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Wrangell-St. Elias National Park & Preserve

wrangell_lodgeWrangell-St. Elias is northwest of Anchorage and the largest national park in the United States. Here, the Alaska, Chugach and Wrangell-Saint Elias ranges converge and are known as the "mountain kingdom of North America." The park was established in 1980 by the Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act. It is the largest national park in the United States by area, covering an area of 20,587 mi² (53,321 km²), or over 13 million acres (53,000 km²). In fact, it is larger than nine U.S. States. The Wrangell-Saint Elias Wilderness is the largest designated wilderness in the United States.

This park is home to the continent's largest mass of glaciers, and greatest collection of peaks above 16,000 feet, including Mount St. Elias at 18,008' (5,489 m), the second highest peak in the United States. Wrangell-St-Elias-webIn 1978, in combination with its Yukon neighbor Kluane National Park, the United Nations recognized Wrangell-St. Elias National Monument as an international World Heritage site.

The park is accessible by highway from Anchorage; two rough gravel roads (the McCarthy Road and the Nabesna Road) wind through the park, making much of the interior accessible for backcountry camping and hiking. Chartered aircraft also fly into the park. Wrangell-St. Elias received 61,085 visitors in 2007 and is quickly gaining popularity through its combination of size, remoteness, and accessibility.

For more information, visit the National Park Service website.