The Best Backpacking in Alaska is in the Wrangells

With 13.2 million acres of National Park land to explore, Wrangell-St. Elias NP has nearly endless possibilities for epic backpacking routes. Remote, wild, and undeveloped, the Wrangells wilderness is the ultimate backcountry playground with the best backpacking in Alaska. For the backpacker who is looking to get off the beaten path and, in fact, leave all paths and trails behind, an epic experience of some of the most unique terrain in the US awaits!

backpackers hiking past lake of icebergs

Navigating a trailless wilderness offers a level of engagement and adventure that surpasses simply following a marked path. It’s about forging your own route, connecting with nature in its rawest form, and discovering hidden gems along the way.

To get to the coolest places you’ll need to push your comfort zone and overcome challenges together as a group. From micro to macro, every inch of this landscape presents a moment of awe, a challenge to face, a curiosity to explore, forcing you to be present and creating memories to last.

Imagine waking up to the surreal beauty of a glacier beneath your tent, its icy expanse stretching as far as the eye can see. Basecamp Hiking and Backpacking trips provide the opportunity to explore and even camp on these magnificent natural wonders, providing a perspective on the landscape that few ever experience.

Valley glaciers of bright white ice are like “highways” in the backcountry connecting high passes with tundra meadows. Bright blue pools, sharp white fins, and deep crevasses crack their surface and make for a stunning trek through an other-worldly environment.

happy camper smiling in a tent at the edge of a glacier in alaska

Accessing remote areas of the wilderness is made possible through bush planes, offering not just transportation but a stunning aerial tour of an otherwise inaccessible landscape. It’s a thrilling prelude to the adventure that awaits and a chance to behold the vastness of Wrangell – St. Elias National Park from above.

Not to mention, you’re getting even farther away from everyone else. Nothing makes you feel more “out there” than when that bush plane drops you off and you look around, realizing you’re the only ones out here for so many miles around!

Yellow bush plane taking off in front of a mountain

Unlike on the crowded trails of Denali National Park, you aren’t likely to see another soul for the entirety of your backcountry trip…well, a human soul, that is!

Our meticulously curated routes and destinations showcase the most breathtaking areas of WSENP, ensuring that every step of your journey is met with awe-inspiring vistas and unforgettable moments. Some routes get run once or twice a season, and some none at all. This means that you could be one of only about 15 people to visit any particular area if any have been there at all this season. Check out our Backpacking Page for more information on the best backpacking in Alaska!

Over the last 40 years of guiding trips out here, we’ve chosen what we believe to be the absolute best routes in the Park, but we know there’s more out there! We’re always excited to come up with a custom itinerary, trek into the unknown, and see what’s on the other side of the horizon with you! Schedule a call with our Expedition Coordinator to talk backpacking and plan a trip of a lifetime to the Wrangells!


updated 03/2024


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