Spotting at anchorage information and questions

calling all spotters in anchorage or who have spotted at anchorage before

this august, i will be visiting alaska for the first time, and i will be staying in anchorage, with one entire day to explore the airport area.

regarding spots, i have looked at spotterguide and haven’t really gotten a clear answer for a good spot except for spot number 1. but i still dont know if this spot is backlit or not. can anyone help?


I would plane spot at the parking lot

Did you actually read the guide, or just look at the map?

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i read some of the guide, but it didnt give me much info on photo quality.

Spot 1 has a note attached indicating it may not be useful anymore. I prefer spot 2 (afternoon spot) for 15 or 33 operations or another spot not marked but located at the P symbol at the north of the airport (morning spot) for 15 arrivals mostly but I guess departures are shootable too and 33 departures maybe. Please watch out for moose and bears and be prepared to duck into your car at any time.

Spot 2:

Other side:

You can also consider checking out the sea base there, the guide for that I believe is pretty easy to follow:

Use to figure out when spots will be backlit or not (use PC or an iPad, or in a pinch turn your phone landscape). Just click on the airport, set the date, and then it’s pretty simple from there.


im not gonna have a car, what should i do for that spot?

also, is that the most used runway at anchorage?

Tough call. Can’t really guarantee Uber service into the late evening (which is realistically when you’d want to use this spot) and it’s highly unlikely you’d be able to call a taxi to leave (getting there though, you can probably get a taxi from the terminal). Bring bear spray, you probably won’t encounter anything (I spent about 6 hours total there across 3 days and spotted two moose and no bears) but better be safe than sorry especially with no car to hide in.

I don’t know the objective answer to this but for 15 operations there was certainly no shortage of traffic. All arrivals directed there and maybe 1/4 of the departures (mostly UPS heavies sitting on the north ramps). For 33 operations I can’t say for sure but there should be at minimum a good number of departures (no arrivals though, according to the guide).

Edit: personally, most if not all of the other spots at ANC fail to capture the essence of the place. If your mountain-bordering airport can be confused for some random midwestern US flat piece of land then you’re in the wrong spot for that airport.

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so with that in mind, i plan to be there from the morning to the late afternoon, and also visit the museum and lake hood airport too, would i be able to get uber service?

I’m not an Anchorage native, I’m just commenting on the fact that sunset in Anchorage in August is like 10 PM and I’m not sure how many people are going to be driving around on the perimeter road at 10 PM. During the day it’ll probably be okay but once again I am not from, nor have I lived in Anchorage so I have genuinely no idea.

Also in the morning don’t go to spot 2. Use spot 4 instead or just stay on the hill by the bike path where the P is on the spotterguide.

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Me too actually. Specifically that one over there past the other one.

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huh? what r u talking g about there’s another lot?

No, I’m making a lighthearted comment regarding the vague nature of that comment lol. There is no “parking lot” spot at ANC nor did they specify where said parking lot would be even if there was.

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i see. how did i miss the joke smh

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