Operating Hours & Seasons

Schedule of Events at Wrangell-St. Elias

What's Going On?
Schedule of Park Events


When to Visit

The primary season for visiting Wrangell-St. Elias is early June through mid-September. Winter arrives early to interior Alaska and by September 15th, available services and facilities are few. There is usually snow on the ground by the end of September. Wrangell-St. Elias National Park & Preserve has no entrance stations or gates, and never actually closes. (Please note: the park does not close, but the Wrangell-St. Elias Visitor Center closes and locks its parking lot gates each night when it closes for the day.)

There are two roads that go into the park - the Nabesna Road and the McCarthy Road. Both roads are maintained by the State of Alaska. The roads are open year-round but are not maintained regularly during the winter.

We have multiple Visitor Centers and Ranger Stations in the park:

Wrangell-St. Elias Visitor Center Complex (with the Ahtna Cultural Center)
Slana Ranger Station
Chitina Ranger Station
McCarthy Road Information Station
Kennecott Visitor Center
Yakutat District Office

All of our visitor centers are open during the summer, but each of them have different operating hours. Please visit our Visitor Centers webpage for specific days, hours, and seasons that the visitor centers are open.

Kennecott: The best season to visit Kennecott is during the summer, specifically between Memorial Day and Labor Day. During the winter there are no services or amenities, and assistance is not readily available. The McCarthy Road is open and maintained year-round by the State of Alaska, but if you choose to drive this road during the winter you should be prepared for extremely poor road conditions including snow, ice, slush, deep ruts, and mud. Once you reach the end of the McCarthy Road, it is not possible to drive to Kennecott, which is five miles further. During the summer there are shuttles, but during the winter there are no shuttles running between the end of the McCarthy Road and Kennecott. This means that the only way to Kennecott is by foot, cross-country skiing, snowshowing, or snowmachine. There are no outfitters open in the winter that will rent this gear to you.

Park Headquarters & Administration: The park administration building in Copper Center is open Monday-Friday, year-round from 8:00am - 4:30pm. We are closed on weekends and federal holidays.

Did You Know?