Gustavus Wildlife Viewing
Dude Creek Critical Habitat Area

photo of Dude Creek Critical Habitat area wildlife The Dude Creek Critical Habitat Area is an important resting spot for sandhill cranes during fall migration, when numbers at the refuge can reach into the thousands. Crane viewing is best in September, especially on clear, sunny days. The meadow provides cranes with an abundant food source and good places to roost with the ability to see predators at a distance. Other birds that use the area for all or part of the year include short-eared owls, Canada geese, Wilson's snipe, tundra swans and mallards. Moose also feed here, with sightings of moose on the rise as the population continues to grow in the Gustavus area. You might also see river otters, marten, weasels and coyotes.


The Dude Creek Critical Habitat Area is one of the largest expanses of undisturbed wet meadow habitat in Southeast Alaska.


  • Black Bear
  • Canada Goose
  • Eagles
  • Marten
  • Moose
  • River Otter
  • Sandhill Crane
  • Swans


Look for black bears along the fringe area between the forest and the meadow.


  • Hiking Trails
  • Interpretive Signs
  • Within Walking Distance


There are no public use facilities or developed trails at Dude Creek. Be prepared for any conditions and wear appropriate footwear. Much of the land east of the Dude Creek Critical Habitat Area is private. Respect property boundaries when approaching the area, and stay on the refuge while visiting.

Plan to spend at least: 2 hours - half day

Best Months

█ Best Month

  • January
  • February
  • March
  • April
  • Best Month May
  • Best Month June
  • Best Month July
  • Best Month August
  • Best Month September
  • October
  • November
  • December


The eastern boundary of the Dude Creek Critical Habitat Area is at the end of Good River Road, which heads west out of the center of Gustavus.


Alaska Department of Fish and Game - (907) 465-4190 or Dude Creek Critical Habitat Area Contact Information

Additional Information

Living with Bears