Alaska Landscapes Photo Tour

Photograph Wrangell - St. Elias National Park's Skolai Pass.


  • A scenic drive through the Chugach Mountains
  • Classic views of the Wrangell Mountains
  • 2 Bush flights
  • 6 nights camped in Skolai Pass
  • Stunning 360˚ views
  • Snow-capped mountains
  • Endless glaciers
  • A range of wildlife
  • An afternoon at the historic mining town of Kennicott
  • Includes 2 nights accommodations in historic McCarthy

Visit and photograph Wrangell – St. Elias National Park with me.

The largest National Park in the US. Internationally protected World Heritage Site. Home to 9 of the 16 highest peaks in the US. Home of the largest subpolar icefield in the world. The largest collection of glaciers on the continent.

The premier mountain wilderness in North America.

On this trip we spend 6 nights in the backcountry photographing one of the most beautiful places in Alaska.

Skolai Pass

We’ll fly in to the backcountry at Skolai Pass, do a short hike to our campsite and then spend our time photographing the landscape. We’ll probably move camp once during this week to allow us more opportunities to shoot some of the scenery on the southern end of the Pass near Russell Glacier and the University Ranges. Two of these magnificent peaks stand over 15 000′ high.

Why Join This Tour?

This is truly one of the grandest destinations in Alaska, with fantastic opportunities for landscape and wildlife photography. We’ll have beautiful campsites, great hiking, and scenery without par. We offer this trip as a fully-outfitted and catered trip (all gear and food provided) or an available discount rate for those folks who will bring their own gear and food.

2017 Arrangement In 2017 we are running this trip a little differently. We’ll spending a few days in Skolai pass, flying to Wolverine, a few days there, and a few days down at Nizina Lake. Basecamps in each place, packrafts and glacier hiking and photography at Nizina, and all the landscape and wildlife opportunities we get at Wolverine. The dates are July 12 – 24. Contact me for price and availability.

Call or email us to start planning your backcountry photo tour.

Read what makes my photo tours so special.

Tour Outline

This trip starts in Anchorage and we depart early for the scenic drive to Wrangell – St. Elias National Park. Travelling along the northern edge of the Chugach Mountain Range and then south along the Copper River Valley we should have (weather permitting) great views of Mt Drum, Mt Wrangell, Mt Sanford and Mt Blackburn.

All are ice and snow-capped peaks that tower over their surroundings. We spend the first night in McCarthy before flying out the following morning in a small bush plane for the backcountry landing strip at Skolai Pass. A short hike takes us to our campsite on the tundra and then we’ll have lunch and head off for the afternoon for some photography.

Landscapes photo tours Alaska University range, Wrangell - St. Elias National Park.

Trip Logistics

We travel from Anchorage to McCarthy, overnight in McCarthy and then fly in to the backcountry.

A week in the Skolai Pass area and we fly back to McCarthy, show and eat, and then enjoy the afternoon relaxing in the slow-paced rustic town of McCarthy, or venture up to Kennicott and look at the historic copper mine Mill buildings and leftovers of this ghost town.

We spend the night in McCarthy, and travel back to Anchorage on the final day.

Testimonials

“Carl was a great guide on an outstanding 5 day backpacking trip in the Wrangell Mountains. He is very knowledgeable and really made the trip even more fun with his sense of humor. I look forward to a possible Arrigetch Peaks trip in the future.”

– Dan Lind, AZ – See review

“Amazing trip as someone who visited Alaska on a tour with my family 10+ years ago. I chose this trip because I wanted to hike into the wilds of Alaska and see what we saw and of course take pictures. This trip will not disappoint if that is your motive. Make sure you are fit if you are >40!”

– Alex, V, VA

“The Skolai Trip was more than a memorable experience. Hiking, backpacking, camping and photography out there are, compared to other offers, affordable and well organized. A great compliment to our guide Carl, in whom we found a companion for upcoming new adventures.”

– Andy Seeger, Germany

Skolai Pass at Sunset, Wrangell - St. Elias National Park.
Skolai Pass at Sunset.

Where Are We?

Trip FAQs

  • I’ve run this trip either way. Basecamp near the landing strip and only do day hikes, carrying camera gear, etc. Or we backpack to the far end of the valley (a day’s walk) and camp there, before returning to the landing strip area.

    That decision is made as a group decision though, and we’ll discuss that during the booking process and see what folks would like to do.

    Carl’s advice = move camp.

  • Skolai is never really buggy. A fall trip, late August/early September is likely to be completely bug-free.

    June/July might see some mosquitoes. Nothing terrible though

  • Camera gear is largely personal preference. Some folks bring the kitchen sink, some bring  very minimalistic setup.

    I wouldn’t bring a big super-tele, like a 500mm F4 or anything. Some of the new lighter f5.6 zooms would be nice to have though.

    Definitely your wider angle stuff and lightweight but sturdy tripod.

    Carl’s recommendation = less is more. Lighter is better.

  • It’s preferable. I’ve run the trip with folks who’ve never backpacked, and they did fine.  We can tailor it somewhat to match what you’re up for, but some experience is obviously going to ease your pain somewhat.

    It’s a remote wilderness, accessible only via bush plane, and you need to be comfortable camping in that kind of situation.

  • Typical Alaska backpacking gear. Conditions vary. See Alaska Backpacking FAQs.

  • That’s up to you? Most of the folks who join our trips have their own backcountry gear, such as tents, stoves, etc, so it works well for them to outfit themselves.

    If you’re a newbie, don’t have your own gear or don’t want to deal with bringing it all to Alaska, Expeditions Alaska can outfit and feed you. No worries.

  • Wildlife are usually present in the area, and photography of grizzly bears, red fox, Dall sheep and caribou also.

    An array of birds, including shorebirds like Wandering Tattlers and Semipalmated Plovers, as well as raptors like the golden eagle and peregrine falcon is sometimes possible.

    We do (usually) see bears but this is NOT a bear photo tour. Please see one of the other listings if photographing brown bears is your interest.

  • All multi-day trips (backpacking, basecamping, packrafting, photo tours) out of McCarthy include transport to/from Anchorage/McCarthy, 2 nights accommodations in McCarthy, air taxi flights McCarthy/The Backcountry, group gear such as cook tents, stoves, fuel, BRFCs, bear spray, etc. Hiking poles are included if you don’t have your own.

    We include a satellite phone for emergencies and one backup emergency contact device, such as PLB or Garmin InReach. First aid kits, map and compass included. All guides are Wilderness First Responder Certified.

    Storage of your overnight travel gear is limited but available (keep it small).

    Outfitting of equipment such as tents is available. Expeditions Alaska can either fully outfit your trip (all food, tents, etc) or adjust things a la carte if needed.

    Guide gratuities are not included but most appreciated. Trip insurance is not included but I urge you to purchase it on your own.

    For a full outline of What’s included/not included, please see this page

  • I know you do. As well you should.

    I recommend starting with the General Trip FAQ page

    More questions? Email me or call me  if you like.

    Upon your reservation I’ll send out a comprehensive trip information packet that covers just about everything and more you might imagine about your trip.

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