• Winter in the Wrangells

    Wrangell - St Elias

    National Park & Preserve Alaska

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  • Wrangell-St. Elias Visitor Center to close for the winter on Nov. 1st.

    Wrangell-St. Elias's main visitor center, located near Copper Center, AK, will be closed for the winter starting November 1. The visitor center will re-open on April 1, 2015.

Natural Features & Ecosystems

Alpenglow on the Wrangells by George Herben
Alpenglow illuminates the Wrangell Mountains
George Herben

The park is home to the Boreal forest which is one of the largest ecosystems in the world. Covering about 13 percent of world, mostly in the northern climates, this ecosystem consists of a mixed spruce, aspen and balsam poplar forest composition with muskeg and tussocks. The ecosystem is influenced by the geologic processes that created the park.

Powerful geologic forces driving the collision of crustal plates created the dramatic landscape of this park. These powerful forces continue to be countered by the eroding power of flowing rivers and massive glaciers...literally, rivers of ice.

The geological history of Wrangell-St. Elias National Park & Preserve began over 200 million years ago. Much of the geological evidence lies undiscovered, buried under thick ice fields or blankets of volcanic ash. Rivers here have both exposed and carried away clues to the region's ancient history.

Did You Know?

Fireweed is striking

Fireweed derives its name from the fact that it is one the first plants to spring up after a fire and during fall its leaves become inflamed with bright red and orange colors.