Off Road Vehicle (ORV) Trails
Effective September 19, 2014, there are permanent rules that amend regulations that pertain to ORV use in Wrangell-St. Elias. You can access a complete list of Off Road Vehicle Rules on the park laws and policies pages. Trails in Wrangell-St. Elias are limited to off-road vehicles that are less than 1,500 pounds. Vehicles that are prohibited include street-legal highway vehicles, custom 4x4 jeeps, SUVs, or trucks designed for off-road use, motorcycles, or dirt bikes.
Wrangell-St. Elias National Park and Preserve was established under the Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act (ANILCA) in December 1980. In abidance with ANILCA, Wrangell-St. Elias provides reasonable and feasible access to inholders, subsistence, and recreational users in the park. The most common means of access is by ORV or off-road vehicle.
Off Road Vehicle (ORV) permits are required for all recreational ORV users. A recreational ORV user is anyone who wants to use an ORV to access the park or preserve for recreational activities including sport hunting, and who is not a federally qualified subsistence user. If a non-local resident wants to engage in sport hunting with an ORV, they must obtain a recreational ORV permit.
Permits are free of charge. ORV permits are available through the Slana Ranger Station (8am-5pm) and the Wrangell-St. Elias Visitor Center in Copper Center (9am-5pm). During the winter, please come to the park administration offices at mile 106.8 Richardson Hwy to inquire about permits.
Recreational ORV permits are required for the following trails:
Trail Creek Trail
Please note that the old access to the Soda Lake Trail at 1.7 miles up the Lost Creek Trail is now closed to all ORV use. The new re-route starts at 3.9 miles up the Lost Creek Trail and is open to ORV use.
Recreational ORV permits are not available for the following trails:
Copper Lake Trail
Subsistence ORV Users – we ask that they fill out a permit, but it is not required. Qualified, local, rural residents may use ORVs to engage in subsistence activities on park, preserve, and wilderness lands within Wrangell-St. Elias. Subsistence ORV users are encouraged to stay on existing trails in order to minimize off-trail impacts.
ATV Permits are issued to document the type and amount of use on trails, identify the location of users in the event of an emergency, and to ensure users are aware of the restrictions governing the use of ATVs on park lands.
HANDOUTS, MAPS, & FURTHER INFORMATION
Read some Quick Tips for Responsible ATV Riding, from the nonprofit group Tread Lightly.
Suslota Lake Trail
Trailhead: Parking at Milepost 11.2 Nabesna Road, Trailhead at Milepost 11 Nabesna Road
Copper Lake Trail
Trailhead: Milepost 12.2 Nabesna Road
Caribou Creek Trail
Trailhead: Parking at Milepost 18.9 Nabesna Road, Trailhead at Milepost 19.2 Nabesna Road
Tanada Lake Trail
Trailhead: Milepost 24.5 Nabesna Road
Trail Creek Trail
Trailhead: Milepost 29.8 Nabesna Road
Lost Creek Trail
Trailhead: Milepost 31.2 Nabesna Road
Soda Lake Trail
Trailhead: Mile 3 of the Lost Creek Trail (Park at the Lost Creek Trailhead)
Reeve's Field Trail
Trailhead: Milepost 40.2 Nabesna Road
Nugget Creek Trail
Trailhead: The trailhead is located on the Kotsina Road. The Kotsina road turn-off is located at mile 14.5 on the McCarthy Road, on the north side of the road. After 2.5 miles, the trailhead is on the right. The best opportunity for parking is to go another 1.4 miles up the Kotsina road to the Dixie Pass trailhead. Parking at the Nugget Creek trailhead would require a permit from Chitina Native Corporation.
Kotsina Trail (Easement)
Trailhead: The trailhead is located on the Kotsina Road. The Kotsina road turn-off is located at mile 14.5 on the McCarthy Road, on the north side of the road. The Dixie Pass trailhead serves as the best trailhead for the Kotsina trail. The Dixie Pass trailhead is 3.9 miles up the Kotsina road.
Recreational Off Road Vehicle Use in the McCarthy/Kennecott Area
Planning a trip to McCarthy or Kennecott that involves the use of Off Road Vehicles? Please read the following and be informed as you plan your trip:
The McCarthy road ends at the Kennecott River. Visitors should be aware that beyond this point, motorized access gets complicated. Land status beyond the Kennecott river is a mix of public and private lands. Visitor use of ORVs to access Kennecott (or points beyond, such as the Bonanza mine) is problematic for several reasons:
Please respect private lands and be aware of land status in the McCarthy/Kennecott area. Alternative access from McCarthy to Kennecott is provided by local businesses who run van shuttle services.