Southeast Alaska Birding Trail Gustavus

Airport Loop

The mixture of woodlands and open areas makes for great birding opportunity.

A two-track road goes from the south end of the airport through a mix of open woodlands and meadows to the beach. This route creates a loop that circles from the beach back to the airport. This mixture of woodlands and open areas makes for great birding opportunity with approximately 100 species reported for this eBird Hotspot. This route takes you into the eastern portion of the Gustavus Forelands which brings large concentrations of migratory waterfowl and shorebirds particularly during spring and fall migrations.

During migration it is common to see a variety of waterfowl and waterbirds; Canada Goose, Snow Goose and White-fronted Goose; Greater Scaup, Lesser Scaup, Black Bellied Plover, Dunlin, sandpipers. Summer sightings include Common Murre, Pigeon Guillemot, Marbled Murrelet, Black-legged Kittiwake, Arctic Tern, Pacific Loon and Common Loon. In woodland and open areas, look for Sooty Grouse, Rufous Hummingbird, Chestnut-backed Chickadee, Hermit Thrush, Varied Thrush, Orange-crowned Warbler, Yellow-rumped Warbler, Townsend’s Warbler, Lincoln’s Sparrow, Red Crossbill, and Pine Siskin. Walkers should be aware of the rules for safety in bear and moose country.

Directions:

From Gustavus, head east 1.6 miles on Gustavus Road towards the airport, turn right on Airport Beach Road. This road goes from the end of the runway out to the beach and is an approximate 2-mile long loop road. The road past the end of the runway is an unsurfaced 2-track route.

Canada Goose.
Canada Goose. Photo: Milo Burcham

Trail Information:

  • The road past the end of the runway is an unsurfaced 2-track route.

Birding Resources:

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