Motorized Vehicle Use

Off-Road Vehicle Use in Wrangell-St. Elias National Park and Preserve:

Off-Road Vehicles (ORVs) may only be used in designated areas of Wrangell-St. Elias National Park and Preserve. These designated areas and trails are determined by the type of ORV use, the type of trail, and Wilderness Area designation. For information on trails and areas currently open, see the Recreational ORV Use or the Subsistence ORV Use pages. Note that different rules may apply to local rural residents harvesting resources under federal subsistence regulations. It is important to be aware of which rules apply to you. Permits are required for Recreational ORV use and strongly recommended for Subsistence ORV use. Users may apply for FREE permits in-person at the Slana Ranger Station.

ORV permits are issued to document the type and amount of use on trails, to identify the location of users in the event of an emergency, and to ensure users are aware of the restrictions governing the use of ORVs on park lands.

You can access a list of Off-Road Vehicle Rules, as well as in the Superintendent’s Compendium. Wrangell-St. Elias National Park and Preserve was established under the Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act (ANILCA) in December 1980. In accordance with ANILCA, Wrangell-St. Elias provides reasonable and feasible access to inholders, subsistence users, and recreational users in the park. The most common means of access is by ORV or off-road vehicle.

Recreational ORV users are anyone who may use an ORV to access the park or preserve for recreational activities including hunting and/or fishing, and are not federally qualified subsistence users actively engaged in subsistence uses. Anyone accessing inholdings are also excluded from recreational ORV permit requirements. If a non-local resident wants to engage in hunting with an ORV, they must obtain a recreational ORV permit. If a local resident is engaging in non-subsistence activities using an ORV, they must obtain a Recreational ORV permit.

Subsistence ORV users are qualified local, rural residents who may use ORVs to engage in subsistence activities on park and preserve lands, including in designated wilderness within Wrangell-St. Elias. Find out if you qualify. To minimize resource damage, it is recommended that subsistence ORV users travel on established trails and dry riverbeds. 

T.R.E.A.D Lightly:

  • TRAVEL RESPONSIBLY - To protect the resource, please know the Tips for Responsible ATV/ORV/UTV Riding.
  • RESPECT THE RIGHTS OF OTHERS - Respect the rights of others, including private property owners, all recreational trail users, campers and others so they can enjoy their recreational activities undisturbed.
  • EDUCATE YOURSELF - Educate yourself prior to your trip by obtaining travel maps and regulations from public agencies, planning for your trip, taking recreation skills classes and knowing how to operate your equipment safely.
  • AVOID SENSITIVE AREAS - Avoid sensitive areas such as meadows, lake shores, wetlands and streams. Stay on designated routes.
  • DO YOUR PART - by modeling appropriate behavior, leaving the area better than you found it, properly disposing of waste, minimizing the use of fire, avoiding the spread of invasive species and repairing degraded areas.

Pack out what you pack in and carry a trash bag on your vehicle to pick up litter left by others. Read other quick tips for Four Wheeling, ATVs, and OHVs.

Recreational ORV Use

Subsistence ORV Use

ORV Rules

Other motorized vehicle use. (snowmachine, airplane, motorboat)

Last updated: March 27, 2024

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Contact Info

Mailing Address:

Wrangell-St. Elias National Park & Preserve
PO Box 439
Mile 106.8 Richardson Highway

Copper Center, AK 99573


907 822-5234

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