During these uncertain times, please keep safety in mind and consider adding destinations to your bucket list to visit at a later date.
It's hard to imagine that there is a place that is so large that it encompasses a vast array of jolting mountains, winding rivers, epic glaciers, large lakes and beautiful beaches with world class surfing waves. All of of these things (and SO much more) can be found within Wrangell - St. Elias National Park and Preserve.
Take all those amazing things and add in all of the virtually unlimited outdoor activities that are available at your fingertips, and you truly have a place that feels like heaven on earth.
Four major mountain ranges all collide inside the park; Wrangells, Chugach, Saint Elias and the Alaska Range. On top of that, 16 of the highest peaks in the United States are located within these mountain ranges that are inside of Wrangell - St. Elias National Park and Preserve.
Inside the park is the nation's largest glacial system as glaciers cover 25% or 5,000 square miles of the entire park.
The glaciers inside the park attract some of the most adventurous outdoorsmen and women in the world that come to enjoy ice hiking and ice climbing. We always advise going with a guide and never attempting this alone or without having the proper amount of experience.
Braided rivers and streams give way to some of the most opportunistic fisheries in the world. Within the park boundries is the Copper River drainage which drains into the Gulf of Alaska and the Yukon River drainage which empties into the Bering Sea.
If you're a sport fisherman you can find species such as arctic grayling, dolly varden, lake trout, rainbow trout, and steelhead, cutthroat trout, sockeye, coho, chinook salmon and even northern pike throughout the 13.9 acres.
Kennecott Mines National Historic Landmark is located inside of the park. This special spot is filled with history and it attracts a plethora of visitors each year who come to enjoy exploring remnants from the past as well as embarking on the ghost town walking tour.
Visitors to Wrangell - St. Elias National Park can take a small float plane to enjoy many of the different lakes and secluded destinations. With 13.9 million acres, you'll always be able to escape the crowds. The park is also accessible via road and you can take a shuttle or your personal vehicle.
Although there are millions of reasons to visit any portion of the Wrangell - St. Elias National Park and Preserve, many come to enjoy epic hiking and backcountry adventures.
Stay in a public use cabin and sleep peacefully knowing that you have a nice barrier between you and the bears that roam the park.
Or if you're someone who prefers to go at your own pace and doesn't like to be tied down by a cabin reservation, pack a tent and sleep just about anywhere that your heart desires (even on a snow field, if you don't mind the cold - brrr!)
A great family friendly activity to enjoy in the park is rafting or river floats. This is a great way to have a little adventure while soaking in phenomenal mountain views in the distance.
If you like coastal beaches with epic mountain views, Wrangell-St. Elias National Park & Preserve has that too! Surf the waves off Yakutat Beach and enjoy dipping your toes in the sandy beaches while you gaze at the tall spruce and hemlock trees surrounding you.
Of course, we can't forget to mention the incredible wildlife viewing that can be done within the park. From moose, bear, dall sheep and even stellar sea lions!
Small mammals inside the park include lynx, wolverine, beaver, marten, porcupine, fox, coyotes, marmots, river otters, ground squirrels, pikas, and voles.
Many are surprised to learn that subsistence hunting by qualified, local rural residents is authorized in certain parts of the park.
Although this amazing park is an incredible place to enjoy all summer long, it is especially stunning during the fall months as the seasonal colors light up the mountainsides as far as the eyes can see.