Backpacking Wrangell – St. Elias’ coastline

09, November 9th, 2011 by Carl D
Backpacking on the coast, Wrangell - St. Elias National Park and Preserve, Alaska.

Hey Folks,

Wow; what a cool trip this last one was. A month along the coastline and borders of the Malaspina Glacier in Wrangell – St. Elias National Park’s southeastern reaches.

This photo is my first night on the beach, right after the air taxi departed, I shouldered the heavy pack, posed for an image, and set off down the beach to find a campsite. Dark comes quickly this time of year in Alaska.

I caught up with friends Erin and Hig from Ground Truth Trekking, and their 2 kids Katmai and Lituya, the following afternoon. I spent most of the rest of my trip with them, and then the last 10 days or so in the Icy Bay area, trying to get a nice sunset photo of Mt. St. Elias from that area. Seemed like things were still getting going when before I knew it, the month was over and I had to fly back to the city. Time flies, eh?

We backpacked a good chunk of the coastline, and packrafted some of the rivers and lagoons in the area. The Alpacka packrafts are a great way to deal with big water, and allowed us to cover quite a bit of ground more easily. I’m still trying to figure a way to bring some packrafting into the sumer trips; it’s really a valuable tool to have in the field up here.

I think my favorite part of the trip, though, was poking around in the old growth Spruce forests along the coastline; mighty, moss-covered Sitka Spruce trees, and centuries old bear trails on the forest floor. What a wonderful experience it is to hike through that landscape.

Fantastic trip. I’ll try to post some more images and information about the hike soon.



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