Backpacking Trip at a Glance

 

Backpacking Trip Highlights Bears, sheep, mountain goats, wildlife, views and alpine campsites.

 

Trip Options Available as basecamp & dayhike, or backpacking trip.

 

Level Mild - moderate; 15 mile loop

 

How much further? approx 15-20 miles

 

Elevation 3500-6600'

 

Duration 4 - 7days*

 

2014 Dates July - Sep

 

Price $1695.00

 

Similar Trips Skolai Pass, Sanford Plateau

 

More info/booking


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"... a truly stunning and pristine region. Carl and Expeditions Alaska were a perfect fit for our desires and abilities." - Ben Fisher, Chicago, Illinois.

 

 

 

All Trip Prices

 

* a flexible route that might be anywhere from 4-7 days hiking. Plus travel days to/from McCarthy. See logistics below

 

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Watch a slideshow for this backpacking trip

Campsite on a ridge above Chitistone Valley, Wrangell - St. Elias National Park, Alaska

"Wolverine was truly a beautiful place. I get a lot of milage out of telling stories about the adventures we had - they tend to conjure both awe and skepticism simultaneously. I wanted to thank you for a truly memorable experience, one that has a greater impression on me now than when I first returned.  I marvel at how much I learned about the wilderness - setting up a tent for the wind, food rationing, distinguishing mountain goats from sheep, etc. Thank you." - Ken Fang, San Fransisco, California. View more testimonials --->

Wrangell - St. Elias National Park: Wolverine Backpacking Trip

Wrangell-St. Elias National Park and Preserve is a magical place, and perhaps no place more so than the ridges high above the Chitistone Valley known as "Wolverine". This trip is simply incredible. We guide a variety of backpacking trips here, from basecamping and exploring the high ridges, photographing the jaw-dropping scenery, the abundant wildlife, looking for the many fossils and other geologic wonders of the area and hiking the open tundra.

 

Wrangell - St. Elias National Park and Preserve is known for its amazing mountains, and few, if any, places in the park offer better views and a more complete backpacking experience with those mountains than Wolverine Ridge. The University Range sits literally across the river to the south, soaring up above the Chitistone River. The Wrangell Mountains, led by the magnificent 16 000' Mt Blackburn are over the ridge to the north, across the Nizina.

 

We also run guided trips backpacking around the butte, detouring to some of the side valleys to get a feel for this landscape. A third option is to combine this trip with the Chitistone Valley trip, backpacking from Skolai Pass, up over Chitistone Valley, down the infamous "Goat Trail" and up on to Wolverine Ridge. A 4th option would involve backpacking down Doubtful Creek, to the landing strip by the Nizina River.

 

The hiking here is a mix of easy walking and some strenuous scrambling. The campsites available are second to none, and the views, under good weather, unparalleled. Wildlife abound, more so than most other places in Wrangell St Elias National Park: mountains goats, Dall sheep, grizzly and black bears, foxes and ground squirrels are often seen, and, true to the name of the area, wolverine can also be found here.

 

Hiking by Hassin Creek falls, Wrangell St. Elias National Park, Chitistone Valley ridges, backpacking

Standing before the waterfalls at Hassen Creek along the Goat Trail, Chitistone Canyon, Wrangell - St. Elias National park and Preserve, Alaska. To see a larger version of this photo, and to see more photos of this trip, click on the image.

Wolverine is one of those places that offers a little of everything for everyone. Well, not a little, but a whole lot. We've done basecamp trips, camped near the landing strip, and photographed for a week or so, and had a great trip. We've also done a backpacking loop, a point to point trip to Skolai Pass, as well as a combination trip where we backpack a little, basecamp a little and travel easier.

 

One of the things that makes Wolverine a fascinating trip is the geology of the region; a rare mix of tectonic and volcanic action have created a number of amazing geological features, including geodes, fossils, diagenetic concretions and more - check out the photos. I should also perhaps mention the amazing Chitistone Canyon, Wolverine Butte, and the surrounding mountain ranges.

 

A short hike west from here takes us down Grotto Creek, a very cool little sidetrip. If we get an early start we can travel far enough to get a view of the amazing Mile High Cliffs above the Nizina river.

 

This is one of the most exciting backpacking trips I've put together in Wrangell-St. Elias National Park, and I'm keen to show clients this wonderful place. A popular route, great for families or less experienced folks, but also diverse enough for the adventurous experienced backcountry traveler, it usually fills quickly, so book early, as this trip typically fills up quickly.

 

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.

 

Drop me a note for a detailed itinerary of this trip.