• Winter in the Wrangells

    Wrangell - St Elias

    National Park & Preserve Alaska

Glaciers

When describing glaciers in Wrangell St. Elias National Park, superlatives are hard to avoid. Within its boundaries are enclosed the nation's largest glacial system. Glaciers cover over 25 percent, or approximately 5,000 square miles, of the park. In summer, these glaciers contribute a significant portion of the rivers' high runoff and heavy sediment load. During the winter, glacial melt ceases and many rivers run with clear water.

Find out all sorts of information about Glaciers in Alaska's National Parks.

Notable Glaciers in Wrangell-St. Elias:

 
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The massive Bagley Icefield is 127 miles long, 6 miles wide, and up to 3,000 feet thick!
 
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Flowing over 75 miles and calving into the sea with a face 6 miles wide, the Hubbard Glacier near Yakutat is the longest tidewater glacier in Alaska, and is actively advancing!

 
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The Malaspina Glacier is North America's largest piedmont glacier (formed at the base of a mountain rather than enclosed by a valley), and covers an area larger than Rhode Island!
 
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The world's longest interior valley glacier, the Nabesna Glacier, is over 75 miles long.
 

Seeing & Exploring Glaciers

Hikers should not attempt to cross glaciers without proper equipment including crampons, ropes, and iceaxes. Even the gravel covered moraines will turn slick and dangerous during or after a rain.

Please discuss your plans with a park ranger before undertaking glacial travel or mountain peak ascents. Guides are available for these activities and can be used to gain experience.

A great way to see the park's glaciers and icefields is from the air. There are a number of flightseeing operators that offer a variety of spectacular tours.

Did You Know?