Backpacking Wrangell St. Elias National Park

Trek

Backpacking and Hiking

Fresh air, the adventure of camping, breathtaking vistas, wildlife and backpacking fun. We invite you to start your wilderness trek by flying out of Tok on a short and scenic bush plane flight. By departing from Tok we are able to access the Eastern Alaska Range and the Wrangell St. Elias National Park. Both destinations are a paradise for backcountry travel. Although there are few maintained trails, there are many primitive "routes" through the wilderness. Vast, rugged, glacier lined, and wild, these locations provide for lifetimes of discovery, reflection, recreation, and adventure. The backpacking specialists at Tok Air Service have put together several route options that are affordable and can be accomplished with or with out a guide. We have personally been on every one of the route options described and have first hand knowledge of the challenges and opportunities each route offers. All hikes and backpacking routes have a start and stop at a bush-plane strip. You can choose to fly in and get picked up by plane or on some of the routes you can choose to float out to the Alaska Highway with either a raft, inflatable canoe, or pack raft.

Most national parks require a park pass or backcountry permit. However, a park pass, and/or backcountry permit is not required in Wrangell St. Elias Nat'l Park. It is a good idea to check out the park's backcountry FAQ's. The Park also has cabins available for a comfortable overnight stay. For cabin info.

~ Eastern Alaska Range ~

Robertson/Johnson Route

Elting Creek Elting Creek
Baultoff to Chisana Elevation

Trek: A bushplane will drop you off in the Robertson River valley. From the strip the route will take you up an unnamed creek towards glacier moraine and a beautiful blue/green glacial lake, at the toe of a small glacier. After hiking over a small pass the route takes you down Elting Creek to the Johnson River, where it is born out of the Johnson Glacier.

Trek and float: A bushplane will drop you off in the Robertson River valley. From the strip the route will take you up an unnamed creek towards glacier moraine and a beautiful blue/green glacial lake, at the toe of a small glacier. After hiking over a small pass the route takes you down Elting Creek to the Johnson River, where it is born out of the Johnson Glacier. From here you can enjoy the fun and excitement of floating the Johnson River to the Alaska Highway. We can fly in your raft or inflatable canoes. Or, if you brought your pack raft ...air it up and 'away you go'.

~ Wrangell - St. Elias National Park ~

Alpine Hikes + Floats

Baultoff Creek 40 Mile Lake Creek crossing in Wrangell National Park
Backpacking Wrangell Mountains Backpacking Wrangell St Elias National Park

Begin your backpacking journey around elevation 4,500' ft, and hike up to small alpine lakes. They're great for swimming on a hot summer days. Traverse over a mountain passes, and down along various waterways. Pass below inspiring peaks, amongst fields of blooming wildflowers, along old horse trails used during the gold rush in 1913. Wrangell - St. Elias National Park is rich with history with many scattered artifacts of Alaska's past. Wrangell - St. Elias is a rewarding landscape for remote backpacking trips.

Many of the routes within Wrangell - St. Elias offer an optional float out leg. Often times backpackers will float to the edge of Wrangell Mountains and fly out from that point. It is often possible to continue out to a road, however most of these extended float options are a slow ride and not as enjoyable as floating within the park.

Goat Trail

Many trekkers have enjoyed backpacking the old mining trail up and over the very divide of the Wrangell Mountains. It is very appropriately called the Goat Trail. We will drop you off on the Chitistone River. 3-5 days later we can pick you up on the White River or we can fly in a raft or inflatable canoes so that you can float out to the Alaska Highway at the White River bridge in the Yukon, Canada.