The Park


Frans Lanting Wrangell Mountains

There are more mountains, glaciers & wildlife in Wrangell St Elias than anywhere else on earth. Wrangell-St. Elias National Park encompasses 13 million acres. This park is known as “America’s Mountain Kingdom.”

The list of “biggest”, “best”, and “most” goes on and on. Rather than continue with what the National Park Service describes as “more superlatives than any other National Park”, we recommend a look the photography of National Geographic’s Franz Lanting.  Click here to view Frans’ images of the park >>

But for those who love lists, here is a short one. Wrangell-St. Elias National Park has:

  • America’s largest National Park (twice the size of Denali, and dramatically more impressive mountain vistas - that’s the shocker!!)
  • 9 of North America’s 16 tallest peaks
  • Over 150 glaciers
  • 4 major mountain ranges
  • More mountain peaks than any other location on earth
  • The tallest coastal mountains in the world
  • The largest glacier outside of the polar caps
  • One of two glaciers in the world with a forest growing on it (and trees are calving off the edge!)
  • Wrangell-St. Elias National park is part of the largest World Heritage Site, making this park part of the largest internationally protected wilderness on the planet

McCarthy is located in the very center of Wrangell St. Elias National Park.  Our “Sister City” of Kennicott is just 4.5 miles away. You can not possibly visit the area without spending time in both Kennicott & McCarthy. The towns are rich in history and surrounded by the largest protected wilderness on earth.

Four major mountain ranges share this park, and 3 of them converge on the tiny town of McCarthy. The landscape is amazingly varied, and the geology is still being explored, explained and discovered. In fact “discovery” is a great word to use in this park. The National Park Service, in their role in protecting the heritage of Kennicott, has done remarkable work in preserving and protecting an amazing “ghost town”.  But not every building is to be “restored”.  In fact, the sense of discovery is more than a catch phrase here.  The NPS is thoughtfully stabilizing important buildings and the surrounding landscape for all to enjoy in the future.

The town of McCarthy is still the happening place – a perfect way to end a perfect day of exploration.  No matter where you stay, join the locals for a fun evening in McCarthy.