Guidebook

Hike the USA's Largest National Park: Wrangell–St. Elias

Choose from 5 fantastic day hikes to get a glimpse of the largest national park in the USA.

Greg Heil

Description

Wrangell-St. Elias National Park and Preserve reigns as the largest national park in the USA, protecting over 13.2 million acres of land. The park “[extends] from the ocean to the top of Mount Saint Elias—an area larger than the country of Switzerland,” according to OutdoorProject.com. “Almost the entirety of the Wrangell Mountain Range is situated within [the park],” they continue.

To help put this massive scale in perspective, Wrangell-St. Elias is the size of six Yellowstones, "with peaks upon peaks and glaciers after glaciers," according to the NPS. "Follow any braided river or stream to its source and you will find either a receding, advancing, or tidewater glacier. The park lets you sample representative Alaska wildlife as well as historic mining sites," they continue.

Since Wrangell-St. Elias is so absurdly massive, there's no way you'll be able to see it all, unless you embark on a multi-week expedition and attempt a full backcountry crossing of the park. If you're not quite up for an adventure of that scale, here are five excellent day hikes to help you get a taste of the beauty found in this rugged Alaskan wilderness!

Sources:
NPS.gov
OutdoorProject.com

Root Glacier Trail
The best Routes on FATMAP, hand-picked by FATMAP’s Editorial team.

Root Glacier Trail

4 - 5 hrs
15.3 km
625 m
625 m
One of Alaska's most incredible easy-to-access hikes!
Moderate
Private
Bonanza Mine Trail
The best Routes on FATMAP, hand-picked by FATMAP’s Editorial team.

Bonanza Mine Trail

5 - 6 hrs
13.4 km
1,221 m
1,221 m
Climb to a historic mine located thousands of vertical feet above the town of Kennecott.
Difficult
Private
Caribou Creek Trail
The best Routes on FATMAP, hand-picked by FATMAP’s Editorial team.

Caribou Creek Trail

3 - 4 hrs
11.4 km
364 m
364 m
Hike to a beautiful backcountry cabin in the Alaskan Wilderness.
Difficult
Private
Skookum Volcano
The best Routes on FATMAP, hand-picked by FATMAP’s Editorial team.

Skookum Volcano

3 - 4 hrs
8.2 km
651 m
651 m
Stunning hike to a gorgeous mountain pass.
Severe
Private
West Kennecott Glacier Trail

West Kennecott Glacier Trail

1 - 2 hrs
3.4 km
153 m
153 m
A mellow hike leading to beautiful glacier views!
Easy
Private