Wrangell-St. Elias National Park and Preserve

Wrangell-St. Elias National Park and Preserve

Infobox_protected_area | name = Wrangell-St. Elias National Park and Preserve
iucn_category = II

caption =
locator_x = 39
locator_y = 167
location = Valdez-Cordova Census Area, Yakutat City and Borough, and Southeast Fairbanks Census Area, flagicon|Alaska Alaska, USA
nearest_city = Anchorage
lat_degrees = 61
lat_minutes = 0
lat_seconds = 0
lat_direction = N
long_degrees = 142
long_minutes = 00
long_seconds = 0
long_direction = W
area = 13,175,901 acres (53,321 km²)
established = December 2, 1980
visitation_num = 61,085
visitation_year = 2007 [National Park Service. [http://www2.nature.nps.gov/NPstats/select_report.cfm?by=year Park Visitation Report] ]
governing_body = National Park Service
world_heritage_site = 1979

Wrangell-St. Elias National Park and Preserve is a United States National Park in southern Alaska. It was established in 1980 by the Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act. The park area is included in an International Biosphere Reserve and is part of a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It is the largest national park in the United States by area, covering an area of 20,587 mi² (53,321 km²), or over 13 million acres (53,000 km²). The Wrangell-Saint Elias Wilderness is the largest designated wilderness in the United States. It includes the second-highest peak in the country, Mount Saint Elias, at 18,008 feet (5,489 m). It borders on Canada's Kluane National Park and Reserve. The vast majority of the park is designated as wilderness.

The park is accessible by highway from Anchorage; two rough gravel roads (the McCarthy Road and the Nabesna Road) wind through the park, making much of the interior accessible for backcountry camping and hiking. Chartered aircraft also fly into the park. Wrangell-St. Elias received 61,085 visitors in 2007 and is quickly gaining popularity through its combination of size, remoteness, and accessibility.

World Heritage Site

The transborder park system Kluane-Wrangell-St. Elias-Glacier Bay-Tatshenshini-Alsek (comprising Kluane, Wrangell-St Elias, Glacier Bay and Tatshenshini-Alsek parks) was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1979 for the spectacular glacier and icefield landscapes as well as for the importance of grizzly bears, caribou and Dall sheep habitat.


See also

* Kennecott, Alaska, a historic mining town found within the park
* Ferdinand von Wrangel — Russian explorer & admiral for whom Mount Wrangell (sic) volcano is named; more accurately transliterated as Vrangel (sic).

* Mount Saint Elias — How mapmakers "may" have settled on this proper noun.


External links

* [http://www.nps.gov/wrst Official NPS site]
* [http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/72 World Heritage Site]

Further reading

*Eppinger, R.G., et al. (2000). "Environmental geochemical studies of selected mineral deposits in Wrangell-St. Elias National Park and Preserve, Alaska" [U.S. Geological Survey Professional Paper 1619] . Reston, VA: U.S. Department of the Interior, U.S. Geological Survey.
*Winkler, G.R. (2000). "A geologic guide to Wrangell-Saint Elias National Park and Preserve, Alaska : a tectonic collage of northbound terranes" [U.S. Geological Survey Professional Paper 1616] . Denver: U.S. Department of the Interior, U.S. Geological Survey.

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