A company town of the early 20th century and its counterpart – the working man's oasis. Read more →
Authentic outpost exploration highlighting McCarthy and Kennecott townsites plus the wild mountain Kingdom beyond. Five day custom getaways from Sunday to Friday, ongoing availability May 15 – September 15.
- June 10 – 14; June 17 – 21; June 24 – 28; Contact us for custom itineraries
- 5 Days, Custom Multi Day
- Begins In
- Ends In
- Ma Johnson's Historic Hotel, Ultima Thule Lodge
- Shuttle and Bush Plane
- Historic cultural tour, tundra and glacier hiking, ice climbing, flightseeing, glacier landings, Dutton-Goldfield Wine
- Priced From
Take a guided walking tour among the 49th states’ turn-of-the-century entrepreneurial beginnings: Kennecott Copper Corporation’s mill building, miners cabins, managers house, cow barn, infirmary and others.
Fly in your private bush plane over the worlds largest concentration of 17,000 foot peaks. Learn to hike on a glacier or to climb its ancient ice. Dine on haute-Alaskan cuisine and fine Napa Valley wine for a one-of-a-kind picnic lunch on a glacier. Slide even deeper into culinary bliss over a 14-course tasting menu at the McCarthy Lodge.
“… Though the resort’s secluded locale can make getting there a daunting task, Thomas Keller–trained chef Joshua Slaughter has created a famed dining destination that is well worth the journey…”
– The James Beard Foundation
Standard on each day of your tour is a basic boxed lunch suitable for the backcountry: sandwich, beverage, fruit, candy bar and cookies or brownie.
Special Offer from Dutton Goldfield and the McCarthy Lodge
We are proud to offer an optional upgrade in partnership with Dutton-Goldfield Winery of Sonoma County, California and the creative chefs of the McCarthy Lodge. The Goldfield Picnic Basket pairs an unique lunch menu with Dutton Goldfield wines. Contact us to learn the available varietals.
As with all Wild Alpine adventures, the itinerary for your next Town and High Country Getaway is entirely unique and customized to your interests. These extraordinary adventures can originate in most Alaskan towns.
Contact us to begin planning your tailor made itinerary.
Recommended Five Day Itinerary
Day 1 Afternoon arrival and overnight at Ultima Thule Lodge.
Originating in McCarthy, this unique tour introduces you to the best of both Alaskan worlds: remote, rustic settlements rooted in mineral prospecting and the luxurious comforts of Ultima Thule Lodge. The journey from your point of origin to the Lodge passes through as many as four mountain ranges including the St. Elias, Wrangell, Alaska and Chugach. We call this Day 1 of your Town & High Country Tour as the journey to this corner of Alaska denotes a truly outstanding transition. Decompress with a hot sauna and cold beverage overlooking the Chitna River Valley. Settle in for the next two nights in the lap of wildland luxury.
Day 2 High country flightseeing & hiking tour, picnic lunch, overnight at Ulitma Thule Lodge.
Day two takes you even deeper into the high country wilds of Alaska. Begin with a hearty breakfast and mid-morning departure for your private air safari and guided hiking tour of Alaska’s high alpine landscape. Your pilots and guides will take a look at the weather in the morning, aim for the sunshine and stay away from placing limitations on the possibilities! Maybe you’ll get a birds’ eye view of 18,000′ Mount St. Elias or the sprawling Bagley Icefield, largest of the subpolar icefields in North America. Spend the day exploring rolling tundra, glacier trekking, and enjoying complimentary picnic lunch in this vast and unparalleled wilderness.
Day 3 Leisurely morning hiking, reading, relaxing. Afternoon departure for McCarthy, overnight at Ma Johnson’s Historic Hotel.
Your adventure continues on Day 3 with a 30-minute flight tour to the copper mining outpost towns of McCarthy and Kennecott. Explore by foot some of McCarthy’s historic landmarks including the Copper River and Northwest Railway turning station, local museum, the Wagon Trail. Celebrate your arrival with a burger and brew at the Golden Saloon or a glass of fine wine and 4-course meal at the McCarthy Lodge; rest easy at Ma Johnson’s Historic Hotel, all conveniently located in downtown McCarthy.
Day 4 McCarthy & Kennecott historic town tour, Root Glacier or upland valley trekking, overnight at Ma Johnson’s Historic Hotel.
Your fourth day of wilderness adventuring begins after breakfast in McCarthy. Travel by shuttle four miles up valley to Kennecott for lunch and an afternoon hike through the iconic Kennecott Copper Corporation National Historic Landmark site where a National Park Service naturalist may join you for a peek inside. Venture down to the Root Glacier for an up-close and personal exploration on the ice or up towards Bonanza and Jumbo Mine sites for sweeping views of the valley below. Raise a toast to your final night in this colorful community; rest easy at Ma Johnson’s Historic Hotel.
Day 5 Explore the Kennecott Valley, transfer from McCarthy to your next destination.
