Wrangell–St. Elias National Park and Preserve

Alaska, United States of America

Partially Family Friendly

About Wrangell-St. Elias National Park

This is the largest of the USA’s national parks. It covers around 53,370 km2 (20,606 mi2) and also holds the United States’ largest assembly of glaciers and peaks over 4,879 m (16,000 ft), including nine of the 16 tallest mountains in the US. Situated in South central Alaska, it was established in 1980. Over 38,445 km2 (14,844 mi2) of the park are designated wilderness, protecting them from development.


The park experiences long, cold winters during which temperatures can stay below freezing for up to five months at a time and can plunge to -50°C (-58°F). Summers are short, cloudy and cool, but there can be clear hot days in the warmest month (July).

Fauna and Flora

Dall sheep, mountain goats on the peaks, caribou and moose in the lower regions, and black and brown (grizzly) bears roam throughout. There are many rivers, streams and lakes providing fertile spawning grounds for fish. Areas of the park are on a migratory flightway, so there is a wide variety of bird species.


The park welcomes 1.6 million visitors a year. There are only two dirt roads leading into the park. With such a vast terrain available, hiking and camping possibilities are almost endless and vary in range and difficulty.

There are major roads which allow you to access remote corners of the park (like the Nabesna Road), or to explore local attractions such as rural Alaskan towns (take the McCarthy Road) and the historic mining area, Kennecott. Air taxis from several locations are available to take you into the heart of the park. Sea kayaking, climbing and skiing across the glaciers are also possible.

How to get there

The closest major airport is Anchorage in Alaska. There’s a smaller airport in Yakutat. The park is on the Alaska Highway system.


Throughout the year, the weather is changeable, so it’s best to come prepared for any eventuality.

Did you know?

The park is adjacent to the Kluane National Park in Canada – together, these two parks form the largest area of protected land in the whole world and is a designated UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Wild Camping
Mountain Biking
White Water Rafting
Guided Tours
Ice Climbing
Alaska, United States of America
Latitude: 61.592026, Longitude: -142.943544