Tern Lake At a Glance

A swan swimming among the lily pads.


The easily accessible Tern Lake wildlife viewing area provides visitors to the Kenai Peninsula with an excellent opportunity to view a diversity of Alaska wetland animals. Located along the Seward Highway, the site features an accessible viewing platform and interpretive signs.

View species   View habitat

Viewing Information:

The Tern Lake area hosts a myriad of animals, birds, fish and unique plants. Carnivorous sundew plants, bog rosemary and cottongrass grace the floating mats of vegetation in the lake. Common loons, bald eagles, and arctic terns share the area with a variety of song birds and shorebirds like the northern waterthrush, golden-crowned sparrow and the greater yellowlegs. Beavers, river otters, muskrats and salmon ply the cold, clear waters of Tern Lake. Moose, Dall's sheep and mountain goats can be seen on the surrounding mountains.

Tern Lake wildlife can be best viewed from the accessible viewing platform. Interpretive signs help visitors understand the area's wildlife. Throughout the summer, the platform is often staffed by a knowledgeable forest interpreter who can answer questions and help spot wildlife. Be bear aware!


Tern Lake is at Mile 37 of the Seward Highway where the Seward and Sterling Highways meet. Watch for the wildlife viewing and interpretive site on the Sterling Highway or pull into Tern Lake Campground for the salmon viewing platform and some quiet birding.

Ownership & Management:

USDA Forest Service, Chugach National Forest, Seward Ranger District (907) 224-3374

Closest Town:

Moose Pass, Alaska

Best Viewing Season:

spring - fall viewing season

Map of Tern Lake Wildlife Viewing Area.

small map to Tern Lake