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The Ultimate Guide to Exploring Alaska’s National Parks: Part Two – Denali and Wrangell St Elias

Welcome back to AVIS Alaska’s ultimate guide to exploring Alaska’s incredible national parks! In this second part, we’ll focus on an unforgettable trip that takes you to two of Alaska’s crown jewels: Denali and Wrangell St Elias National Parks. While exploring all the parks in one trip may seem enticing, focusing on a couple at a time ensures you can truly immerse yourself in their wonders. So, let’s dive into the breathtaking beauty and unique experiences that await you in Denali and Wrangell St Elias.

Denali National Park:

Denali National Park, named after North America’s tallest peak, Denali (formerly Mount McKinley), is a must-visit destination for any Alaskan adventure. The park’s centerpiece, Denali, towers at 20,310 feet and is surrounded by awe-inspiring wilderness. You can explore the park’s six million acres of diverse landscapes, from lush forests to tundra, all while watching for iconic wildlife like grizzly bears, moose, and Dall sheep.

Practical Tips for Visiting Denali:

  • Plan Ahead: Denali is a popular park, and certain parts of the park have limits on visitor numbers. If you are trying to win the road lottery to go farther back into the park, get a campsite, or some of the more popular tours, be sure to secure your spot well in advance.
  • Take a Bus Tour: To venture deeper into the park, consider taking a bus tour. These guided tours offer incredible views, and experienced drivers know the best spots for wildlife sightings.

Wrangell St Elias National Park:

As the largest national park in the United States, Wrangell St Elias is a vast and wild wonderland. Covering over 13 million acres, this park boasts towering mountains, massive glaciers, and lush valleys. Explore historic mining towns, hike to the toe of a glacier, or embark on a flightseeing tour to witness the grandeur of this remote wilderness.

Practical Tips for Visiting Wrangell St Elias:

  • Be Prepared: Wrangell St Elias is remote, and services can be limited. Pack essential supplies, including food, water, and camping gear, and be self-sufficient during your visit.
  • Take a Flightseeing Tour: A flightseeing tour offers a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to see the park’s vastness from the air. Witness towering peaks, expansive glaciers, and even spot wildlife from above.

Additional Tips for Your Alaska National Park Adventure:

  • Logistics: Visiting Denali and Wrangell St Elias will require some logistics planning. Private planes or boats may be necessary, and costs can add up. Consider traveling in a larger group to spread expenses.
  • Embrace the Experience: Don’t rush your adventure. Take time to savor the breathtaking views, connect with nature, and immerse yourself in the tranquility of these remarkable parks.

In conclusion, a trip to Denali and Wrangell St Elias National Parks promises an awe-inspiring journey into the heart of Alaska’s wild beauty. From the majesty of Denali to the vastness of Wrangell St Elias, each park offers a unique and unforgettable experience. Plan ahead, embrace the logistics, and allow yourself to fully appreciate the grandeur of these natural wonders. Remember, AVIS Alaska is here to make your Alaskan national park adventure a seamless and memorable experience by answering any questions you might have. Stay tuned for our following guide, where we’ll explore more incredible destinations in Alaska’s national parks.