alaska-st. elias range

St. Elias Range Featured Destination:

Wrangell-St. Elias National Park and Preserve
Copper Center, Alaska

Nearly 10 million acres of wild, untouched land stretches across America's largest national park, Wrangell-St. Elias National Park and Preserve. The land is wildly varied, from simmering volcanoes to melting glaciers, and a haven for sheep, moose, caribou and the avid wildlife aficionado.

On their trip to the park, the North America film crew decided to spend much of its time camped out on a glacier looking for one of the smallest residents of the place, a pika. All you have to do is get above the treeline to get the best view of Alaskan wildlife, including one of the largest concentrations of Dali sheep and grizzlies in North America.

Hike to Orange Hill and Bond Creek to do some moose peeping in the bogs where they dwell and explore the Dixie Trail, a wildlife corridor accessible by road in a place where there are few. Birds abound in the park's Copper River Basin and Yakutat Bay areas, major flyways for many migratory birds and nesting grounds for the trumpeter swan.

Best Time to Visit:

The park is busiest in July and prime tourist months are early June through mid-September. Be aware that weather in the St. Elias range can be unpredictable with summer snowstorms occurring at elevations of 4,500 or higher.

What to Do:

Besides some of the best wildlife viewing in North America, the park offers some of the best outdoor adventure opportunities on the continent. You can paddle glacier-fed rivers at Icy Bay, within earshot of melting glaciers. If you are a serious climber, you can scale popular peaks, Mount Sanford and Mount Gordon. All these experiences will require some serious pre-planning as the park has few major roads or marked trails, and you may need to access some places by plane. Hikes in the backcountry must be registered with the park. Get Directions

Other St. Elias Range Destinations:

  • Denali National Park and Preserve. Within its six million acres of unspoiled wild land, visitors can see North America's tallest peak, over 650 species of flowering plants, and a diverse array of wildlife ranging from moose, bears and wolves to ptarmigan, hawks and cranes. Get Directions
  • Mt. McKinley. Also known as Denali, Mt. McKinley is the highest mountain in North America, and it's still growing. Additionally, it has the greatest relief in the world, rising 17,000 feet above the surrounding landscape. Get Directions
  • Lower Cantwell Formation "Dinosaur Dance Floors". Thousands of dinosaur footprints can be found in Denali, and the best place to see them is the Lower Cantwell Formation. Get Directions
  • Park Road. Driving along Park Road - the only road in Denali - offers visitors some of the best opportunities for wildlife viewing. The park offers guided bus tours along the road and there are several visitors centers and ranger stations offering additional information along the way. Get Directions
  • The Valdez Trail. This trail provided overland access to much of interior Alaska and served as an "all-American route" during the Klondike gold rush at the turn of the 20th Century. Get Directions

Explore the Alaska-St. Elias Range:


TRAVEL NORTH AMERICA: Alaska-St. Elias Range | Aleutian Islands | Appalachian Mountains | Black Hills and Badlands | Canadian Prairies | Coast Mountains | Costa Rica's Parks and Beaches | Glacier National Park | Grand Tetons | Great Basin Desert | Great Plains | Kodiak Island | Labrador, Canada | Sierra Nevada Mountains | Yellowstone National Park | ALL TRAVEL LOCATIONS

Maps powered by MapQuest

More on
North America