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Wrangell-St. Elias National Park

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Wrangell-St. Elias National Park and Preserve abuts Canada's Kluane National Park just across the border in Yukon Territory. Together with the southern neighbors, Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve and the Alsek-Tatshenshini Provincial Park in British Columbia, this 24-million-acre wilderness has been designated a World Heritage Site. It Is the largest internationally protected area in the world. This is North America's mountain kingdom. Here the Wrangell, St. Elias, and Chugach mountain ranges converge. The park and preserve contain the North American continent's largest assemblage of glaciers and its greatest collection of peaks over 16,000 feet in elevation. One glacier, the Malaspina, is larger than the State of Rhode Island. Mount St. Elias, at 18,008 feet, is the second highest peak in the United States.

The area abounds in opportunities for wilderness backpacking, lake fishing, car camping, river running, cross-country skiing, and mountain climbing. In both stature and numbers, Dall sheep populations of the Wrangells are considered the world's finest.

Access

Park headquarters in Copper Center is 210 miles east of Anchorage by road. Two primitive roads enter the park. Under normal summer conditions most 2-wheel drive vehicles can make the 59-mile trip from Chitina to McCarthy and the first 29 miles of the Slana-to-Nabesna Road. By arrangement, charter air taxis will provide access from Gulkana, McCarthy, Valdez, Cordova, or Yakutat to more than 200 bush airstrips throughout the park and preserve. Commercial airlines fly daily to Cordova and Yakutat. Commercial buses provide access from the Alaska State ferries in Haines and Valdez.

Approximate Size

13 million acres.


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