• Winter in the Wrangells

    Wrangell - St Elias

    National Park & Preserve Alaska

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  • Headquarter's Visitor Center Switching to Winter Hours on Sept. 20th

    Wrangell-St Elias's main visitor center, located near Copper Center, AK, will be switching to winter hours starting September 20th. The new hours of operation are Mon.-Fri. 9:00 am-4:00 pm and closed on Saturday and Sunday.

Save Alaska's Past

Protecting Historic Sites & Artifacts

It's exciting to hold a little piece of the past in your hand - to know that you have some connection with those who came before. The belongings, living quarters, and material objects of these people survive today as archeological sites. An archeological site can be anything from an isolated artifact lying on the surface of the ground, to a village site covering a large area. Archeology represents our heritage and it therefore fascinating to many people.

Mining Ruins near Kennecott

Most artifacts themselves tell us relatively little about past cultures. Of more importance is the association or context. This refers to its location or placement in relation to other evidence. If a site has been disturbed by erosion, vandalism, or looting, much of the context is gone forever.

If you encounter historic cabins, debris from the mining era, or artifacts from native peoples, please leave them as your found them so that other visitors might also enjoy the same sense of discovery and history that you enjoyed. Removal of artifacts and destruction or vandalism to the structures themselves is illegal. Please leave all artifacts where you found them. What may appear to be "trash" from another era may be an important part of the story of the place.

The Archeological Resources Protection Act (ARPA) of 1979 makes it illegal to:

  • excavate, remove, or damage protected archeological sites

  • purchase, sell, receive, or transport artifacts or other materials from a protected site

It is a felony if violations to the law result in damage to a site or trade in artifacts in excess of $500.


  • up to $20,000 in fines and two years in prison for a first felony conviction and $100,000 for a second felony conviction

  • seizure of vehicles, boats, airplanes, or ATV's that were used during such activities

  • loss of master's license, voting privileges, and right to own firearms.

Did You Know?

Mt. Wrangell (Neil Hannan Photo)

Mt. Wrangell, the largest active volcano in Alaska, was named by Russian explorers for Baron von Wrangell, Admiral of the Russian Navy and Governor of Russian America from 1830 to 1836.