Explore the most popular trails in Wrangell-St. Elias Preserve & Wilderness with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

hiking

views

bird watching

dogs on leash

forest

nature trips

wildlife

At 13.2 million acres which is bigger than the country of Switzerland, Wrangell-St. Elias stretches from one of the tallest peaks in North America, Mount St. Elias (18,008) to the ocean. Yet within this wild landscape, people have been living off the land for centuries and still do today. The park is a rugged yet inviting place to experience your own adventure.

hiking
9 days ago

Loved this trail! Beautiful hike- tough but rewarding. A word of caution; the shuttle service from McCarthy to Kennecott no longer allows dogs. The only way to the trail head is via a 5 mile flat road from McCarthy. You can hope to catch a ride from one of the few locals hitch hiking but the road is generally used by the shuttle service/hotel shuttles who won’t pick you up with a dog. Just something to keep in mind and add to your day if you plan on doing this hike and don’t hitch a ride!

hiking
14 days ago

incredible trail. it starts off a little buggy through bear lands then opens up to a creek bed. the creek bed can be very annoying. brig sticks. keep going past the end for breath taking views.

Beautiful clear day, great hiking out on the glacier, amazing views of Blackburn. Lots of interesting features (moulins, blue pools, etc)

hiking
17 days ago

it's a long and moderate hike. At a few point it's hard but not much. it's has scenic view of the valley, you can see the McCarthy footbridge and McCarthy road, that means the valley. it's has a nice elevation gain so you will find it rewarding too.

this hike has awesome views and you can actually walk on the glacier upto a mile in your hiking /trail running shoes without having any crampons. it's an easy hike

hiking
no shade
rocky
scramble
washed out
18 days ago

Strenuous towards the end with loose rock/ boulders and some washed out areas of trail. Worth it once the mine is reached. Amazing hike !!

Beautiful easy hike!! Able to hike all over the Glacier just be careful. Crampons a necessity. Went up the trail to Erie mine .

hiking
1 month ago

The trail was really nice but somewhat repetitive until you get towards the top where you can get a great view of all the surrounding mountains and glacier off in the distance. It was berry season when I went so there was a brown bear 3 miles up. Bring bear spray, make a lot of noise.

hiking
bugs
rocky
scramble
1 month ago

Pretty decent incline basically the whole way, narrow gravel-ish path to follow through overgrown trees. Not too impressive on anything to see for the first few miles, we passed by something dead smelling up the area—there are bears around & had to get passed one heading up that way. Once you get above tree line it’s all worth it!!! The view is IMPRESSIVE. Keep going, it just gets better. Once you’re up past tree line trail turns more to a goat trail & you skirt along the ridge line. Remains from mines are all still up there. Heading up past all that is mostly rock scree so watch your footing in the shale, it gets slick! You def want to take a lot of water w/ you & some fire wood. And start out early bc it gets pretty chilly once you’re up in the rock scree. Lots of copper covering the top of mountain over ridge line. Worth the hike, trust me!

It was a really nice trail, I would have given it 5 stars. But there was bear poop as well as plenty of berries throughout the whole trail. The chances of you running into a bear are slim, but it’s a scary thought.

hiking
off trail
rocky
1 month ago

Recoreded the trail for the ice cave down from the Jumbo creek. Bring hiking poles and waterproof jacket. Get there as soon as you can in the morning: When the sun is up the ice stats to collapse and more rocks start to fall from above, not huge rocks but still dangerous. Great blue ice view, deffenitly enitly worth it! Good spot to make morning tea/coffe

hiking
1 month ago

A pain in the ass for me. Walking 3 hours to see old ruined mines. You can see those in Kennicott. Bring at least 2L of water becuase you will be able to fill your water bag at Jambo creek after 3 hours of walking. The view is cool but does't worth the elevition. For my opinion, If you want to see a good view on the glacier go to easier root. Damm wouldn't suggest this to anyone. Bring hiking poles and a jacket aswell. You will feel you legs for sure

There are mixed reviews on here- I have the answers for you! This trail takes you along the side of the glacier (about 600 ft above the glacier). It’s a gentle trail (id rate it as easy). Hiked it 7/21/2019 saw so much fresh bear scat! Reports of a grizzly and some black bears but we didn’t run into any. On a clear day this trail is awesome for a slightly closer view of the ice falls. An alternative (and I think better view of the glacier) is to take a left at the sign that says glacier access about 2.5 miles into the trail. It’s a steep, rocky, but well marked trail down to the glacier. We maneuvered without spikes (experienced hikers) but it really wasn’t too slippery on the ice. I had my dog out there and we weren’t too worried about crevasses in that area. Plenty of tours and hikers out there. Bring a jacket. The katabatic wind makes it a little chilly. Getting on the glacier is a must do!

