Wrangell/St Elias National Park and Alaska 2006

Seward, the Kenai Peninsula, Valdez, and Prince William Sound

In 2006 I took a trip of just over three weeks to Alaska. While I had visited Alaska many times during the 1990's on business, this was my first Alaska trip devoted to its wilderness. The main goal was a visit to the backcountry of Wrangell/St. Elias National Park. I chose this park both because it is, by far, the largest park, at over 13 million acres (that's six times the size of Yellowstone), because it gets one eighth the visitors of Denali and is completely unregulated as far as permits. And also despite all this, it isn't really that hard to get to.

A four hour drive gets you to the edge of the park. While a park that size requires bush flights to get in the middle, there are many parts that can be visited b a car. But of course, I wanted to get into the middle of it. But since a road to the town of McCarthy cuts right into it, even if you fly with a bush pilot, the flight will be short and inexpensive compared to most bush flights in Alaska.

But I wasn't going to limit myself to this one place. Although it was the centerpiece of my trip, I also visited Seward on the Kenai Peninsula with its Kenai Fjords National Park as well as Valdez and Prince William Sound. I rented a car for both of these segments, but not for the central time in Wrangell/St. Elias.

Kenai Peninsula (13 pictures) McCarthy and Kennicott (32 pictures) Wrangell/St. Elias National Park (41 pictures) The Southern Talkeetna Mountains (7 pictures) Prince William Sound (24 pictures) Tundra colors (11 pictures)