|from $3,450* per person||12 Days||May-September
Exertion level: 5
|Operator: Alaska Alpine Adventures
8 people max
Are you looking to test your off-trail backpacking skills in America’s largest national park? This rarely seen area of Wrangell-St. Elias National Park is arguably Alaska’s most dramatic wilderness and offers one of the few places on earth where you can hike on dry tundra directly beneath a vertical and heavily glaciated north face over 7000’ tall.
Shaped by volcanoes and scoured by ice ages, the north Wrangells give experienced backpackers the rare opportunity to feel like a mountaineer and travel like an explorer. Our 50-mile route will take you across glaciers, swift creeks, high mountain passes, and wide-open tundra. Combine all of this with some of the most reliable weather in Alaska, and you have the makings of a true backpacking adventure of a lifetime.
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North, Alaska, United States
0 testimonials about this trip.
Reviewer: Caroline Seaman
"The scenery and routes were gorgeous – we loved the area. Food was
fantastic and far exceeded our expectations. Guides were extremely
knowledgeable and fun to travel with.”"
Reviewer: Augie Spagnola
"This was a great trip, it truly exceeded my expectations."
Reviewer: John Wargo
“As a seasoned backpacker worldwide, I would rate this trip as a once in a lifetime experience! I’ve never had better food in the field. Great weather, spectacular scenery. Overall – outstanding!”
Day 1: Today we’ll meet in Anchorage at 9am. We’ll load into our 15-passenger van and begin the six-hour drive to Nabesna, the gateway community to the northern section of Wrangell-St. Elias National Park. Our route will take us north from Anchorage, traveling through the majestic Chugach and Talkeetna mountain ranges. After a picnic lunch at the Matanuska Glacier, we’ll continue east on the scenic Glenn Highway toward Wrangell-St. Elias National Park. By late afternoon, we’ll arrive in Nabesna and will check into the Ellis family lodge at Devils Mountain. After settling into our accommodations, we’ll enjoy a fantastic dinner and discuss the days ahead. Lunch & Dinner included.
Day 2: After an early breakfast, we’ll load packs and prepare for our early morning Piper Super Cub flight into the park. As you and your pilot lift off of the gravel runway, the grand scale of this wonderful wilderness will be immediately apparent. The stunning vastness of nearly 13-million acres is overwhelming, and you’ll immediately understand Alaska’s sense of scale as the small plane drifts over the landscape. After half an hour, you will begin the descent toward a tundra ridge above Tumble Creek. After everyone has enjoyed the ride in the cub, our skilled pilot will bid us farewell and disappear into the landscape. We’ll then shoulder our packs and begin hiking toward the headwaters of Tumble Creek, all along trying to digest the majesty of the surrounding peaks that tower well over 13000’! We’ll camp tonight along the Tumble Creek. All meals included.
Days 3-5: For the next three days, we’ll make our way south toward the expansive north face of Mt. Jarvis. The size and scope of Mt. Jarvis is really beyond description and can best be described as incomprehensible. From the verdant tundra mesas to the twin summits, you’ll have the rare opportunity to witness seven thousand feet of vertical relief and what is literally one of the most majestic vistas in North America. We’ll cross Tumble Creek on the morning of Day 3 and will move along a stunning tundra ridge toward Jarvis and will set up camp next to a small lake beneath a hanging glacier. Day 4 will be spent on a long day and amazing day hike where we’ll cross an unnamed glacier (no ropes or glacier skills necessary) and ascend onto a large mesa beneath Jarvis. Scouting the tundra for caribou and sheep, we’ll stop for lunch overlooking the Jacksina Glacier and the mighty north face of Mt. Jarvis. By day 5, we’ll be headed north and onto the second stage of our circuit. All meals included.
Days 6-11: The character of the country will change as we begin stage two of our journey and head north toward Tanada Peak. Broad singular vistas will be replaced by tight steep valleys and new views around every corner. We’ll hop glacier creeks, ascend steep and exposed sheep trails, and cross a 7000’ pass along the way. While the weather and the terrain will dictate the exact location of each night’s camp, we will have plenty of time to truly explore this amazing and diverse landscape. By the end of Day 11, we’ll be camped along a small creek near the airstrip. All meals included.
Day 12: After our final breakfast in the wilderness our pilot will begin the process of flying us out of the wilderness one at a time. By 2pm we’ll be headed back to Anchorage where we’ll conclude our journey and bid one another farewell. If you are leaving Alaska on this day, please schedule your homebound flights for after 10pm, or you can opt to stay in Anchorage overnight. Breakfast & Lunch included.
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