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Wrangell St Elias National Park and Preserve, Alaska

wrangell st elias national park

Alaska's Wrangell-St. Elias National Park and Preserve has been recognized as a World Heritage Site. As Denali becomes more crowded, people are beginning to increasingly make the trip to this more out-of-the-way park in the extreme southeast corner of Alaska. Here, four of the continent's great mountain ranges - the Wrangell, St Elias, Chugach and Alaska - cramp up against each other.

Everything about this park is large: glacier after enormous glacier, canyon after canyon and nine of the sixteen highest peaks in the US, all surrounded by idyllic lakes and rivers. Various kinds of animals like mountain goats, Dall sheep, bears, caribou and moose roam this land. The National Parks Service describes this park as "Incredible. You have to see Wrangell-St Elias to believe it". After witnessing this great land, you will be convinced about the truth of this statement.

As part of a visit to this park, you can go to the town of Kennicott, which is a virtual ghost town. Fascinating two hour walking tours are conducted here. These tours start in McCarthy, the main social hub and base for adventure-seekers. Here, a number of hikes, ice climbing trips, mountain bike rides, raft trips and even glacier skiing trips are organized.

Wrangell-St. Elias is almost entirely roadless and is essentially a trailless park. Half the fun of the trip is getting to McCarthy along 58 miles of the McCarthy Road. Stop often to admire the scenery along this route. At the end of the road, you cross the Kennicott River on a foot-bridge and continue half mile to McCarthy on foot, from where a shuttle bus takes you to Kennicott. There's free camping a mile before the road ends.



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