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Friday, January 7, 2011
Wrangell-St Elias National Park, Alaska
Wrangell – St. Elias National Park and Preserve is a United States National Park in southeastern 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 13million acres (53,000 km²). In fact, it is larger than nine U.S. States, and its size is comparable to the Canadian province of Nova Scotia.
Mount St. Elias is situated on the border of Wrangell – St. Elias National Park and Canada's Kluane National Park and Reserve. At 18,008 feet (5,489 m), Mt. St. Elias is the second highest mountain in both Canada and the United States. In all, nine of the 16 highest peaks on U.S. soil are located in the park, along with North America's largest subpolar icefield, glaciers, rivers, an active volcano, and the historic Kennecott copper mines. The vast majority of the park is designated as wilderness, and the Wrangell – St. Elias Wilderness is the largest designated wilderness in the United States.
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.
Note: This is no. 28 and the last of the series of articles on national park in the US. I hope you found this series informative.