Trip at a Glance


Trip Highlights Bears, sheep, glacial moraines and mountain views.


Level Moderate - strenuous; low mileage but challenging terrain. Lot of glacial moraine hiking.


Elevation 2000-5000'


Duration 5-10 days


Best Dates Aug - Sept


Price $1995.00


Similar Trips Ross Green Lake, Nugget Creek to Kennicott.


Trip options Basecamp and explore or backpack loop.


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Chitina river

"The guide is a true professional; deeply dedicated to ensuring guests are well taken care of and experience a unique and safe wilderness experience. - Michael T, MA. More testimonials --->

Wrangell - St. Elias National Park: The Chitina River Trip

This backpacking trip in Wrangell-St. Elias National Park is also one of our most exciting. We fly from McCarthy, Alaska, south along the Chitina River drainage to the toe of the Chitina and Logan Glaciers, where we'll spend 7 days exploring some of the most ruggedly beautiful country in Alaska. This backpacking trip will take us through some truly awesome terrain, across glacial moraines, beside majestic mountain peaks, hiking through a wilderness like no other.


Both grizzly and black bears roam across this country, and we'll also have great chances to see Dall sheep, mountain goats and wolves, as well as a variety of birds, from tiny songbirds in the forest and waterfowl on the clear glacial tarns (small ponds) to a number of raptors, including the impressive peregrine falcon, soaring and diving from the cliffs and ridges.


View of the moraine and mountains at the upper end of the Chitina River, at sunset, near Mt. Logan,Granite mountain range, Wrangell - St. Elias Alaska

Sunset on the Granite Range

Climbing up a ridge above the Chitina River valley floor gives some amazing views of the surrounding mountain ranges. Here we look across the Chitina moraine towards an unnamed peak in the Granite Range that catches the last of the day's rays. Click on the image for a larger version and to see more photos.

Like most of our trips, this adventure is a combination of basecamping, dayhiking and exploring the valley, the glaciers and the high ridges, and backpacking to find some of the best backcountry campsites in the mountains. Some of the trekking here is strenuous, as we hike over rocky moraines and up steep mountain ridges.. The incredible views of nearby Mt Logan, Mt St. Elias, Mt George and the surrounding ranges here are second to none. This is one adventure sure to give you a lifetime of great memories.


Somewhat strenuous at times, but with great views of the Chitina river basin, Mt Logan, the Chugach Range, Mt George, this Wrangell - St. Elias backpacking trip visits some of the most remote country in the park.  The hiking here is arduous but rewarding. We'll spend some time basecamping and exploring the Ram Glacier, the Chitina Glacier, and 2 unnamed mountain ridges that offer some of the most expansive views in Wrangell St. Elias National Park.


This is rugged and expansive country here. Definitely talk to us about what your experience and fitness levels might be for you (and your group); the great thing about off-trail travel here is that we can tailor a trip to match your experience. It's possible to basecamp and dayhike, exploring the surrounding mountain ridges, the forest and waterfalls, etc, or it's also possible to do a more strenuous route that covers some territory, traversing the glacial moraines and climbing a few of the ridges for some massive views of the mountains in this area.


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.