Wrangell – St Elias National Park & Preserve Fees & Reservations
There are no fees at Wrangell – St Elias National Park & Preserve, no entrance stations, no fees, you can enter the park free of charge, so of course, no reservations are necessary either . . . unless you plan to stay in one of the cabins within the park, some of them need reservations, some of them don’t.
In total there are 14 cabins within Wrangell – St Elias National Park & Preserve which are available for public use. They are all in the middle of nowhere, well, they are all in different “middles of nowhere” – extremely remote locations, some of them can be only be reached by airplane.
Wrangell – St Elias National Park & Preserve Cabins
Many of the cabins in Wrangell – St Elias National Park are old trapping, mining or hunting cabins which the National Park Service have restored. Visitors are permitted to stay for a maximum of seven days in any 30 days. Most of the cabins are available on a first come, first served basis, some of them, however, do require reservations.
The cabins are very basic so visitors must take with them any personal stuff they are gonna’ need – sleeping equipment, dining equipment etc. They are all equipped with bunks and a wood stove and there should be some wood in the store which must be replaced before leaving. All cabins must be left cleaner and tidier than they were when each visitor arrived – that’s the best way to think about it.
- Viking Lodge Cabin – this is one of the cabins within the park which must be reserved all year round. It is located just a little to the north of Nabesna Road, around 1/4 mile and is accessible by snow machine or on foot during the winter months.
- Caribou Creek Cabin – must also be reserved all year round. This cabin is accessible on foot and is at the end of the Caribou Creek Trail (3 miles), the trailhead of which is on Nabesna Road mile 19.5, parking is available at mile 18.9.
- Nugget Creek Cabin – needs to be reserved from the beginning of April until the end of September, the rest of the year it is available as a first come, first served basis. It can be reached by air or on foot, at the end of the Nugget Creek Trail (14 miles), the trailhead for this trail is on the Kotsina Road – turn off the McCarthy Road at mile 14.5.
- Glacier Creek Cabin with Airstrip – as you may have guessed access to this remote cabin is by air. It’s located around 18 miles to the east of McCarthy, just a little (half a mile) south of the Chitistone River. You must make a reservation if you want to stay in this cabin from April through to September.
- Chelle Lake Cabin with Airstrip – is another cabin which is accessed via the air, in the parks northwest corner close to Mount Drum. No reservations are required here, it’s first come first served.
- Orange Hill Cabin with Airstrip – access to this remote cabin is either via the air, or during the winter months with a snow machine. It’s around 13 miles to the southeast of Nabesna, 20 miles from the Nabesna Road on a snow machine. No reservations are required here, it’s first come first served.
- Too Much Johnson Cabin plus Chisana Airstrip – is in Chisana, an old mining settlement. It must be accessed via the air, you don’t need to make any reservations – it’s around 100 miles from Gulkana airport to the east.
- Peavine Cabins plus Airstrip – one of these cabins in wheelchair accessible, but the cabins themselves must be accessed by snow machine or in the air. No reservations are required for these cabins which are around 14 miles to the east of McCarthy.
- May Creek Cabin plus Airstrip – this cabin does not need reserving and is situated between Chititu and May Creek around 11 miles southeast from McCarthy. Access to this cabin is by air.
- Jake’s Bar Cabin plus Airstrip – this cabin can be accessed by air or by the Chitina River, they are on the north shore of the river around 15 miles to the south of McCarthy. Reservations are not required.
- Hubert’s Landing Cabin plus Airstrip – is in the southeast corner of Wrangell – St Elias National Park, access is available by air. Reservations are not required.
- Esker Stream Cabin – requires reservations all year round. Access to the cabin is by air with a fantastic beach landing. It is located close to Yakatut. There is a charge to stay in this cabin of $25 per night.
Camping at Wrangell – St Elias National Park & Preserve
Many people who visit Wrangell – St Elias National Park & Preserve choose to camp on the Kendesnii Campground, the only campground in the park which is run by the National Park Service (there are some other commercial businesses within the park). The campground is free, no reservations are required and is located on Nabesna Road, mile 27.8. There are 10 designated camping sites each equipped with a fire ring and picnic table. Two vault toilets are at the campground.
Back country camping is also permitted on public lands along the Nabesna and McCarthy Roads.