Prince of Wales Island Wildlife Viewing
Sandy Beach Road

photo of Sandy Beach Road area wildlife Sandy Beach Road hugs the eastern shoreline of Prince of Wales Island. Stretches of the road overlook Clarence Strait, a rich feeding area that attracts humpback and killer whales, harbor seals, and Steller sea lions. Watch for Sitka black-tailed deer year-round, and trumpeter swans at the Ratz Harbor estuary during fall migrations. The Sandy Beach Recreation Area is a great place to look for great blue herons, bald eagles and harbor seals.


There is good tidepooling at the Sandy Beach Recreation Area, with a chance to see live sand dollars at low tide.


  • Black Bear
  • Eagles
  • Great Blue Heron
  • Harbor Seal
  • Humpback Whale
  • Killer Whale
  • Sitka black-tailed deer
  • Steller's Sea Lion
  • Swans


Roadside pullouts offer views from high above Clarence Strait, and also from the water's edge. Make many stops for the best chance to spot marine life.


  • Wheelchair Accessible


Sandy Beach Road is a well-maintained, but unpaved, road. Drive carefully and maintain a safe speed at all times.

Plan to spend at least: 2 - 4 hours

Best Months

█ Best Month

  • January
  • February
  • March
  • April
  • Best Month May
  • Best Month June
  • Best Month July
  • Best Month August
  • Best Month September
  • October
  • November
  • December


Sandy Beach Road connects the communities of Coffman Cove and Thorne Bay on the east side of Prince of Wales Island.


Prince of Wales Island Chamber of Commerce - (907) 755-2626 or USDA Forest Service, Thorne Bay Ranger District - (907) 828-3304 or

Additional Information

Living with Bears