How large will my group be? Small groups are the best way to witness the Last Frontier! This wilderness trip is limited to 8 guests. And with a guest to guide ratio of 4:1 you are assured of our commitment to risk management and safe operations. Furthermore, it is a best practice to keep groups exceptionally small to minimize our impact on the Alaskan backcountry by following Leave No Trace principles.
What about the mosquitoes? In case you've heard horror stories... the number of mosquitoes is greatly dependent on hatching season, annual weather conditions, specific locations, and time of year. While you are bound to encounter some mosquitoes during the course of your summer adventure, their numbers rarely present major problems. That said, please arrive prepared with insect repellent and a head net to fend off any bugs that are present.
Will bears be a problem? Alaska is bear country! There are both grizzly and black bears in most of the wilderness areas of Alaska we visit. We love seeing bears in the wild, and consider bear sightings one of the most thrilling privileges common in Alaska’s backcountry. That said, traveling safely and taking precautions to minimize a negative encounter are considerations we take very seriously. In addition to conducting a thorough pre-trip bear safety orientation, your guides also take many precautions on all of our trips including: 1) all of our food is packaged to minimize odors – we vacuum seal most of our fresh ingredients and sauces, we pack our food in bear resistant food canisters, and we store our food well away from camp. 2) We make noise when we’re hiking in thick brush or when we’re hiking in windy conditions to minimize surprise encounters. 3) We keep an exceptionally clean camp and 4) as a last resort guides travel armed carrying pepper spray.
Will I see wildlife on my trip? It's important to keep in mind that while we do have abundant wildlife populations in Alaska, animals are often obscured by the vastness of the landscape, subject to imprecise migration routes and often affected by Alaska's dynamic weather patterns. While historically wildlife viewing on our trips has been reliable, and we schedule our trips to maximize the chances of seeing wildlife, there are simply too many factors to make any guarantees.
What kind of food might we expect? Our food is excellent – in fact it is something that clearly differentiates us from our competition. We have spent the past fifteen years fine tuning our backcountry menu. And in 2012, we launched Adventure Appetites – an award winning food company focused on bringing our lightweight and packable wilderness cuisine to adventurers everywhere. Breakfasts include pancakes, scrambles, homemade granola and cereal, locally roasted gourmet coffee, assorted tea and cocoa. Lunches could include an Italian club torta sandwich, asiago bagels and Alaska lox, a curried tuna pita, or perhaps crackers with genoa salami with a roasted red pepper goat cheese spread. We also feature house made snack mixes (both savory & sweet), and an assortment of energy bars available throughout the day. Dinners could include pasta carbonara, Alaska reindeer rotini, chicken and chorizo enchiladas, penne pasta with a roasted red pepper pesto, and more. And we ALWAYS experience one of Adventure Appetites home baked desserts after dinner.
What will the weather be like on my trip? Alaska has some of the most dynamic and dramatic weather on the planet. During the summer months in Alaska, average daytime temperatures range from 60 to 80 degrees F, nighttime and morning temperatures are cooler, but rarely dip below 40 degrees F. Fall arrives early at these latitudes and you'll experience cooler temperatures and fewer hours of daylight in late August and early September. Throughout the summer season, you may experience rain, sun, wind, clouds and fog on your departure. We live by the adage "prepare for the worst, hope for the best, and you'll likely end up with some of both".
What will the camping be like on my trip? Alaska Alpine Adventures has camped in some of Alaska’s most remote and wild places; from the remote beaches of the Alaska Peninsula, the rugged glaciers of the Neacola Mountains, to the open tundra expanses of the Brooks Range, With literally thousands of nights camped in the Alaska wilderness in all seasons, we have refined camp craft to a science. Expedition quality tents, included trekking poles, group-size tarp shelters, and only the best cooking equipment accompany each and every one of our wilderness trips. Not only does including the finest equipment make camp life more comfortable, it also adds a level of safety to trips that could otherwise be relentlessly unforgiving to the unprepared. In other words, we take our camping very seriously! Don’t be surprised if you find yourself waiting out a storm under the group tarp, out of the weather, enjoying hot drinks, sumptuous meals and excellent company, while your guide fastidiously tensions all of the tent guy lines!
Wrangell-St. Elias National Park:
Why go to Wrangell-St. Elias National Park?
The list of superlatives is staggering. In addition to being America's largest national park (larger than Rhode Island and Vermont combined!), Wrangell-St. Elias is home to the continent’s largest assemblage of glaciers, the second highest peak in the US, and the greatest number of peaks above 16,000 feet.
The Alaska, Chugach and Wrangell-Saint Elias ranges converge in what is referred to as the "mountain kingdom of North America." This spectacular wilderness includes the continent's largest assemblage of glaciers, and the greatest collection of peaks above 16,000 feet, including Mount St. Elias (18,008'), the second highest peak in the United States, the largest non-polar icefield in the world and a boundary that, when combined with Kluane Tatshenshini/Alsek National Park in Canada and with Glacier Bay National Park, encompasses the world’s largest internationally protected area at 24 million acres and is recognized as a World Heritage Site.
