Abundant Wildlife in and around Tok

The combination of surrounding mountains, rivers and vegetation, provides wildlife with good eating and living habitat in the Tok area. Moose, black bear, red squirrels, arctic snowshoe hare, fox and coyote are frequently seen along summer roadsides. Spring and fall finds Canadian geese, swans, cranes and ducks resting on semi-frozen ponds. Bring your camera, enjoy our wildlife.


These 1,000-pound members of the deer family are most commonly observed feeding in shallow lakes and ponds in the late evening or early in the morning. Look for the large, dark objects in open marshy areas along the Alaska Highway and Tok Cutoff.


Both black and grizzly bears inhabit the Tok area. Look for their tracks in mud along area trails and near rivers. Bear can often be viewed safely with binoculars on the open hillsides between Tok and Northway and on mountain slopes along the Tok Cutoff between Tok and MentastaPass. Late evenings are best for viewing bears.


The 20,000+ Fortymile Herd crosses the Taylor Highway from east to west during March and April and west to east in October and November. Scan Mt.Fairplay and high country near mile 145 Taylor Highway and along the Top of the World Highway in summer.


The Tetlin Refuge and Tok area serves as a major migration corridor for 64 species that migrate through, entering or leaving interior Alaska. Compared to the rest of interior Alaska, the diversity of landbirds is high because we are located within a major migration corridor, and a number of species reach their northern range limit here. However, extreme winter weather sends most birds traveling south, leaving only about 30 resident species year round, this does not, however, include flying squirrels!


The entire Upper Tanana Valley offers excellent waterfowl nesting habitat and is a main migration corridor for the birds each spring and fall. Moon Lake, about 22 miles northwest of Tok on the Alaska Highway, and Mineral Lake, About 40 miles south of town along the Tok Cutoff, offer excellent viewing opportunities. Trumpeter swans, the "royalty" of local waterfowl, can be seen nesting in the ponds near the Alaska Highway between Tanacross and Moon Lake. There is a handy highway turnout from which the swans and other waterfowl can be viewed. Mallards, pintails, widgeon, green-winged teal, buffleheads, and scaup are locally common. Look for lesser Canada geese on gravel bars on theTanana River.


The Tok area offers fishing opportunities for rainbow trout, arctic grayling, northern pike, and burbot. Rainbows can be caught at Four-mile, Hidden, Robertson II, and Jan Lakes. Grayling occur in the Tok River Overflow and the Little Tok River, about 20-25 miles south of Tok along the Tok Cutoff. Pike occur in most area lakes connected to the river system. Burbot inhabit the Chisana, Nabesna, and Tanana rivers and are caught by bottom fishing with bait. Check with local sporting goods dealers for local fishing guides. Consider flying out with a local air taxi for a real wilderness fishing experience.


Dall Sheep inhabit the mountain ranges around Tok. These white creatures arebest known for the male's massive curled horns. Ewes also have horns, but shorter and more slender. Until rams reach the age of 3 years, they tend to resemble the ewes quite a bit. After that, continued horn growth makes the males easily recognizable. They weigh up to 300 pounds, are herbivorous, and the ewes bear a single lamb. (info from Alaska Department of Fish and Game Use binoculars to scan mountain slopes on both sides of the Tok Cutoff from Mile 91 to 101, looking for groups of white "dots".


Gray (Timber) Wolf (Canis lupus) "Wolves are described as having the greatest natural range of any terrestrial mammal, excluding humans. Most wolves in Alaska weigh between 85 and 115 pounds with most females rarely reaching more than 110 pounds. Color varies greatly from pure black to almost white. Wolves in southern Alaska tend to be darker and slightly smaller than those in the Arctic." ~Tetlin Wildlife pages on mammals Their paws can be huge and comparible to a man's hands. In the above picture you see the paw beside a 4 wheeler track.


"Red Foxes are largely carnivorous. Red foxes are solitary hunters and the majority of their diet consists of invertebrates, such as insects, mollusks, earthworms and crayfish. They do also eat some plant material, especially blackberries, apples, plums and other fruit. Common vertebrate prey includes mice, rabbits, birds, eggs, frog, small reptiles, fish, and even worms. They usually hunt alone. With their acute sense of hearing, they can locate small mammals in thick grass, and they jump high in the air to pounce on the prey."~from Alaska Nature Foxes are generally monogamous and raise their pups together often with the help of "nanny" foxes (not yet breeding females).

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    Tok Chamber of Commerce
    P.O. Box 389, Tok, Alaska 99780

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  • Location

    Click for Map We are located at the Tok cut-off intersection on the Alaska Highway. We are 90 miles from the Canadian boarder. If you stay on the Highway headed north, you go to Fairbanks (200 miles) and if you turn left, you are headed for Anchorage (365 miles).