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Wrangell-St. Elias National Park, Alaska Travel Guide

Complete Vacation, Recreation and Tourism Information

Wrangell-St.Elias National Park and Preserve may not boast the tallest mountain in North America, but it does have six of the sixteen tallest. Despite the park's proximity to Anchorage it is less visited than better known Denali. Consequently it appeals to those who want a bit more isolation without compromising on the scenery.

Rafters can ride the Copper River from McCarthy, an arduous drive off the Edgerton Highway. McCarthy is almost a ghost-town now with a population of 25 and a single road that would benefit from city-funding. Book a daytrip on the water in McCarthy but longer stretches of river time are organized by companies in Gakona and Cordova.

If you're in the park for some hiking and camping, stop through Kennicott, five miles from McCarthy, to explore old mines and deserted historic buildings on your way into the wild. There are no permits required for traipses into the park. Private campsites open in the summer and several publics-use cabins in Wrangell-St.Elias can be reserved in advance, though most are accessible only by air. Otherwise, pitch your tent wherever the vistas take your fancy. Looking for something even more remote? Book a fly-in backcountry trip for some quality time with the bears. Guided ice climbing and glacier tours are also available for those not so hot on wandering around alone in the wilderness.

Visitors short on time can rent bikes to tour the McCarthy-Kennicott area or join a horseback trail ride out of McCarthy.

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