Alaska Region Viewing Area

LOCATION and PHOTOS

Nupar polysepala
Several large groups of the yellow pond lily (Nupar polysepala) can be viewed in flower the month of June floating in the many ponds. Photo by Cori Indelicato.


Buckbean (Menyanthes trifoliata) is one of the more common wetland forbs on the Copper River Delta.  Its showy white flowers are best viewed in mid-June. Photo by Timm Nawrocki.

Alaganik Slough Wildflower Viewing Area

Forest: Chugach National Forest

District: Cordova Ranger District

Description: Alaganik Slough is an easily accessible and unique wildflower viewing area situated on the expansive Copper River Delta. The five mile long road accessing Alaganik Slough from the Copper River Highway winds through species-rich wetlands and ponds. A developed site with a wheel chair accessible, 900 foot-long boardwalk that parallels the slough is located at the end of the road. Restrooms, wildlife viewing shelters, and picnic areas are also at the site. You can view both aquatic and terrestrial plants in this area. The wetlands here are dominated by a variety of sedges, grasses and forbs bordered by shrub communities dominated by sweet gale. Willows, alder and ponds dot the landscape with their own distinct suite of aquatic species. Small pockets of Sitka spruce harbor common terrestrial species of the area.

Wildflower Viewing: Numerous flowering plants are blooming from June to July along the boardwalk and road. Most are aquatic or wetland associated species and include yellow marsh marigold (Caltha palustris), shooting star (Dodecatheon pulchellum), deadly water hemlock (Cicuta douglasii), wild iris (Iris setosa), Pacific silverweed (Potentilla egedii), marsh pea (Lathyrus palustris), nagoon berry (Rubus arcticus), arctic star flower (Trientalis europaea), marsh five-finger (Potentilla palustris), dwarf marsh violet (Viola epipsila), liver leaf wintergreen (Pyrola asarifolia), buckbean (Menyanthes trifoliata) and yellow water lily (Nuphar polysepala). Common terrestrial species can be viewed on the edge of the spruce pockets and they include fireweed (Chamerion angustifolium), chocolate lily (Fritillaria camschatcensis), high bush cranberry (Viburnum edule), Sitka burnet (Sanguisorba stipulata) and alpine sweet vetch (Hedysarum alpinum).

Safety First: While this site is located in an area that receives moderate visitor use, encounters with wildlife such as bears and moose can still occur. When in bear country, make lots of noise to make your presence known especially if you are by yourself or in a small group. Bear spray and insect repellent are recommended items for your backpack. Be prepared for inclement weather by wearing non-cotton clothing and have rain gear handy.

Directions: Head east from Cordova on the Copper River Highway; take a right at mile point 17. Drive five miles down road which ends at the developed site. Wildflowers can be viewed all along this five mile stretch of road.

Ownership and management: USDA Forest Service, Chugach National Forest, Cordova Ranger District (907) 424-7661.

Closest Town: Cordova, Alaska