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10 Rare Creatures You Can Meet In Alaska

Alaska is home to a lot of rare and exotic creatures that can be just as elusive as the celebrities that call the state home. Here are 10 critters that you can meet on your trip to The Last Frontier. 

1. Bears, Bears and More Bears

Yes, Alaska is bear country. If you drive along the highway, there's a good chance you'll catch a glimpse of a grizzly or a black bear foraging on the roadside. Travel far enough up north, and there's a good chance of spotting a polar bear roaming around the arctic tundra.

For an even closer look, you can book guided bear viewing tours, which offer the best chance of seeing large groups of black, grizzly and polar bears romping around in the wilderness.


2. Muskox

Before heavy metal music came around, the world's biggest headbanger was the muskox. Known for the pungent smell that gave them their name, muskox disappeared from Alaska in the 19th century but have since been reintroduced to their native habitat.


3. Dall Sheep

Alaska's dall sheep prove that looks can be deceiving. You wouldn't know it by the look of them, but they're actually related to the muskox. Just a lot less hairy and smelly. And they have way more chill. You can catch them chilling out in Denali National Park.


4. Caribou

Caribou actually outnumber people in Alaska, according to the state's Department of Fish and Game. So there's a great chance of seeing these creatures scampering in the wilderness -- especially if you travel near one of their massive annual migrations, which are like Woodstock for four-leggers.


5. Moose

The caribou's bigger brother also lives up north. Moose can weigh up to 1600 lbs. And when they wander into town, things can get rowdier than a frat party. If you can't tell them apart from caribou based on their girth, there's no mistaking their massive antlers, which shed and regrow annually. So watch your step while hiking through the back country.


6. Wolverine

Michigan calls itself the Wolverine State, but Alaska actually has the largest population of these feisty predators. And if you head out into the wilderness, you might catch one stocking its food cache for winter.


7. Willow Ptarmigan

Alaska's state bird -- the willow ptamigan -- kinda looks like a cross between a rooster and a dove. And their call is really...memorable. The guttural twang is kinda like a jew's harp -- if they played bass notes.


8. Wolves

Don't cry wolf in Alaska unless a pack is actually after you. Wolves live in 85 percent of Alaskan habitats, so you might hear them serenading the moon if you lodge outside the cities. And if you run into trouble, just ask some muskox for help.


9. Sea Otter

If you head out to the Aleutian Islands in southwestern Alaska, be sure to keep your eyes peeled for sea otters playing, swimming or canoodling in the Pacific Ocean.


10. Orca

While flying into Alaska, keep your eyes on the ocean. You might just see the orca's distinct dorsal fin poking out of the waves. And if you want to see a pod up close, check out one of the state's top whale watching spots.   



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