There are so many incredible things to see and do in Southeast Alaska, and Juneau is a major jumping-off point to explore this unforgettably vast wilderness. The Copper River Delta, located just east of Cordova, is a critically protected habitat in Southeast Alaska and is the home to the famed Copper River Delta Shorebird Festival each May. In fact, the Copper River Delta is a critical stop for millions of migratory birds that move along the Pacific Flyway. It’s a stunning and wild paradise for the avid birdwatching enthusiast.
Each spring, there are an estimated 12 million shorebirds migrating through the area. Not only is this the largest gathering of shorebirds in the entirety of the Western Hemisphere, but it’s an incredibly beautiful & remote part of Southeast Alaska to explore, too, making it the perfect off-the-beaten-path adventure for those who are looking for something new and extraordinary.
To get to Cordova and the Copper River Delta Shorebird Festival, you’ll need to take a plane either from Anchorage or Juneau (or travel there via the state ferry from Juneau). Flying or traveling through Juneau allows you a couple of days to explore this beautiful capital city, where you’ll see the famous sights like Mendenhall Glacier and the Mt. Roberts Tramway, take a helicopter to the famed Taku Glacier Lodge, and enjoy a bit of whale watching in the Tracy Arm Fjord, and you’ll have the perfect getaway into Alaska’s Wilderness. At the heart of it all is a stay at the best downtown Juneau hotel. Book your room at the Silverbow Inn Hotel & Suites today!
Travel to the Copper River Delta Shorebird Festival
Southeast Alaska is one of the best getaway destinations to be considering this year, especially when looking for unusual and exciting adventures, like visiting the famed Copper River Delta Shorebird Festival. In Southeast Alaska, you’ll not only find the vibrant capital city of Juneau, but other great destinations as well, like Glacier Bay National Park, Yakutat, Cordova, Admiralty Island, home to the famous Pack Creek Bear Viewing Area, Skagway, and Sitka.
To get to any of these areas, you’ll first pass through Juneau by either plane or boat. Best of all, you won’t find large crowds at any of these remote destinations. Instead, you’ll be truly immersed in the vast beauty of Alaska’s rugged wilderness, which is the entire point of coming to Southeast Alaska in the first place. If birdwatching is of interest to you, there’s no better destination to visit this May than the Copper River Delta near Cordova, home to the famed Copper River Delta Shorebird Festival.
During the peak migration in April and May, there can be as many as 250,000 shorebirds per square mile, who are all there feeding on the Copper River Delta tideflats. These waters are popular summer nesting grounds for a wide variety of birds, but among the most notable and popular for birdwatching at the Arctic Terns, sandpipers, and bald eagles. While the Copper River Delta Shorebird Festival is all about the birds, you’ll probably also see plenty of other wildlife on the delta, including brown bears, moose and their calves, spawning salmon, and more.
This year’s Copper River Delta Shorebird Festival will be something of a hybrid event with a combination of virtual and limited in-person events. It will take place from May 6 – 9, 2021, which will make the 30th year of this incredible festival.
How to Get to Cordova Alaska
Cordova Alaska is one of the 6 destinations in Southeast Alaska that we feel is worth a visit, whether or not you’ll be participating in the Copper River Delta Shorebird Festival. Its off-the-beaten-path location is reason enough to travel to this incredible place, but of course, there’s plenty to do there as well. The town itself is filled with independently owned small businesses and plenty of Alaskan charm. Cordova Alaska is located near the mouth of the Copper River, which is world-famous for its salmon, and as such is home to some delicious seafood.
Cordova Alaska can only be reached by air or water, which is where we come in! Juneau is a major travel destination and has plenty worth seeing in its own right, but it’s also a convenient place to launch your other adventures deeper into the heart of Southeast Alaska. From Juneau, Cordova is only a 2.5-hour flight. You could also take an entirely unique method of transportation and ride the Alaska State Ferry to Cordova. The trip will take a bit longer, but the scenery you’ll see along the way is guaranteed to be breathtakingly beautiful.
Whether you choose to fly or take a ferry, your trip will start and/or end in Juneau. While you’re here, we encourage you to experience the very best this amazing city has to offer and to stay at our #1-rated hotel in downtown Juneau. From here, you can walk or bike to some of the city’s top attractions, including a variety of hiking trails, Mendenhall Glacier, and the Mt. Roberts Tramway. We’re also happy to help you arrange excursions, such as a whale-watching trip to the Tracy Arm Fjord, or a helicopter trip to Juneau’s more remote glaciers.
These experiences are popular and limited, though, much like the accommodations at our Juneau hotel. If you want to visit in 2021, you’ll need to make plans soon. Book your room at our downtown Juneau hotel today, and reach out to us for help planning your elite excursions!