Tetlin National Wildlife Refuge is in e. central Alaska, directly s. of the Alaska Hwy. and n. of Wrangell-St. Elias National Park and Preserve; the visitor center is at Milepost 1229 on Alaska Hwy. The gateway to Alaska, the refuge occupies 682,604 acres along a major bird migration corridor. At least 115 of the 186 bird species stay to nest in the vast wetlands. Abundant waterfowl such as ducks, geese, swans and loons can be seen on the many streams and lakes. Black and grizzly bears, moose, wolves and caribou are year-round residents.
A visitor center—built in a log trapper's cabin style with a sod roof—contains an observation deck with telescopes overlooking the vast valley as well as Alaska Native cultural exhibit and demonstrations. Ranger-led interpretive programs are offered in the visitor center and evening programs are presented at Deadman Campground at 7 p.m. Recreational activities include bird-watching, canoeing, fishing, hiking, photography and hunting.
The refuge operates two seasonal, public campgrounds: Deadman Campground, at Milepost 1249.5 on Alaska Hwy., and Lakeview Campground, at Milepost 1256.6 on Alaska Hwy. Both are located on a lake with a boat ramp and are fee-free with only nine spots available. Larger rigs are limited as the road is narrow. Nine pullouts along the highway offer interpretive signs. Historic Seaton Roadhouse has a small pond, wildlife viewing and 4 miles of short-loop hiking trails available.
Guided tours are available. Recreational activities are permitted. Camping is permitted.