Exploring the North Wrangells
Wrangell-St. Elias National Park

Exploring the North Wrangells - Wrangell-St. Elias National Park

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 exciting bush flights and absolute Alaska solitude, and you have the markings of a true backpacking adventure of a lifetime.

*While Alaska Alpine Adventures endeavors to follow our itineraries as written, odds are in fact slim that you actually will during the camping portion of this trip.  The expeditionary factors at play quite often compel our guides to deviate from the written itinerary.  Guide considerations could include weather conditions, group preference, individual ability, specific safety considerations, or unforeseeable circumstances; collectively what many have called “The Alaska Factor.”  Flight times into and out of the wilderness may also vary based on any number of similar factors. Therefore we strongly suggest that you approach any adventure in Alaska with an open mind.

Available Dates

= Guaranteed trip
= Has bookings
= Opportunity

Book this trip and save! As the first person to sign-up for this date, you'll save 5% off the trip price* when the trip minimum is met.

*Limit of one per date. Not combinable with any other discounts.

This date is guaranteed! The minimum number of participants have already signed up for this adventure.

Some people have already signed up for this date! Although not enough to meet the minimum requirements to guarantee the date, it is likely it will go. Your booking may even be the one that kicks it over to guaranteed!

Trip Details

DURATION 12 days
LENGTH 70+ miles
INTENSITY Level 3
SEASON Summer
BEGINS IN Anchorage
ENDS IN Anchorage
AIRPORT Anchorage International Airport (ANC)
WILDLIFE/
SCENERY
bears, sheep, wolves, caribou, moose
Price$4,195
Youth Price$4,195
Great ForExplorers Couples Individuals

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.

What's Included

  • 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 Devils 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
Day
1

Today your guide(s) will pick-you up in Anchorage by 8:15am.  You’ll head to our Anchorage shop for a group orientation, before loading into our 15-passenger vans for the six-hour drive to Nabesna, the gateway community to the northern portion 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 dinner at the lodge, pour over maps, 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 the upper reaches of Tumble Creek.  After everyone has enjoyed the ride in the cub, the skilled bush 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.  Distance: 5 miles, Elevation Gain: 1500'

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 enjoy 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,  move up 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 and amazing day hike where we’ll cross an unnamed glacier (no ropes or glacier skills necessary) and ascend onto a large mesa beneath Mt. Jarvis.  Scouting the tundra for caribou and sheep, we’ll stop for lunch overlooking the Jacksina Glacier and the mighty north face of Jarvis.  By day 5, we’ll be headed north and onto the second stage of our circuit.  All meals included. Average Daily Distance: 8-10 miles, Average Daily Elevation Gain: 2000'-4000'

Days
6-10

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 10, we’ll be camped along a small creek near a gravel airstrip.  All meals included.  Average Daily Distance: 8-10 miles, Average Daily Elevation Gain: 2000'-4000'

Day
11

After a celebratory breakfast in the wilderness, our pilot will begin the process of flying us out of the wilderness one to two at a time.  By early afternoon, we'll again be relaxing at the Devil's Mountain Lodge where we'll enjoy hot showers and a celebratory dinner in the lodge dining room. All meals included.

Day
12 

After breakfast at the lodge, we'll pack up and by 10am 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 9pm.  Better still,  you can opt to stay in Anchorage overnight. Breakfast & lunch included.

*While Alaska Alpine Adventures endeavors to follow our itineraries as written, odds are in fact slim that you actually will during the camping portion of this trip.  The expeditionary factors at play quite often compel our guides to deviate from the written itinerary.  Guide considerations could include weather conditions, group preference, individual ability, specific safety considerations, or unforeseeable circumstances; collectively what many have called “The Alaska Factor.”  Flight times into and out of the wilderness may also vary based on any number of similar factors. Therefore we strongly suggest that you approach any adventure in Alaska with an open mind.

Got Questions?

We thought you might. We've prepared some answers to our most commomly asked questions about this trip.

What To Pack?

Download this helpful list of suggestions and recommendations for gear for this trip.

Logistics

Get detailed information about how to get here, reservation policies, trip insurance and more.

This was a great trip, it truly exceeded my expectations.

Augie Spagnola
Need more details? Download a detailed itinerary of this trip

Trip Gallery

Need more details? Download a detailed itinerary of this trip

Tales from the Tundra

See more tales from the tundra

Gear Rental

Travelling to Alaska, but short a few items on your gear list? We offer a few of the "must have" items for rent at reasonable prices.

The Best Food

Our healthy, flavorful, filling, and nutritious Gourmet Backcountry Cuisine has won multiple awards!

Find Your Level

Are you ready for one of our amazing trips? Choose the adventure that is right for your activity level.

Get social with us!