No doubt: Getting to see a majestic brown bear snatching salmon from an Alaska stream is the memory of a lifetime. But as iconic as these massive land predators are, they're just the start of what Alaska has to offer. Keep your eyes peeled for soaring bald eagles, colorful puffins, stately sandhill cranes, shy black bears, acrobatic humpback whales and of course the regal, knobby-kneed moose, the largest member of the deer family.
Other types of wildlife are less common, but all the more exciting for their rarity. Alaska's broad, uninterrupted swaths of wilderness are home to animals like lynx and wolves that are usually so shy, even locals are thrilled to catch a quick glimpse. And don't forget about the smaller animals: From wood frogs with antifreeze in their veins to the tiny collared pika, which spends its summer harvesting piles of hay to be used as food during the winter, Alaska's smallest year-round inhabitants have made astonishing adaptations to living in this northern climate.
Some of Alaska's best wildlife sights are seasonal: Every spring, locals and visitors alike crowd onto day cruises in hopes of seeing gray whales migrating to their feeding grounds in the Beaufort and Chukchi seas. And if you travel to the state's northern reaches, you might be lucky enough to see caribou traveling in herds so large, they blot out the horizon.
Needless to say, make sure you bring a pair of binoculars and a good camera. You won't want to miss making a single photograph or memory on your Alaska wildlife watching tours.