The Wrangells: Our Backyard & Favorite Playground
Wrangell St Elias National Park is located in the Eastern region of South-central Alaska. The Chugach, Wrangell, and St. Elias mountain ranges converge here in what is often referred to as the “Mountain Kingdom of North America.” It is the largest national park in the United States, six times the size of Yellowstone. Wrangell St Elias encompasses over 20,000 square miles of mountain wilderness – that’s over 50,000 square kilometers, or 25% larger than Switzerland!
The Wrangell St. Elias National Park region has long been known for its favorable weather. Summers in the Park are often warm and sunny by Alaskan standards, with temperatures reaching 80+ degrees Fahrenheit (26C) in July and August. Rainfall is sparse at just 11 to 14 inches per year. The combination of ease of access (only a day’s drive east of Anchorage), incredible natural beauty and great summer weather make Wrangell-St. Elias a great destination for your Alaskan itinerary!
Selected Wrangell St Elias National Park Statistics
Nine of the 16 highest peaks in the United States. Four major mountain ranges: Wrangell, St. Elias, Chugach, and the eastern part of the Alaskan Range. Mt. St. Elias, at 18,008 feet (5,488m), is the second-highest peak in the United States. Mt. Wrangell, at 14,163 feet (4,316m), is one of the largest active volcanoes in North America.
Nabesna Glacier, at approximately 80 miles (128km), is the longest non-polar valley glacier.
Malaspina Glacier, larger than the state of Rhode Island, is the largest non-polar piedmont glacier in North America.
The Hubbard Glacier which is in the National Park is one of the largest and most active tidewater glaciers in North America.
In 1978, the United Nations recognized Wrangell-St. Elias National Monument in combination with its Yukon neighbor, Kluane National Park, as an international World Heritage site…the first bi-national designation. Glacier Bay National Park in Alaska and Tatshenshini-Alsek Provincial Park in British Columbia were added in 1993. Together, these four units include 24.3 million acres (almost 10 million hectares), one of the largest internationally protected ecosystems on the planet!
If you’d like to learn more about Wrangell St. Elias National Park, visit the park website.