Wrangell - St. Elias National Park: Iceberg Lake Backpacking Trip
This backpacking trip is the consummate Alaskan adventure, impressive vistas at every turn and mile after mile of open, pristine wilderness. We fly in from McCarthy, Alaska, landing on the edge of Iceberg Lake, on southern range of Wrangell-St. Elias National Park. Our guides spend a few days exploring the area, discovering the geological wonders that have created this fascinating region. Watch as chunks of the glacier calve into the lake,the ice floes groaning and creaking as they shift and turn across the water.
Backpacking through some magnificent country, we cross the Tana Lobe of the Bremner Glacier, traversing rugged but remote passes, where we can encounter black bear, grizzlies, caribou, mountain goats, Dall sheep, and a host of other smaller birds and mammals. Cool clear alpine lakes, fresh rushing streams and snow capped peaks sparkle in the Alaskan sun.
Well-suited for the intermediate to experienced backpacker, our adventure involves some moderate to strenuous hiking, as well as bushwhacking through alder and willow, but rewards the hiker with a truly incredible experience. This is wild Alaska, and one of the least traversed hikes in the park, a trek through here is as primordial as it ever was. My experience here can help make this trip an adventure you'll remember for a lifetime.
Backpacking Trip Options
This trip has 3 options, all of which offer very different experiences. One trip option is a 10 day trip (8 in the backcountry, 2 days travel to and from McCarthy) from Iceberg Lake to a remote alpine valley near the Tana River. The most common route is a longer but slightly more strenuous option, heading west and backpacking to a landing strip near Bremner Mines (see the Bremner Mines Trip). A 3rd option is a basecamp and exploration of the immediate area around Iceberg Lake, which we offer as a 7 day trip (5 days in the backcountry). Contact Expeditions Alaska to discuss which option might be best for you and your group.
The route from Iceberg Lake to either Bremner Mines or Allie's Valley is an Alaskan gem; we cross 2 glaciers, which is always an adventure. On the glaciers we'll see moulins and crevasses, but take care to not get too close. It's quite a treat to experience ice like this.
The Seven Pass Route
The Iceberg Lake - Bremner route is commonly miscalled the Seven Pass Route; the hike actually crosses 3 passes. It's one of those local names that somehow stuck. Trust me, by the time you climb up over the final pass, you'll be glad it's only 3. if you hit 7 passes on this route, you headed the wrong way. It's quite a slog going up these mountains, but the views and feeling you get up there more than make up for the effort you put in.
It would be remiss of me to not mention the campsites along this route - superb! We camp in some of the prettiest spots in the park, if not Alaska. Alpine lakes, crystal clear mountain streams and magnificent mountain passes with stunning views all around make this trip a favorite.
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.
Where are we?
View Iceberg to Bremner in a larger map