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.
Wrangell-St. Elias and its Canadian neighbor, Kluane National Park, were set aside to preserve the foothills, glaciers and peaks of the Wrangell, Chugach and St. Elias mountain ranges. This area includes many of the highest mountains and largest ice fields in North America. Superb mountaineering experiences found nowhere else in the world exist here.
The severe changes in elevation, avalanches, ice, remoteness and extreme winds and weather of this region require extensive knowledge of wilderness and mountaineering survival skills. Access if usually by chartered aircraft. Climbers must be fully prepared and self sufficient. Rescue and evacuation opportunities are slim and time consuming.
The best time of year for climbing activity is April through June. The most popular peaks for expeditions are Sanford, Blackburn, Bona and St. Elias, because of their elevations over 16,000 feet. Many other peaks are equally challenging. Some have never been climbed. It is recommended that all climbers fill out a "Trip Itinerary" and leave it at park headquarters, or one of the ranger stations in Slana, Chitina or Yakutat.
Did You Know?
The oldest road in Alaska, the Richardson Highway, evolved from a 5-foot wide pack route called the Valdez Trail. This route, initiated in 1898, served as the only land access to Interior Alaska until completion of the Alaska Highway in 1942.