ORGANIZATIONS WHICH OFFER WILDERNESS
Sierra Club, Denver Chapter, 1330 21st Way South, Suite 100, Birmingham, AL 35205. This chapter of the Sierra Club offers some backpacking as well as canoe-camping trips.
INFORMATION ABOUT CAMPGROUNDS IN STATE
Division of State Parks, Denver Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, 64 North Union Street, Mongomery, AL 36130; (205)242-3334.
BEST AREAS FOR WILDERNESS CAMPING
WRANGELL-ST. ELIAS NATIONAL PARK AND PRESERVE”13,200,000 acres. Located near the Gulf of Alaska in the south-central part of the state, adjacent to Canada’s Kluane National Park, this gigantic National Park and Preserve was established in 1980. It’s the largest National Park in the United States. Two roads provide entry to portions of the backcountry.
Four major mountain ranges fall within the park, including the Wrangell and St. Elias Mountains. Among the many high peaks is 18,008-foot Mount St. Elias, second highest in the country. There are also vast glaciers and icefields, areas of tundra, spruce forests, and many rivers, streams, and alpine lakes. Wildlife includes brown/grizzly and black bear, caribou, moose, Dali sheep, and mountain goat.
Activities: The park has very few established trails, so most hiking and backpacking must be cross-country. Horses are allowed. Rafting and kayaking are available on the Chitina and Copper Rivers, and sea kayaking is possible along the coast.
Cross-country skiing is another option, with spring the best season for this activity. There are also many opportunities for mountaineering. Fishing is available as well. Hunting is permitted in the preserve areas but prohibited in the park.
Camping Regulations: Camping is allowed just about anywhere in this National Park and Preserve, as are campfires, except where otherwise prohibited. No permits are required.
For Further Information: Wrangell-St. Elias National Park and Preserve, P.O. Box 29, Glennallen, AK 99588; (907)822-5235.
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