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Wrangell-St. Elias National Park

Wrangell-St-Elias-Reflection - Explore McCarthy

The Largest National Park In America is Wrangell – St. Elias National Park in Alaska

The largest National Park in the USA is Wrangell-St. Elias National Park & Preserve. This National Park measures 13.2 million acres, six times larger than Yellowstone National Park! Nestled within the Wrangell – St. Elias National Park are the two towns of McCarthy and Kennecott, Alaska.

Outside of Antarctica, Wrangell-St. Elias National Park is home to the highest concentration of glaciers; this means Wrangell-St. Elias National Park is made up of over 30% ice. Within the park, more than 9 million acres are dedicated to protecting the wilderness, more wilderness than all other U.S. states combined. From numerous climate zones to temperate rainforests, and sub-arctic deserts, the massive size of this National Park makes up many climates.

Wrangell-St. Elias National Park - Explore McCarthy

Where is Wrangell-St. Elias National Park?

Wrangell-St. Elias National Park is located on the eastern shoulder of Alaska. WSENP connects Alaska’s Southeast region with the rest of Alaska. Made up of many mountain ranges, such as The Wrangell – St. Elias and Chugach ranges. The Wrangell-St. Elias National Park stretches from the Upper Copper River Basin east to the Canada border.


When was Wrangell-St. Elias National Park Created?

Created in 1980, Wrangell-St. Elias National Park was created during the last months of the Carter administration. This was part of the Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act (ANILCA). This act protects over 157 million acres of wild land and is part of 13 National Parks in Alaska that have been created or expanded.

Wrangell-St. Elias National Park - Explore McCarthy

How to Get to Wrangell-St. Elias National Park

Truly seeing and experiencing even a small part of this enormous, 13+ million acre WSENP is only possible by airplane or river rafting.  Anchorage is the most common starting point for out-of-state guests traveling to Wrangell-St. Elias National Park. To get there from Anchorage, drive east through the Matanuska Valley and Copper River Basin along the Glenn Highway; it takes roughly 4-10 hours, depending on your exact destination within the park.

Many viewpoints depend on your route through Wrangell-St. Elias National Park. If on the Alcan Highway, the park will dominate your Southern view as you enter Alaska. If approaching Fairbanks heading south on the Richardson Highway, the Alaska Range will be more prominent, alongside the unreal Summit and Paxson Lake area.

The Visitor’s Center is located in Copper Center, just south of the town of Glennallen. To access the park’s southern end, the road of choice is the McCarthy Road, which leads to the towns of McCarthy and Kennecott.

Wrangell-St. Elias National Park - Explore McCarthy

Wrangell-St. Elias National Park Resources 

  • Learn about the Alaskan flora, fauna, and more.
  • See rankings for the Wrangell-St. Elias National Park, compared to other National Parks in the US.
  • Learn about the many mountain ranges within Wrangell-St. Elias National Park.
  • Enjoy the McCarthy Alaska Guide, to better acclimate you to this expansive National Park.