Trip at a Glance


Trip Highlights Glacier hikes, extraordinary campsites, grizzly bears, diverse landscapes.


Trip options Basecamp/dayhike in the Iceberg lake area. Alternatively make a short backpacking loop in the nearby valley and surrounding areas.


Level Moderate. Little elevation gain, 2-6 mile days.


Elevation 3500' - 5000' ASL


Best Dates Best dates are mid-July through late August.


Duration 4-7 days


Price $1650.00


Location Wrangell St. Elias Park


Wildlife Sparse, though we often see grizzly bears here.


Similar Trips Bremner Mines, Ross Green Lake.


"... above and beyond any expectation I could have. " - April H, Seattle, WA.


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See a slideshow for this basecamp trip

Iceberg lake basecamp trip

"Carl is a professional and a very capable outdoorsmen.  His knowledge of the Alaskan wilderness and his backcountry skills are matched only by his good nature and sense of humor.  Thanks for a great experience!" - Josh Wheeler, Aurora, Colorado. More testimonials --->

Wrangell - St. Elias National Park: Iceberg Lake Basecamp Trip

This basecamp 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. Spend a few days hiking 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.


Hiking through some fantastic country, every time I arrive here I'm reminded of my bush pilot's words when he dropped me off; "Welcome to Antarctica". It's a pretty unique and amazing region, in eastern end of the Chugach Mountains, surrounded by massive jagged peaks, endless glaciers and an ever-changing landscape. Cool clear alpine lakes, fresh rushing streams and snow capped peaks sparkle in the Alaskan sun.


This basecamp and hiking trip is a little more difficult than some of the other basecamp trips. The hiking here is a little more challenging, with a lot of rock and boulder walking. Glacial moraine requires a little better balance and attention than walking on tundra. That said, there are a number of hiking opportunities here that allow us to wander almost infinitely in any direction.


Crampons are not required, but certainly can be helpful. Trekking poles should definitely should be on your gear list for this trip. Due to the heavier snowfall received in this area over the winter, it's typically not snow free until mid-July; the air taxis can't get us in to the landing strip until the snow has melted off, so this trip works best Mid-July through mid-September. That can certainly vary somewhat year to year.



Glacier near Iceberg lake, Wrangell St. Elias National Park.

Cotton Grass, Iceberg Lake.

A small stream lined with Alaska Cotton Grass, and an unnamed glacier hanging precariously to this mountain peak. Iceberg Lake valley, Wrangell - St. Elias National Park and Preserve, Alaska. Click on the image for a larger version and to see more photos from this trip.

This trip has a few different options. We can camp right by the landing strip, but it's really better to be a little more flexible, and move camp up the valley a mile or 2. From there we can dayhike north, west, south, east and other other direction we'd like. Perhaps the best way to experience this area is with a backpacking loop, moving camp once or twice over a 5 day trip, so this trip works well for people interested in either an easier backpacking trip, or a moderate dayhiking trip for those of you who'd rather basecamp.



It would be remiss of me to not mention the campsites in this area - 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.


More info on this trip?

Contact me through the website.


Where are we?

View Iceberg Lake in a larger map