Where is Wrangell-St. Elias National Park?
America's largest National Park (13 million acres) is located on the eastern edge of the state of Alaska, sharing its eastern boarder with Canada's Kluane National Park. Wrangell-St. Elias National Park lies approximately 200 air miles east of Anchorage, Alaska.
How do you get to Wrangell-St. Elias National Park?
Access to the Wrangell-St. Elias National Park and Preserve is by van, small aircraft or, in some instances, by boat.
Is transportation to Wrangell-St. Elias National Park included in the price of the trip?
Absolutely, our trips are all inclusive from Anchorage. All you need to do is get yourself to Anchorage by Day 1 of your itinerary.
Where will you meet us?
Your Alaska Alpine Adventures guide will meet you around 8 AM at your hotel or B&B on the morning of day one an orientation and gear check.
Who will I be flying with and what time will we be departing on day one?
Your guides will meet you at the B&B at 8AM. You'll drive with your guides in a comfortable 15-passenger van to Nebesna, Alaska, a drive that takes around 6 hours. From there, we'll be flying with K-Air into the North Wrangell's.
Is Wrangell-St. Elias National Park a good place for viewing wildlife?
Absolutely. Wrangell-St. Elias National Park is home to grizzly, coastal brown, and black bears, mountain goats, caribou, moose, wolves, wolverines, lynx and tremendous seasonal populations of migratory birds. The park also boasts one of the largest concentrations of Dall's sheep in North America.
Getting to Alaska
This trip originates in Anchorage, Alaska. Getting to Anchorage is a snap. Alaska Airlines, your travel agent, or the carrier of your choice can easily arrange roundtrip airfare from the lower 48.
Access to the North Wrangell's is limited to air travel in a small airplane flown by an experienced bush pilot. This adventure includes the bush flights between Nebesna, Alaska and a remote landing strip deep in the heart of the Wrangell-St. Elias wilderness. Have your camera at the ready, because your expedition really begins here! In all likelihood, this will be your first experience in a small aircraft, and a memorable one to be sure. The 30+ minute flight from Nebesna, the north Wrangell's gateway community on the edge of the Wrangell-St. Elias National Park, takes you through the northern portion of the Wrangell Mountains with towering peaks and tumbling glaciers right off the wing tips.
Lodging on nights one and eleven is included in your package. The group will be staying in Nabesna at the rustic Devil's Mountain Lodge, located at the end of the Nabesna road. The lodge, an inholding located within Wrangell-St. Elias National preserve, is owned and operated by the Ellis', whose family homesteaded the land over 50 years ago. Prices are double occupancy. If you prefer your own room on night one you will be asked to pay a single supplement of $150. The remaining nights will be spent camping in the wilderness!
- All group gear: Expedition quality tents, group tarp, all cooking equipment & eating utensils
- Safety Equipment: Satellite phone, maps, GPS, and medical kit
- Trekking poles
- Roundtrip van transportation from Anchorage to Nabesna
- Roundtrip air transportation from Nabesna to the wilderness
- Lodging on nights one and eleven at the rustic Devil’s Mountain Lodge
- Professional guide service at a maximum 4:1 client to guide ratio
- All meals from lunch on day one through lunch on the final day of the itinerary
- Storage for your extra travel items while in the field
- Lodging in Anchorage prior to and after your adventure
- Personal gear (sleeping bags, packs, rain gear, etc.) - See Equipment Lists and available rental items
- Trip cancellation insurance
- Additional lodge nights in Nabesna due to weather delays
- Alcoholic beverages
- Guide gratuities
Reservation & Cancellation Policy
A deposit of $1000.00 per person is required to reserve a trip with Alaska Alpine Adventures. The remaining balance is due 60 days prior to the start of the trip. Reservations made within 60 days of the trip starting date require payment in full.
If the participant cancels a reservation earlier than 60 days prior to the starting date, the deposit will be refunded, minus a $100.00 administration fee. If the participant cancels within 59-31 days of the starting date, 50% of the trip balance will be refunded. If cancellation is made within 30-0 days of the trip starting date, there will be no refund of any costs. Alaska Alpine Adventures recommends cancellation insurance available through Travel Guard. Please call or email us for details.
Trip Cancellations or Delays
Alaska Alpine Adventures reserves the right to cancel or change the itinerary of a trip. In the event that Alaska Alpine Adventures cancels your trip and you are unable to participate, the total balance will be refunded. Occasionally, weather or other factors may cause delays or make completing a trip impossible. In these circumstances, there will be no refund of fees. Furthermore, Alaska Alpine Adventures is not responsible for any other costs, (e.g. airline flight changes, additional hotel nights, etc.) associated with trip delays or itinerary changes due to weather or other factors.
In order to assure any Alaska Alpine Adventures departure, a minimum number of participants must sign up. Our Exploring the North Wrangells trip requires a minimum of 3 guests to guarantee departure. However we will operate our adventures at below the minimum required for a modest surcharge. Please see our Reservations Page for more information regarding trip minimums.