• 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.

Chitina Ranger Station

Chitina Ranger station
The Chitina Ranger Station is located at the end of the paved Edgerton Highway and the beginning of the gravel McCarthy Road, one of only two roads into Wrangell - St. Elias National Park and Preserve
NPS Photo
 
 

Chitina Ranger Station
Chitina, Alaska
(907) 823-2205

Exhibits, Kennecott/McCarthy trip planning, road updates, park & area information, subsistence permits.

Summer
May 23 - September 1, 2014: Open Thursday - Monday 10:00am - 4:30pm (Closed Tuesday - Wednesday)

Winter
Early September - Late May: Closed. If you need assistance, please call park headquarters at (907) 822-5234.

Please call us for exact dates that we switch hours, as each season the dates can fluctuate.

Chitina Ranger Station is a must-stop for anyone visiting Chitina or venturing down the McCarthy Road to Kennecott. In the comfort of this historic log cabin, you can watch the 22-minute park movie "Crown of the Continent", and view the many photos that depict early life in Chitina. Hikers can obtain information regarding backcountry routes, file trip plans, and obtain bear resistant food containers. Federal subsistence fishing permits and fishwheel registration is available at this location.

 
Chitina Ranger Station

Services available in Chitina include a post office, tire repair, cafe, hotel, B&Bs, and payphone. The log cabin station is decorated with historic photographs featuring the town of Chitina as a transportation hub, "where the rails meet the trails." Trains, stagecoaches, dog sleds, and steamboats all passed through Chitina on their way to the mining and commerce centers of Alaska during Chitina's boom years, 1910-1938. The heyday of Chitina (pronounced Chit-nuh) was directly tied to the operation of the Kennecott mines and the Copper River and Northwestern Railway. The railroad was built to haul copper ore from the Kennecott mines to Cordova. Chitina provided an intermediate stop for the trains and their passengers.

 
Chitina Ranger Station as seen in 1925
The 1910 log cabin, now the ranger station, was one of many built in the town of Chitina around that time. it was constructed for J.C. Martin, the local manager of the Ed S. Orr Stage company. The initials "J.C.M." are still clearly scrawled on the wooden ceiling. The home was praised in the local newspaper as "one of the neatest and most substantial log cabin cottages in Alaska." A local crew of craftsmen, working for the National Park Service, rehabilitated the cabin in 1991-92 to make it so again.

Did You Know?

Backpackers

Wrangell-St. Elias National Park is a paradise for backcountry travel. Although there are few maintained trails, there are many primitive "routes" through the wilderness.