteran Alaska road trippers. The Parks Highway crosses through prime moose habitat, and it’s common to see the animals from the road. That also means that moose sometimes linger near the road or cross the road. Be vigilant about wildlife along this route. If you spot wildlife near the road that may be a danger to other drivers, flash your hazards to alert other cars. And if you see another car flash its hazards, slow down and be extra aware. Of course it’s also a great opportunity to view these special Alaska animals, so we’ve put together a list including some of the best places to see moose along the Parks Highway.
Palmer Hay Flats State Game Refuge
About 30 miles north of Anchorage, after crossing the Knik and Matanuska Rivers, the Parks crosses through a wide, flat, open area with few trees. Moose often congregate on the flats, especially when it’s winter in Alaska, and they can be a great place to see the animals without leaving the Parks Highway.
To more closely explore the refuge, stop at Reflections Lake. Turn off the highway at A 30.6 to walk a 1.1 mile loop around the lake. The loop is ADA accessible. The area also has a wildlife viewing tower for a better vantage point.
Nancy Lake State Recreation Area
This flat, lake-studded area along the Parks Highway is a popular spot for canoeing, hiking, fishing, and other Alaska summer activities, including moose viewing! Nancy Lake is about 66 miles north of Anchorage and just south of Willow. Pull off the highway at Milepost A 67.3 to access Nancy Lake Parkway. This paved road provides access to canoe launches, camping spots, and hiking trails.
Moose love the high quality forage they can find in wetlands during the summer. The Nancy Lake area’s flat, wet terrain makes it good moose habitat.
Denali National Park
Of course the crown jewel of the park system in Alaska is full of prime habitat for all kinds of Alaska wildlife, including moose. Keep your eyes peeled in wet areas and rive valleys for moose throughout the park. For the best chance to spot a moose, drive as far as you can down the park road. Go all the way to Savage River at Mile 15 if you have the time. Take a bus further into the park if you’re able.