The scenic Seward Highway in South-central Alaska has many stops and photo opportunities and one I would recommend for travelers doing a self-drive tour is the Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center. The Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center (AWCC) is a nonprofit organization dedicated to preserving Alaska’s wildlife through public education. Animals at the AWCC have been orphaned or injured and are not eligible by the Alaska Department of Fish & Game standards to be let back into the wild. AWCC is located at mile 79 on the Seward Highway or at the southern edge of the Turnagain Arm and the entrance to Portage Valley. The Center is open everyday, year-round and is a guaranteed way to see up close Alaskan wildlife in a natural setting.
The drive from Anchorage takes about an hour and is a perfect stop for those driving down to Seward, and is a nice day trip option from Anchorage as well. Travelers can pay entrance fees per person or for the vehicle depending on how many travelers you have.
Here is the 2009 General Admission pricing:
* Adults $10.00
* Children (4-12) $7.50
* Children (under 4) FREE
* Seniors (65+) $7.50
* Active Military (with ID) $7.50
* Maximum charge per car $30.00
Once you pass the entrance you are free to drive around or walk on foot to see the animals and get wildlife information from the information center. There is also a wildlife observation deck where people can view the animals. The area also has a building with gift shop, food, and restrooms. Animals at AWCC include: grizzly, brown and black bears, Alaskan moose, plains bison, wood bison, Rocky Mountain elk, Sitka black-tailed deer, caribou, musk oxen, coyotes, foxes, a bald eagle, great-horned owls and a porcupine. On my visit with family this year we particularly enjoyed watching the two brown bears play with each other, and viewing the baby moose calves finding their footing on their new wobbly legs. The AWCC allows an up close view of these unique animals and is a worth while stop for any trip on the Seward highway.