• Winter in the Wrangells

    Wrangell - St Elias

    National Park & Preserve Alaska

Accessibility

Wrangell-St. Elias National Park and Preserve is unmatched in its wildness, history, and scenic beauty. For ALL visitors, a visit to Wrangell-St. Elias takes effort. It is a remote and rugged place. The rewards, though, are always worth the effort. You may find yourself gazing out towards a sea of glacier ice or range of volcanoes, listening to a raging glacial river from the bottom of a limestone canyon, or exploring the buildings and stories of an old copper mine. Whatever your interests and abilities there is something for everyone at Wrangell-St. Elias. We invite you to experience first hand this special place.

On this page you will find services specifically designed to help our visitors with disabilities. If there is something else that we may be able to do to facilitate a meaningful visit for your group please contact us.

 

Main Visitor Center in Copper Center:
The visitor center, exhibit building, and theater are wheelchair accessible. The grounds have paved walkways, accessible restrooms, and a scenic section of the boreal forest nature trail is paved, providing inspiring views of the Wrangell Mountains and Copper River. During summer months, park rangers regularly present short interpretive programs along the paved section of this trail.

The park film, "Crown of the Continent" is available with captions. Just ask the ranger introducing the film to enable the captions.

Kennecott Area:
Kennecott is a remote historic site lacking pavement and modern conveniences. However, Wrangell-St. Elias is making every effort to incorporate modern accessibility standards as the site renovations take place. The Kennecott Recreation Hall has a wheelchair accessible ramp. The Power Plant has a street level viewing deck. The deck of the Blackburn School has a wheelchair accessible ramp and view of the dairy barn and glacier. All outhouses in Kennecott meet ADA standards and the Visitor Center entrance is accessible. However, due to the rugged location of the place, many of the approaches to the buildings, while navigable by many new wheelchairs, do not meed ADA standards. None of the pathways are paved, historic rail lines are still in place, the interior of some of the buildings are a network of stairs and elevated walkways.

The newly remodeled door at the top of the historic mill is wheelchair accessible. By appointment rangers are available to transport visitors in wheelchairs or with mobility impairments to the top story of the mill where they can see the tram lines coming in from the Bonanza and Jumbo Mines and the top floor of the crushers. On a sunny day, this location also has a stunning view of Mount Blackburn, the Kennicott Glacier, the Chugach Mountains and McCarthy.

Captions for the The Kennecott Mill film can be turned on upon request. Simply ask the ranger introducing the film to turn on the captions.

Note: the vehicles available for transport to the top of the Mill are not specially equipped. Call the Kennecott Visitor Center at 907-822-7476 from Memorial Day through Labor Day to make an appointment. Advance reservations are requested.

Hearing Assistance
A Hearing Helper Tour Guide System (216 MHz) is available for use with any of the regularly scheduled National Park Service Ranger Programs and for the Mill Tours provided by St. Elias Alpine Guides. The system amplifies the sound of the program leader's voice. It can accommodate up to six hard-of-hearing participants at a time.

To ensure the Hearing Helper system is available for the program you would like to attend please contact the appropriate location:
For Kennecott ranger programs: (907) 822-7476
For Copper Center ranger programs: (907) 822-7250
For Mill Tours by St. Elias Alpine Guides: (907) 554-4445

Peavine Public Use Cabin:
Experience the Wrangell-St. Elias Wilderness! There are two public use cabins at Peavine on the Chitistone River in the heart of Wrangell-St. Elias. One of the cabins, the larger of the two, closest to the airstrip, has been renovated to meet accessibility standards. The adjacent outhouse also meets accessibility standards. If you can get your wheelchair into and out of a bush airplane and can navigate the gravel pathway from the airstrip to the cabin (approximately 400 yards) this may be the perfect wilderness retreat.

We suggest you call the park at (907) 822-5234 a couple of weeks in advance of your trip to Peavine Public Use Cabin so that rangers can double check the brush along the pathways before your arrival.

Did You Know?

Hubbard Glacier

Hubbard Glacier, one of the largest and most active tidewater glaciers in North America, was named in 1899 for Gardiner G. Hubbard (1822-1897), the first president of the National Geographic Society.