Wrangell Wildlife Viewing
Zimovia Strait

photo of Zimovia Strait area wildlife A paved walking and biking path begins at the southern edge of downtown and parallels Zimovia Highway for four miles along Zimovia Strait, ending near the Shoemaker Bay Loop Road. During late May and early June, look both in the trees and on the rocky beach for bald eagles, especially juveniles, searching for fish along the channel. Great blue herons, standing sentinel-like in the shallows as they watch for food, can be found here throughout the year. Near the end of the path is Institute Creek, where chum (also called dog) salmon spawn in mid to late July. Stand on the bridge for the best viewing. During the winter, harlequin ducks, marbled murrelets, scoters, yellow-billed loons and other sea birds are commonly seen.


  • Chum (Dog) Salmon
  • Eagles
  • Great Blue Heron
  • Harlequin Duck
  • Loons
  • Marbled Murrelet
  • Surf Scoter


Bring binoculars or a spotting scope for the best views of herons. Maintain a respectful distance; approaching too close is likely to bother these birds and cause them to fly off.


  • Hiking Trails
  • Wheelchair Accessible
  • Within Walking Distance


Some local operators have bicycles available for rent, which will help you see more of Zimovia Strait and reach the Rainbow Falls Trail near the end of the paved walking and biking path.

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
  • September
  • October
  • November
  • December


Follow Zimovia highway away from town to access the walking and biking path, which starts just south of downtown.


Wrangell Convention and Visitor’s Bureau 1-800-367-9745

Additional Information

Wings Over Alaska http://www.birding.alaska.gov/