Alaska, Local Photography, Outdoors

Bears and Mt Goats at Exit Glacier

Now, before the leaves emerge, is a good time to visit Exit Glacier in Kenai Fjords National Park to view bears and mountain goats. On Monday morning I just missed seeing three black bear cubs high in a tree waiting for their mom near the glacier overlook. Visitors from all over the world were thrilled with their experience. I did spot three mountain goats on the nearby mountainside, including a yearling, and several ptarmigan flying nearby.

I returned in the evening and was rewarded with views of four mountain goats, a momma black bear with two cubs, and two single large black bears actively foraging on fresh, green vegetation along the mountainside. The last large black bear was easily seen from the parking lot.

To increase your chances of success, it’s helpful to bring binoculars and/or a spotting scope. Start at the parking lot and scan the mountainside from high to low. The mountain goats are not as white as the surrounding snow patches and are generally up high. The black bears are aptly named; they are a deep, dark black, blacker than any shadow.

Note that the wildlife, including brown bears, black bears, and moose may also be found along the people trails. Be aware, and enjoy this gem of a National Park right in our back yard.

Carol Griswold

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