I’ve heard of the Bore Tides in Turnagain Arm. What are they?
A bore tide, or tidal bore, is a wall of water coming in with the tide. It is created by a wide range between high and low tides (more than 35 feet in Cook Inlet) and the narrow, shallow and gentle sloping of the arm. The only places in the United States where tidal bores occur regularly are in Turnagain and Knik Arms.
Bore tides in Turnagain Arm range from 2 to 6 feet high and travel between 10 and 15 mph. Minus tides, new or full moons and high winds contribute to a large bore tide, which may sound like a train. Beluga Point is a good place to watch for bore tides, which generally occur about 45 minutes after the predicted Anchorage low tide.
What kind of wildlife will I see in the Chugach?
Wildlife seen along Turnagain Arm include Beluga whales, Dall sheep and occasionally, moose and black bear. Bald eagles may be spotted near the water and golden eagles further inland. There are also grizzly bears, lynx and coyotes in the area, but not usually near the Turnagain Arm walking trail.
Belugas are white, shallow-water whales, sometimes seen feeding on fish in Cook Inlet. The best time to see Belugas is at high tide from mid-July through August when salmon make their spawning runs. Adult males reach 11 to 15 feet and weigh 1,000 to 2,000 pounds.
Biologists are not sure why Dall sheep gather at Windy Corner, but they have been a frequent sight in this area since highway reconstruction in the early 1980s. Usually only ewes and lambs are seen at this low elevation as rams tend to remain separate in higher, more rugged terrain.