Hiking Alaska's Wrangell St. Elias

National Park and Preserve

by Greg Fensterman

A companion site to the book published by Falcon Guides®

Wrangell St. Elias National Park
Backpacking
Trip:
Mt. Wrangell Plateau

Distance: 16-18 miles

Type: Backpacking

Difficulty: moderate

Approx. hiking time: 3-5 days

Total elevation gain: +2730, -1990

Best season: June - early September

Access: Bush flight - McCarthy to Mt. Wrangell Plateau

Maps: USGS Valdez D-1, D-2

Challenges: Glacier crossing


A moderate 3-5 day trip that starts on a plateau crosses a glacier and ends on another plateau. Stunning views and easier terrain combine to make this a good route for those seeking a backpacking trip that is not too strenuous but doesn't skimp on views. Route finding is generally easy, with some rocky sections but mostly a lot of wide-open tundra. There is a nice variety of terrain on this route, especially for such a short trip. There is however a glacier crossing that should not be underestimated. Prior experience on glaciers is recommended. Caribou and bear may be seen along the route.

Click on a thumbnail to enlarge.
Alaska backpacking - Wrangell-St. Elias  National Park, Mt. Wrangell Plateau Alaska backpacking - Wrangell-St. Elias  National Park, Mt. Wrangell Plateau Alaska backpacking - Wrangell-St. Elias  National Park, Mt. Wrangell Plateau Alaska backpacking - Wrangell-St. Elias  National Park, Mt. Wrangell Plateau Alaska backpacking - Wrangell-St. Elias  National Park, Mt. Wrangell Plateau Alaska backpacking - Wrangell-St. Elias  National Park, Mt. Wrangell Plateau
Alaska backpacking - Wrangell-St. Elias  National Park, Mt. Wrangell Plateau Alaska backpacking - Wrangell-St. Elias  National Park, Mt. Wrangell Plateau Alaska backpacking - Wrangell-St. Elias  National Park, Mt. Wrangell Plateau Alaska backpacking - Wrangell-St. Elias  National Park, Mt. Wrangell Plateau Alaska backpacking - Wrangell-St. Elias  National Park, Mt. Wrangell Plateau Alaska backpacking - Wrangell-St. Elias  National Park, Mt. Wrangell Plateau
Alaska backpacking - Wrangell-St. Elias  National Park, Mt. Wrangell Plateau Alaska backpacking - Wrangell-St. Elias  National Park, Mt. Wrangell Plateau Alaska backpacking - Wrangell-St. Elias  National Park, Mt. Wrangell Plateau Alaska backpacking - Wrangell-St. Elias  National Park, Mt. Wrangell Plateau Alaska backpacking - Wrangell-St. Elias  National Park, Mt. Wrangell Plateau Alaska backpacking - Wrangell-St. Elias  National Park, Mt. Wrangell Plateau
Alaska backpacking - Wrangell-St. Elias  National Park, Mt. Wrangell Plateau Alaska backpacking - Wrangell-St. Elias  National Park, Mt. Wrangell Plateau        
FusionCharts

Even detailed route descriptions such as those found in the book are not a substitute for skills and experience. If you would like to do this route but don't feel that you are ready to tackle the Alaskan wilderness on your own, consider a guided trek.

If you are interested in doing this route or one like it as a guided trek, click here for more information on the guided hiking treks in Alaska's Wrangell St. Elias National Park.