Wrangell St. Elias National Park and Preserve is a United States National Park that is located in southern Alaska. It is known for its breathtaking vistas, densely wooded forests, alpine tundra, glaciers, glacial rivers, and more. It was established by an Act of Congress in 1980, and it is now the largest national park in the United States!
At over 8.3 million acres, Wrangell St. Elias is the largest national park in the United States and one of the largest in the world. It is home to several active volcanoes, including the active Mt. Wrangell and the historically active but currently dormant Mt. Blackburn. From the tundra in the low elevation to the mountain peaks above 16,000 feet, the park boasts some of the most dramatic and varied terrain in the world.
One of the main attractions of this park is the opportunity to explore and witness the glaciers. There are over 20 active glaciers in the park, including the root glacier, one of the most accessible glaciers in the world. The national park also boasts a unique ecosystem, with species ranging from large mammals like grizzly bears, moose, and caribou, to smaller aquatic species such as grayling, trout, char, and whitefish.
In terms of recreational opportunities, Wrangell St. Elias National Park offers visitors the chance to enjoy hiking, backpacking, camping, mountaineering, boating, wildlife viewing, river rafting, fishing, and more. There are several developed campgrounds throughout the park for campers, and there are also plenty of primitive campsites located at various points in the park.
The park also offers educational and cultural experiences to visitors. Visitors can discover the unique culture and traditions of the area, as well as learn about the history of the Kluti-Kaah National Historic Preserve, which is part of the park. The park is also home to the Wrangell Institute for Science and the Environment, which works to engage the public in research, education, and stewardship of the park’s vast landscapes.
Wrangell St. Elias National Park and Preserve is an amazing destination for travelers of all ages and interests. From the glacier and wildlife viewing tours, to the hiking and camping trails, educational and cultural experiences, and visitor centers providing information and orientation, the park provides an unforgettable experience.
Photos of Wrangell-St. Elias National Park and Preserve
Sewtex, CC BY-SA 3.0
Erin McKittrick, CC BY 2.5
National Park Service, Public Domain
Photo by Jim Witkowski on Unsplash
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) about Wrangell-St. Elias National Park and Preserve
Where is Wrangell-St. Elias National Park located?
Wrangell-St. Elias National Park is located in the southeastern region of Alaska, bordering Canada. It is about 6,000 miles from the nearest major city, Seattle, Washington, and about 1,100 miles from Anchorage, Alaska.
What to do and see in Wrangell-St. Elias National Park?
Wrangell-St. Elias National Park is Alaska's premier outdoor destination, boasting a huge range of outdoor activities. Visitors can go trekking in the park's ruggedly beautiful terrain, explore Kobuk Valley National Park, whitewater raft on the Copper River, camp under the stars, or view huge glaciers. For those looking for a more relaxed way to explore the region, the Park has many scenic lookouts, accessible roads, and interpretive walks, with opportunities to view wildlife such as caribou, bald eagles, and grizzly bears. Additionally, the Park is home to historic remnants of the region's gold rush days, including the preserved Maydena community, a former gold-mining community.
Average weather in Wrangell-St. Elias National Park and Preserve