Subsistence Access

What methods of access are allowed?

Off-Road Vehicles
Any permanent resident of a resident zone community, resident of the Park, or holder of a 13.44 permit may use an off-road vehicle (ORV), including an all-terrain vehicle (ATV), for subsistence access within the Park and Preserve providing resource damage does not occur. A permit is not required, but is recommended. To minimize resource damage, it is recommended that ORV users travel on established trails and dry river beds.

Recreational visitors including sport hunters may only use ORVs on established trails, must travel outside of designated Wilderness and must obtain an ORV/ATV permit. Trail maps and permits are available at the Slana Ranger Station and the Visitor Center in Copper Center.

Airplanes may NOT be used for access to the National Park for subsistence purposes but may be utilized in the National Preserve. In addition to not landing in the Park, subsistence users may not land outside the Park in order to walk into or otherwise enter the Park for subsistence activities.

Residents of Yakutat may request a permit under an exception in ANILCA to access the Malaspina Forelands using aircraft for subsistence purposes. Contact the Yakutat District Office for information.

Snowmachines, Motorboats and Other Means of Surface Transportation.
Snowmachines and motorboats may be used for any purpose, including subsistence, in both the Park and Preserve. Snowmachines may only be used when there is sufficient snow cover (at least 6 to 12 inches of snow). Airboats must meet noise-level restrictions. Other means of surface transportation that have been traditionally employed, such as dog teams, may also be used.

Please be aware of and respect Private Property
Approximately 1 million of the 13 million acres of land within the boundaries of Wrangell-St. Elias National Park & Preserve are non-federal lands belonging to Native Corporations, other private owners, and the State of Alaska. Significant amounts of these non-federal lands are located along the McCarthy Road and along the east bank of the Copper River. Federal subsistence harvest regulations do NOT apply on state and private lands, which fall under the jurisdiction of State regulations. Subsistence users are responsible for being aware of and respecting the ownership status of lands where they are engaged in subsistence activities. Crossing private lands, other than legally reserved public access easements, without the permission of the landowner, as well as camping or hunting on such lands without permission is trespassing.

Contact the park or the landowner for further information about land status within the Park and Preserve boundaries. For information about Native Corporation lands, contact the Lands Department at Ahtna, Inc. at (907) 822-3476 and the Chitina Native Corporation at (907) 823-2223.

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