bison beside highway

Follow local nature and adventure photographer, Ryan Dickie as he explores the Alaska Highway in search of the wildlife that call our backcountry home.

The Alaska Highway has always been regarded as one of the great wild corridors on the North American continent, and plays host to an abundance of both large, and small wildlife.

Travelers can be on the lookout for Moose, Woodland Caribou, Elk, Stone Sheep, Black Bear, Grizzly Bear, Wood Bison, Canadian Lynx, Wolf, and a host of other small mammals and birds.

Although the probability of crossing paths with something wild on your journey through the Northern Rockies is high, the following is a list of a few tips that might help increase your chances along the way:

  1. Move with the wild things - Animals are most active in the early morning, and evening when the day is cool. Being on the search during this time, will often increase your odds as opposed to travelling mid-day.
  2. Steady, Steady, Ready - Being prepared and persistent is key. Wildlife spotting is essentially a game of chance. Animals play to the tune of their own drum, and predicting exactly when, or where you will see them is next to impossible. Keep your eyes (and all other eyes in the vehicle) on the road, scan the scene ahead and be ready. If you are carrying a camera, keep it ready with the settings optimized for quick moving subjects. Chances are when you finally spot something, the moment will be fleeting.
  3. Keep them safe and wild - Most importantly, keep your distance when you encounter an animal from the road. If you feel like you are too close, you probably are. These animals are wild, and they need their space. Stay in your vehicle, and NEVER coax them with offerings of food. Road placement is also important, so if you plan to stop to view wildlife, find a safe spot to do so. Don't stop on a corner, on the middle of the road, or on the blind side of a hill. This will insure the health and safety of both you and the animal(s).

In the event that you do capture those epic wildlife photos and wish to share them on social media, use the hashtag #EXPLORENRRM as you journey through the Northern Rockies. We would love to see and share your journey if possible!