Wrangell - St. Elias National Park: The Bremner Mines Trip
A backpacking adventure to Ali's Valley from Bremner Mines. This trip traverses some of the terrain as the the Iceberg to Bremner Route. The route we cover here goes over 4 high alpine passes to Ali's Valley, which is about 3 days shorter than the route ending from Iceberg Lake.
We fly from McCarthy southwest to the now abandoned Bremner Mines, and spend some time in the area exploring the valley and remaining artifacts from the days when the mines operated here. Then we start backpacking south and east, hiking through several passes in pristine mountain country. We'll camp along cold, clear streams, among fields of wildflowers, in some of the finest mountain hiking anywhere.
This backpacking trip requires more than a moderate level of fitness, as several of the passes we climb through involve steep and strenuous ascents. We'll take it slowly, but we advise you to discuss this route with us before deciding to book this trip. The rewards for the hard work are amazing views and stunning campsites, gorgeous mountains and valleys and a solitude you'll find few other places, but it does require some effort and patience.
On the other hand, this trip allows plenty of room for customizing the route and itinerary as well. There are numerous side hikes available, and different options for getting from start to finish. It's possible to make this an extended backpacking trip, adding as many as 7 more days to this trip, and still have plenty to do and see. Similarly, if you're looking for a more leisurely stay for just a few days, this trip can be planned to accommodate you as well. One possible option is to fly in to either trailhead, and basecamp for 4 or 5 days. Because of the heavy impact basecamping can have on a the fragile northern tundra however, this option is best reserved for small groups of 3 or fewer people.
Backpacking the Bremner Mines route takes you through the heart of the Chugach Mountain Range, where you'll see glaciers, snow-covered peaks, broad open alpine valleys glowing with blooming wildflowers and high mountain passes. Campsites on this guided backpacking trip are second to none!
Wildlife viewing opportunities in the area include a good chance of seeing both black and brown (grizzly) bears, marmots, ground squirrels, mountain goats, and Dall sheep, as well as golden eagles and peregrine falcon, both Willow and White-tailed Ptarmigan and a variety of other birds as well. We'll be hiking and backpacking above treeline the entire time, which means we get great views and some sense of the vastness of the backcountry here. Camping on a knoll at 7000 feet in the Chugach Mountains is sure to be an exciting and memorable experience.
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.