The mighty Copper River bounds the Saint Elias Mountains on the west. The Wrangell Mountains and the Chitina River border to the north as it arcs northeast to the Canadian border. At this political boundary, the Saint Elias name changes to the Centennial Range though the geological border falls deeper in the Yukon Territory. The Gulf of Alaska and the Tatshenshini-Alesk River border to the south.
View St. Elias Mountains in a larger map
The Saint Elias Mountain Range lies within the Wrangell-St. Elias National Park, largest and wildest of the U.S. National Parks. Combined with Canada’s adjoining Kluane National Park, this is the largest protected parkland in North America. Joining the Chugach Range to the west this collection of towering peaks, tumbling glaciers, and rolling tundra form the largest mountain wilderness on earth.
Frequently Asked Questions
When is the mountaineering season in Wrangell-St. Elias?
Typically, April through June is the optimal mountaineering season. Mount Bona (16,421ft), Mount Blackburn (16,390ft), Mount Sanford (16,237ft), and Mount Saint Elias (18,008ft) are good candidates for your adventure.
Who was Saint Elias and why do these mountains carry his name?
The Saint 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 Mount Saint Elias was the first piece of Alaska mainland to catch Vitus Bering’s eye. That day was the feast day of the Saint Elias, and so the mountain was named. Saint Elias is a particularly significant figure in Orthodox spirituality. He is praised for – among other things – his mysticism and miracle working.
- Mount Alverstone (14,565 ft; 4439 m)
- Malispina Glacier (1500 sq mi; 3900 sq km)
- Mount Logan (19,850 ft; 5,959 m)
- University Peak (14,470 ft; 4410 m)
- Mount Bona (16,421 ft; 5005 m)
- Mount St. Elias (18,008 ft; 5488 m)
Related Adventures & Training
"The truce I dictate equals forward motion; a lot of it, sometimes exceeding 30-miles-per-hour..." - Eli Potter, Drift Snowkite Magazine, Dec 2008 | Read more →
Authentic outpost exploration highlighting the best of McCarthy, Kennecott and the wild mountain Kingdom beyond. Five day custom getaways from Sunday to Friday, ongoing availability May 15 – September 15. | Read more →