Wrangell St. Elias National Park
Backpacking Trip: Tumble Creek
Distance: 26-30 miles
Approx. hiking time: 4-5 days
Total elevation gain: +6378, -9166
Best season: Late June - early September
Access: Bush flight - Nabesn to Jacksina Creek
Maps: USGS Nabesna A-5, A-6
Challenges: Stream crossings
Stunning, in-your-face scenery highlights this 4 to 5 day Alaska backpacking trip. Up close views of ice encrusted Mt. Jarvis and its neighbors provide jaw-dropping vistas. A wide open route that makes it a good choice for less experienced trekkers.
The airstrips on this route are all super-cub only strips and that makes the air taxi cost a bit higher than for some other trips. But if you are interested in a backpacking trip in the north part of the park then this is one to seriously consider.
Part of what makes it a top trip is that you get to see some amazing mountains like Jarvis but the backpacking terrain is all pretty moderate, though you have lots of options and can make it as tough or easy as you want. The country is really open so route finding is not a problem as long as you have reasonably good map skills. A top choice for a self-guided backpacking trip through fantastic country.
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 as part of a guided trek, click here for more information on the Tumble Creek route in Alaska's Wrangell St. Elias National Park.