Day five marks the conclusion of your Town & High Country Getaway. Enjoy this final day at your leisure before continuing on to your next destination.
About the Area
Active and dormant volcanoes, historic settlements, and abundant wildlife characterize this great region. Read more →
Discover an outpost of civilization and comfort 100 miles from the nearest road. Read more →
One of the world's great ranges, on par with the Andes and Himalaya. Read more →
What is the difference between National Park and Preserve?
A National Park is an area of unusual scenic or historic interest owned by the federal government and administered by the National Park Service, U.S. Department of the Interior. Mission: The National Park Service preserves unimpaired the natural and cultural resources and values of the national park system for the enjoyment, education, and inspiration of this and future generations. The Park Service cooperates with partners to extend the benefits of natural and cultural resource conservation and outdoor recreation throughout this country and the world. Read more
A National Preserve is similar to a National Park, but allows other human activities to occur, such as sport hunting. ANILCA directed that preserves be administered “in the same manner as a national park…except that the taking of fish and wildlife for sport purposes and subsistence uses, and trapping shall be allowed.” Future access to Dall sheep for sport hunting and protection of certain visitor corridors from hunting were some of the controversial issues involved in drawing the boundaries between Park and Preserve
Where did the park get its name?
Wrangell-St. Elias is named for two of the mountain ranges that form its rugged backbone. The Wrangell Mountains were named after Baron Ferdinand Petrovich von Wrangel (1796-1870), who was a Russian Naval officer, arctic explorer, and government administrator. He was a governor of the Russian colonies in Alaska (1829-35), director of the Russian American company (1840-49), and minister of the navy (1855-57).
The St. Elias Mountains were named by explorer Vitus Bering (1681-1741). Bering was a Danish explorer in Russian employ that was selected in 1725 by Peter I to explore far NE Siberia. In 1728 Bering oversaw the exploration and mapping of the far reaches of Siberia and headed an expedition across the sea (which later was to bear his name) to Alaska. Bering sighted massive coastal mountains on July 16. The lofty summit of Mt. St. Elias was the first piece of Alaska mainland to catch Vitus Bering’s eye. That day was the feast day of the Saint Elias. The area where they made landfall was named for Elias. Eventually the mountain too came to be calledMount St. Elias.
How long has this been a Park?
Wrangell-St. Elias National Monument (10,950,000 acres) was established along with 16 other national monuments on November 16, 1978. The Alaska Native Interests Land Conservation Act (ANILCA) of November 12, 1980 established Wrangell St. Elias National Park and Preserve (WRST) and nine other national parks, and designated 56,000,000 acres of wilderness, effectively more than doubling the acreage in the NPS and Wilderness Preservation System.
When did Mt. Wrangell last erupt?
Eruptive activity has been noted in Mt. Wrangell in 1784, 1884-5, and 1900. On clear, cold, and calm days, steam plumes are often visible.
What does it mean to be a World Heritage Site?
World Heritage Sites are “such outstanding universally recognized natural and cultural features that they attract the admiration and merit the protection of all people worldwide.” Wrangell-St. Elias and Glacier Bay National Parks, along with Kluane National Park and Tatshenshini-Alsek Provincial Park in Canada, form a World Heritage Site containing 24.3 million acres, the largest internationally protected terrestrial area on the planet!
When is the mountaineering season in Wrangell-St. Elias?
Typically, April through June is the optimal mountaineering season. Mt. Bona (16,421’), Mt. Blackburn (16,390’), Mt. Sanford (16,237’), and Mt. St. Elias (18,008’) are good candidates for your adventure. Local guide services are available.
What types of wildlife might I see in the Park?
While there is a vast amount of wildlife in Wrangell-St. Elias, opportunities to view it from your vehicle are limited due to dense brush and forest along the roads. Therefore, the best spots for viewing wildlife will be from alpine areas above tree line. Wrangell-St. Elias contains one of the largest concentrations of Dall sheep in North America. Look for them along rocky ridges and mountainsides. Moose are often seen near willow bogs and lakes. In the fall, bears and other animals may be sighted near salmon spawning streams. Other species of large mammals include mountain goats, caribou, moose, brown/grizzly bear, black bear, and even two herds of transplanted bison. Smaller mammals found here include lynx, wolverine, beaver, marten, porcupine, fox, wolves, marmots, river otters, and many small rodents. The coastal areas of the park are habitat for abundant marine mammals, including sea lions, harbor seals, sea otters, porpoises and even whales.
Where does the Copper River begin and end?
The Copper River begins on Mount Wrangell at the terminus of the Copper Glacier and flows approximately 280 miles to its mouth at the Copper River Delta near Cordova.
Among Bona, Blackburn and Wrangell, which is most difficult to climb?
Of these three popular peaks, Blackburn presents the most challenging climb. It is the tallest of the Wrangell Volcanic Field and often goes years without seeing any visitors.
Read more at http://www.nps.gov/wrst/faqs.htm
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