Wrangell St Elias National Park

With over a staggering 13 million acres of preserved park land, it will come as no surprise that the boundaries of Wrangell St Elias make up America's largest managed wilderness area. With the second tallest peak in North America (Mt. St Elias) and a rather active volcano (Mt. Wrangell), this UNESCO protected site is a geologist's dream and dramatic photographic backdrops really don't get any more exciting. From the Bagley Ice field to the Kennicott Glacier, Wrangell St Elias tours present an exceptional introduction to the landscapes of Alaska and if you're hoping to get away from it all then you'll find no better opportunity.

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Highlights & Activities
  • Root glacier

    The Root Glacier Glaciers tend to form the backbone to most tours of Alaska and an exploration of Wrangell St Elias is certainly no different. The Root Glacier is one of the most accessible within the park and presents no end of frozen features to admire on a 3 - 4 mile round trip. Cascading waterfalls, cavernous ice caves and abandoned copper mines can all be found en-route and, if you're hoping to really get up close to a glacier, try walking underneath a ceiling of ice for the ultimate experience.

  • McCarthy area

    The Historic McCarthy Area Once upon a time McCarthy was a boisterous hunting and mining community where the dominating mountain slopes served as means of finance as opposed to sites of natural beauty. These days McCarthy is inhabited by less than 30 residents and in place of the hospitals, bars and brothels, you'll discover dilapidated mines and heritage museums which enable you to find out more about the area and McCarthy's, often turbulent, past.

  • Kennecott Mine

    The Kennecott Mine Located alongside the Kennicott Glacier, some 5 miles up the mountain slope, the abandoned copper mines of Kennecott serve as an insight into a once thriving industry. This is your chance to meet the ghosts of Alaska's past and a tour of the 14-storey mill house and supporting red-painted buildings will no doubt send a few shivers down your spine. Providing no end of sepia photo opportunities, Kennecott Mine is a thoroughly absorbing piece of America's heritage and well-worth a visit.

  • Glacier hiking

    Glacier Activities There's just something about that clean and fresh Alaskan air that makes folks want to get all active and if you're up for a bit of glacier walking or even ice climbing then you've certainly come to the right spot. Set your sights on abandoned mines, glacial hues or endless ice fields and follow your guide into the realms of the 'Final Frontier' and quickly you'll discover that Alaska and outdoor activities go together like salmon fishing and grizzlies.

When to go
Temperature chart - Wrangell

Although Wrangell St Elias National Park is open all-year-round this is mainly because it doesn't actually have any official entrance or exit posts which is kind of understandable due to the size. Winters do tend to come early and you won't get much in the way of autumn other than a sharp drop in temperature around mid-September. Best advice is to visit during the summer and any time from late May through to early September will give you the best chances of seeing blankets of flowers as well as clear blue skies. As with any high-altitude location, the further up you go the colder it becomes and if you're planning on mountain hiking or glacier trekking make sure you pack extra layers as well as the usual batch of sun screens, water canisters and Kendal mint cake.

Insider Tip: Climb a glacier
Ice climbing

No Wrangell St Elias tours are complete without really getting to grips with glaciers and if you want to experience the sublime smooth surfaces from a whole new perspective then you've got to try your hand at ice climbing. This activity is undertaken with the utmost caution however, once the safety checks are out of the way, you'll find yourself shimmying within some incredibly dramatic frozen landscapes. Icebergs, mountains and intense peace and tranquillity make any outdoor activity in Alaska an unforgettable experience.

Tours that visit Wrangell St Elias National Park


    11 days | Alaska | Hotels

    Jun-Aug from


    Experience the untamed arctic wilderness at it's finest including spectacular fjord scenery, vast glaciers and the continent's highest peaks, with comfortable accommodation and at a leisurely pace.

    Highlights: Denali National Park | Kenai Fjords | Valdez

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    14 days | Alaska | Camping

    Jun-Aug from


    This unique adventure takes you from the southern coast to the crossroads of the interior. Experience the majestic beauty of Denali, Wrangell-St Elias and Kenai Fjords National Parks with incredible wildlife viewing!

    Highlights: Denali | Wrangell - St Elias | Kenai Fjords

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    18 days | Alaska | Camping/Hotels

    Jun-Aug from


    Experience the arctic wilderness on one of our most remote and extreme itineraries, where the native cultures of Alaska and Canada and rugged mountain terrain will be sure to impress! Explore this 'Great Land' for a truly unforgettable experience.

    Highlights: Denali | Dempster Highway | Arctic Circle

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