Anyone who has ever owned a dog has heard from trainers and other authorities how much dogs resemble their genetic forebears, the wolf. Like dogs, wolves are pack animals and their behavior within the pack is dictated by a highly structured hierarchy. Packs average around six to seven animals, and fighting within the pack is rare unless the animals are stressed or having a hard time finding food. Wolves are the source of a lot of mythological misunderstanding, but the truth is that wolves rarely attack humans and keep themselves pretty scarce when people are around. It is uncommon to spot a wolf, not because there aren’t plenty of them out there, but because they avoid people as much as they can. You will rarely see them along a highway or on a hiking trail. If you see a wolf while boating along coastal waters or taking a wildlife tour, consider yourself very lucky.

Where to find them

The wolf can be found throughout mainland Alaska, on Unimak Island in the Aleutians, and on all of the major islands along the Inside Passage except Admiralty, Baranof and Chichagof islands. This range includes about 85 percent of Alaska’s 586,000 square-mile area.

When to come

Wolves can be seen in winter or summer by those willing to spend time quietly watching for them in remote areas or in national parks or other protected areas.