US National Parks

Wrangell-St. Elias

Adventure is driving 5 hours through rural Alaskan countryside to reach an abandoned dirt parking lot…at least that’s what I told myself as I prepared to enter America’s largest and most daunting National Park, Wrangell-St.Elias.

Protecting not one but two significant mountain ranges (Wrangell and St.Elias), the peaks in this Park begin at sea level and rise to heights of up to 18,000 feet, making them some of the largest mountains in the world.

A cautious step outside my vehicle revealed I was not the only adventurer hoping to enter the mountains, as I found three other individuals with hiking packs standing around self-consciously in the center of this dirt lot. 20 minutes of awkward pleasantries and silence would go by until at long last, we were swiftly brought to attention by the arrival of a small, 5-person prop plane that landed a mere 20 feet from us.

Piloted by a heavily bearded middle-aged man in camo-fatigues, this plane would be our passage into the mountains and after a quick preflight check in which we were informed of all the bad things that would happen to us in the event of a crash, we were off and running into this vast and untouched wilderness.

Here are my photos from this epic Park:

Hiking the Root Glacier near Kennecott

Hiking the Root Glacier near Kennecott

Flying over the Wrangells

Flying over the Wrangells

Glacial River

Glacial River

Mt. Wrangell stands alone in Wrangell-St.Elias National Park

Mt. Wrangell stands alone

A big wall of ice on the Root Glacier

A big wall of ice on the Root Glacier

The Town of Kennecott

The Town of Kennecott

A Moulin in Wrangell-St.Elias National Park

This is a ‘Moulin’- a large hole in the glacier that can drop nearly 30 feet and is extremely difficult to escape from

The road to the Wrangells

The road to the Wrangells

A Parting of the River

A Lodge in Kennicott

A Lodge in Kennecott

Our climbing guide scouts ahead

Our climbing guide scouts ahead

Categories: US National Parks