First off, you should absolutely bring bear spray on this trail and preferably do it with a group. After the glacier-access fork the trail is not traveled by many people and is lined soapberries, which are favorites of the local bears. We continuously stepped around relatively fresh berry-filled bear scat, and eventually had a bear saunter by us 100 yards away near the end. Another group said they encountered a bear on the trail itself that blocked them from getting around for a while as it ambled along grazing on berries. So brush up on your bear encounter practices and be sure to make noise while hiking the later parts of the trail. Also, to be clear, if you want to get on the glacier itself you should take the glacier-access fork about 1.7 miles in. This trail will lead you along the side of the glacier towards the icefall itself. You can also access the Erie Mine from this trail if that's what you're after. That said, this is a relatively easy, straightforward hike with an awesome payoff at the end if you make it all the way to the end. The trail itself is mostly flat, with a few minor up and downs. You'll be along the ridge above the Root Glacier most of the way, and so you'll get some awesome views of the glacier itself and surrounding landscape as you go along. About 3.3 miles in you'll come to the end of the trail as AllTrails marks it, however this is far from the end of the trail itself. You can see the Stairway Icefall in the distance, but its mostly blocked by mountain ridges. After about 5 miles total you'll get around all of the ridges and have a perfect view of the entire icefall, which is really quite awesome. We ended up stopping right around where you'd start up to the Erie Mine, specifically where the ruins of its tram cables are. This was a perfect spot for lunch and to turn around. You could probably go further, but the trail seemed even less traveled beyond there and I don't think the view could get much better. The only thing to note about the trail is towards the end, maybe the last half mile, you'll end up on some pretty thin knifes-edge paths that lead down several hundred feet to the glacier on one side or brush on the other. The paths were maybe a couple balance-beams in thickness in some parts, with not much to hang on to. I never felt unsafe on it (except during the poorly timed bear encounter) but I could see someone with balance problems or height fears having issues in this part. You could scramble up unmarked trails to the Erie Mine at this point, but we turned around. The icefall view made it completely worth the trip, and the hike back was just as cool looking out over the glacier. Can't recommend this enough.

hiking
no shade
2 months ago

This is an awesome but tough hike. You will feel it in your legs by the end. But the natural and man-made sights are wroth the effort. As mentioned in other reviews, if you have access to a 4 wheeler you can drive up about 3.5 miles of the trail before you'll have to park and walk the rest. The trailhead as defined on AllTrails is not really marked with a sign, but its pretty obvious where to start walking near the main mining building and pretty soon you'll see some signs. The first half winds up along the hillside giving you great views over the Root and Kennecott glaciers. There's a lot of brush around during this part, and while the mosquitos were not bad at this time (due to the dry summer Alaska has been having) I can see them being a nuisance at other times, so definitely bring your preferred bug spray. About 2.5 miles in you'll come to a large bald spot on the hill that gives a great overlook of the glaciers and surrounding ranges. This is a great spot for lunch or to turn around if you're not feeling up the rest of the hike. After another mile the vegetation will start thinning and the path will get thinner, steeper and rockier. It's a bit of a slog towards the end, but at least you can see your goal in the distance. There are a few different routes you can take towards the end, one is shorter but steeper and involves some scrambling, the other a longer switchback (my preferred route). The entire hike is pretty exposed but this part is especially so. You can and will get sunburned without realizing it, so bring sunscreen if you burn easily. At the end you'll come to the dilapidated remains of the Bonanza Mine, which are fun to (carefully) explore. The landscape around is beautiful in its starkness. You can easily find various rocks containing pretty green and blue variations of copper. From here you can continue climbing up to the top of the ridge to get a view over towards the glaciers again, or even potentially continue scrambling up the peaks to see over the other side. There's a lot of exploring to be done if you've got the energy, just be cautious around old buildings and mine entrances. Overall this was a tough hike with an incredibly awesome result that was well worth the effort.

The trail on here isn’t accurate, you want to take the path that has a sign for “glacier access” and go out onto the glacier.

hiking
2 months ago

Super awesome and beautiful trail. Carins were easier to see than I thought they would be, it's pretty well marked. There were a lot of bigger rocks at stream crossing, it's a "choose your own adventure" type of trail. Amazing views, I would totally do this trail again next time I am in the area. The trail was easier than I thought it would be. Moderate only because of all the rocks and stream crossings, I could see those being really sketchy after a good rain. Luckily we were there in the middle of the heatwave.

hiking
2 months ago

probably one of our favorite hikes in Alaska as a local. 2 water sources 2/3 up the hike, confirmed running in July. careful though plan to bring some water for the first part to be safe.

Our first hike on a glacier. Beautiful hike to the glacier and hiked on the glacier with Kennicott Wilderness Guides. They provided crampons and gloves and hats if needed. Our guide was amazing on the glacier! Saw some awesome blue glacial pools. Hike back to Kennicott was just as rewarding.

It was a really nice and easy walk from the mine. Moderately trafficked and well kept.

hiking
bugs
no shade
rocky
2 months ago

This was SUCH a great hike! We did it on a day there was no wind, record temps (for us!

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