Wrangell-St. Elias National Park
Wrangell-St. Elias National Park is the largest National Park in America. At 13.2 million acres, it is twice the size of Denali National Park and larger than the country of Switzerland. Check out a map of the National Park here.
The National Park Service has described the Wrangell-St. Elias National Park as having “more superlatives than any other National Park,” and it is easy to see why. It is home to 9 of North America’s 16 tallest peaks, over 150 glaciers, 4 major mountain ranges, and the largest glaciers outside the polar ice caps.
This natural jewel has been called by the United States Congress “the premier mountain wilderness in North America.” It has been recognized by the United Nations for its “outstanding universal value to mankind…(part of the) heritage of all nations of the world.” Wrangell-St. Elias National Park together with neighboring Kluane National Park in Canada has also been designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site for its unique beauty and natural splendor.
Wrangell-St. Elias National Park was formed in 1980 and is still relatively undiscovered. It gets around one-tenth of the number of visitors as Denali National Park and although it’s not for everyone, those adventurous enough to find it will be rewarded by an unspoiled wilderness of peace and solitude.
There are only two roads that lead into Wrangell-St. Elias National Park, and one of them is the 60 mile Chitina-McCarthy road, a State Maintained gravel road that follows the abandoned railroad route to the historic town of Kennicott. This is a wilderness park with few amenities, campgrounds, or designated trails, but five miles past the end of the road, you can find a great place to stay at Kennicott Glacier Lodge, built by local residents who want to share this fantastic country with you!
Find more information about the Wrangell-St. Elias National Park on the National Park Service website.