Wrangell - St. Elias National Park: The Jarvis Plateau
The Jarvis Plateau and Tumble Creek area is a great place to explore some high alpine terrain in Wrangell - St. Elias National Park. With simply incredible views of Mt. Jarvis, this trip is really a great hike. With almost no other visitors in the entire summer, this trip is one of those all too rare opportunities to walk where few have trodden.
- - 6 nights in the backcountry
- - Unparallelled mountain views
- - Very rarely hiked landscape
- - 2 nights accommodations
- - Easy, open terrain
- - Additional packrafting option
- - Relaxed, easy itinerary
- - Transport provided Anchorage - Wrangell St. Elias National Park.
* * * * * * *
This is another great Wrangell - St. Elias National Park and Preserve backpacking trip. We fly in to a landing strip near Mt Jarvis, an awesome 13 000' high peak with an incredible sheer vertical wall. We land just north of the mountain, within a few miles of the face. Weather permitting we should have some incredible views of this peak.
The plan is to hike around the Tumble Creek drainage, through Jacksina Creek and also explore the Jaeger Mesa. This trip includes a few small stream crossings, so be prepared. Wildlife in the area include Dall sheep and caribou, and grizzly bears are always possible. Smaller critters like Arctic ground squirrel, red fox, etc, might be spotted.
This trip, like so many others, offers an endless array of options, to make the trip as short and easy or long and adventurous as you'd like. It's possible to do a longer 8-10 day hike, and link this up with the Tanada Peaks to the north, or Mt Gordon and the Jaeger Mesa to the south. The longer the hike, the more hurdles like bigger river crossings are encountered; making them more suitable for stronger, more experienced hikers.
Rarely do hikers get up quite so close and personal with a really big mountain as you will with Mt. Jarvis on this trip. The eastern face of the mountain is simply magnificent, stunning ice and snowfalls unceasingly crevassing and glaciating the mountain wall. It's an incredibly dynamic face, and not often people get to so vividly experience the living a mountain. Very few people venture up here, and it's incredibly rare to see even sign of other hikers.
We don't do any "mountain climbing" here at all though, we're not on crampons and ice axes. It's easy hiking, walking over open tundra and rolling broad plains of the plateau. We'll make our way eastward toward a junction with the Jacksina River, where we'll walk the riverbed and explore a little more of the lightly forested country there.
Note: this trip is on the north side of Wrangell - St. Elias National Park, and we fly out of Nabesna, not McCarthy. It's drastically different terrain and region to the southern and central part of the park, making it a great option for folks who've done of the other great hikes in Wrangell - St. Elias National Park. See the sample itinerary linked below for more details.
We travel from Anchorage to Nabesna, overnight in Nabesna and then fly in to the backcountry. One week up on the Plateau area, then an easy hike down to a landing strip for the pickup. We then fly back to McCarthy, show and eat, and then enjoy the afternoon relaxing, or take a day hike on one of the trails in the area. We spend the night in Nabesna, and travel back to Anchorage on the final day. If conditions are good, we might leave early to catch dawn alpenglow on mt. Sanford - always a treat!