While Wrangell-St. Elias is truly a wilderness park with few marked hiking trails, there are great opportunities for alpine hiking in the area.
From Kennicott, the old mining roads lead in 3 directions for at least 5 miles.
1. Hike up the mountain to the Bonanza or the Jumbo Mines – about 9 to 10 miles roundtrip and a 4,000ft elevation change. Here you are high above the tree line, in the alpine tundra full of delicate wildflowers and lichens. The views of the Kennicott Glacier, Chitina River Valley and the Wrangell and Chugach Mountains are awe-inspiring.
2. Follow along the edge of the Root Glacier. This trail leads to both the Erie Mine, about 5 miles from Kennicott, and Erie Lake, about 7 miles from Kennicott. There you can see some spectacular views of the 6000 foot Stairway Icefall.
3. Walk back toward McCarthy along either the old railroad right-of-way or take the old wagon road past the Kennicott cemetery. These trails meet in McCarthy – about 5 miles from Kennicott – and you can catch a shuttle bus back if you want.
For more detailed information about the hiking trails around Kennicott, see the National Park Service website.
Fly-in day hikes are also available with St. Elias Alpine Guides.
If you enjoy outdoor activities, you will have no trouble finding outdoor activities to do near Kennicott Glacier Lodge!