Wrangell-St. Elias Natl. Park

Wrangell-St. Elias Natl. Park

The 13.2 million acres which comprise Wrangell-St. Elias National Park and Preserve have for centuries served as a crossroads of human activity. Russians began to enter the area in the late 1700s. The United States purchase of Alaska in 1867 further spurred expeditions and endeavors.

When the park was created in 1980, the purpose of Wrangell-St. Elias Park and Preserve was and still is to maintain the natural scenic beauty of the diverse geologic, glacial, and riparian dominated landscapes, and to protect the attendant wildlife populations and their habitats; to ensure continued access for a wide range of wilderness-based recreational opportunities; and to provide continued opportunities for subsistence use.

Approximately 25%, or 5000 square miles, of Wrangell-St. Elias National Park & Preserve is surfaced by glaciers. This amounts to about 60% of the glacier ice in the entire state of Alaska.