Enjoy a week of big wilderness and big views in Wrangell-St. Elias National Park this summer. From our comfortable camp on the flanks of a volcano we can explore the surrounding mountains and glaciers, search for Dall sheep, and simply enjoy the solitude and wilderness of this mountain kingdom.
The high country in Wrangell-St. Elias is beyond compare. With 9.6 million acres of designated wilderness, Wrangell- St. Elias National Park is part of the largest federally protected area in the world and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The landscape of the northern Wrangells is one of smoking volcanoes covered in ice; rocky spires jut into the blue sky above sinuous valleys with glacial torrents careening between sheer valley walls. And amongst the raw elemental power of the place we find green glens rich with fern and wildflowers and verdant plateaus dotted with Dall sheep and nesting song birds. It is a land of contrasts and beauty.
The lower elevations of the Park are forested and very brushy, beautiful but difficult to navigate. In contrast, the high-country offers endless vistas and relatively easy hiking both on the mountain sides and along the valley floor. We will make camp near the toe of the glacier and use this place as a base of operations. We can hike to the ice and (if conditions permit) may be able to explore onto the glacier. We can take a fairly easy hike downriver along the rushing glacial stream and we can climb the ridges and small peaks near camp for views in all directions. Each day brings its own weather, its own wildlife and its own surprises.
This is a rarely visited portion of the park and requires flights in an airplane which can only take a single passenger at a time. This nimble airplane allows us to enjoy true wilderness solitude in a unique and pristine location. Join us for adventure and solitude in America’s largest National Park.
What follows is a general flow of events. Expect the unexpected and prepare to be flexible.
Meet your guide at 10 am at the Arctic Wild headquarters for a pre-trip orientation. Once questions have been answered and equipment checked, we will start our drive into the mountains. Its a 4-1/2 hr drive to the Wrangells from Fairbanks with lots of interesting stops on the way. We can take a hike, fish a side creek and enjoy the scenery as we head southeast along the Richardson Highway to the town of Chistochina. Once we arrive we are greeted by our hosts who operate the Red Eagle Lodge.
The adventure begins in earnest. After enjoying a beautiful breakfast at the lodge, our pilot shuttles us into the mountains one at a time and by mid-day we have camp set-up and can take our first hike in the mountains.
Days (and nights) are yours to do as you please. With thousands of acres to ourselves the limit to our adventures are few.
One last walk to the river, one last scan for sheep above camp and it is time to pack-up and head back to Chistochina where our vehicle waits. If the weather cooperates we can be back in Fairbanks in the evening, ready for the next adventure.
Transportation beyond Fairbanks, One night lodging in Chistochina, AK, food while in the wilderness, stoves, cooking & eating utensils, water filter, safety & repair gear and professional guide service. Select rental equipment is available through Arctic Wild and is included in the trip price.
Lodging (except one night in Chistochina), non-camp meals (except breakfast at the lodge in Chistochina), personal clothing and gear, fishing gear, and fishing license. An equipment list is provided upon registration.
Temperatures vary dramatically in the Alaska. July and early August is usually mild and warm, and the Northern Wrangells are one of the driest parts of the state. That said, it could be cool and rainy so be prepared for anything. Temperatures will range from the 20s to 80s. Snow is possible any day of the year, but we get lots of sunny weather this time of the year. Mosquitoes should not be an issue but bring a mosquito head net and a small bottle of DEET repellent just in case.