Snowshoe and XC ski tour

Winter's Coming. Enjoy it.

  • Transport from Anchorage, Alaska
  • Food provided
  • 5-6 nights in a cozy backcountry cabin
  • Day trips cross country skiing and/or snowshoeing
  • Alaska winter scenic photography
  • Cabin sleeps 6

Winter in Alaska is a treat.

The silent solitude of the great north woods is an experience that too few people ever experience. It’s cold. But it’s an amazing experience, the stillness, the tranquility and the vastness of Alaska all seem exponentially greater than usual.

Winter in Alaska is a remarkable experience. Winter in a remote backcountry cabin even more so. Spend the days snowshoeing or cross country skiing, returning back to the cabin in the evening and relax by the wood stove, enjoy a hot meal and warm drinks, and enjoy the quiet of Winter in the Great North.

There’s always a chance of the northern lights happening in Alaska. Nighttimes we’ll keep an eye posted skyward in the hopes for a dazzling display.

We’ll stay in a public use cabin inside Wrangell-St. Elias National Park and Preserve. Usually on the north side of the park. The cabin abuts the base of the Mentasta Mountains, in the Copper River Basin, between the Wrangell Mountain Range and the Alaska Range. Dramatic views in the area include Mt. Sanford, Mt. Wrangell and Mt. Jarvis.

We provide

Transport from Anchorage to Wrangell-St. Elias National Park, sled your gear up the trail to the cabin and settle in for a week. The cabin sleeps 6 comfortably, and as many as 8 people. Expeditions Alaska will handle everything. Provide and prep all the food, supply the sleeping pads and setup the cabin with firewood, etc.

Day trips we can spend snowshoeing or cross country skiing, photographing the forest and mountains, or relax around the cabin and take things easy.

The Place

There are numerous trails in the area, from short 3-4 mile trails to longer routes that wind their way 30 miles and more back into the mountains. We can also go off trail and explore the Mentasta Mountains. We can drive 2 miles down the road and hit another trail, or drive 20 miles down the road and take yet another trail. There are more than half a dozen trail options for exploring, and endless stretches of mountainside and rolling hills of the Copper River Basin to get and about in.

The cabin, sitting in a small grove of white spruce trees, has an outhouse by it, table and chairs, wood stove and a fantastic double window with a great view of Mt. Sanford. This little cabin is one of the real gems of Wrangell-St. Elias National Park.

One really great thing about this trip is the flexibility of the place. We can go as hard or as easy as you like. We can adapt the hours to suit a preference of hiking, snowshoeing and skiing, or change it around a little and concentrate on photographing the golden light; be out before dawn to photograph, come back for breakfast, enjoy the day, and be out to photograph the evening alpenglow before a later dinner. Then keep watch for northern lights at night.

The Gear

Bring layers. Winter is tough to pack for, as the temperature variance can run from minus 50 degrees to 35 or even 40 above. bring big puffy down parka for standing around photographing, to throw on when you stop for a break on an outing. Bring a couple of thick wool or fleece hats, a turtle or neck gaiter (a fleece ski mask works well too), thick gloves, liner gloves, the warmest mitts you can find, capilene, polypro or wool baselayers, fleece and/or down pants, fleece or wool shirt/pullover, and a shell (top and bottom). I like softshell outerwear gear for the winter, and recommend a pair of softshell pants and a softshell (hooded) jacket.

You’ll need a good sturdy pair of insulated winter hiking boots for snowshoeing. A pair of packboots or bunny boots for photographing and standing around outside in sub-minus 20 temperatures, and a pair of slippers for sitting around the cabin in. For skiers, you’ll want either BC NNN bindings or 3-pin bindings, sturdy and insulated boots, and metal edged skis. You can rent the gear you need in Anchorage if you like. Snowshoes are also available for rent; you’ll definitely want something in good condition, with good metal crampon teeth. how much flotation you need will depend on whether we’re heading out for mostly off-trail treks or sticking to the trails.

The cabin does not have power, so I recommend bringing plenty of batteries for your electronics (we can recharge a few things via the van). Bring an insulated water bottle. You’ll want a large daypack; winter trips require carrying more gear than a trip in warmer weather. If interested, give me a shout and I’ll provide you with a complete gear check list for the trip.

Where Are We?

Trip Itinerary

As with all Alaska expeditions, itineraries are fluid and flexible, molded to fit your needs and interest. The following is just an outline of how this trip can run. We can tailor it to be as strenuous or as mellow as you desire. Hikes can be longer or shorter, harder or easier. We can either snowshoe or cross country ski as you’d prefer.

Day 1 – Arrive in Anchorage the day before your trip begins. I’ll pick you up in the van, we’ll grab whatever last minute things we need, and hit the road. it’s a roughly 6 hour trip, and we’ll grab a sandwich for lunch on the way.

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