St. Elias Alpine Guides

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Experience the thrill of the Alaskan wilderness! Choose from a wide variety of multi-sport tours led by passionate pros and have a trip you’ll never forget.

The Experience

Two backpackers trek through a mountain pass.

Founded in 1978, St. Elias Alpine Guides has a long history of sharing the wilderness with travelers.

No matter the sport, St. Elias Alpine Guides gives you the chance to experience the Alaskan wilderness of your dreams. Take advantage of their multi-faceted and multi-sport offerings—along with a host of great guides. Founded in 1978, they have a long history of sharing the wilderness with travelers—whether the activity involves hiking a glacier, backpacking, rafting, skiing, or even doing some extreme mountaineering—there’s something for everyone! You can also take advantage of the option to customize your trip—perfect for families or groups with a range of interests and abilities. No matter what you choose, you’ll be matched with a knowledgeable guide who’s passionate about the gorgeous Alaskan wilderness.

The Tours

Kennecott Mill Town Tour

This wilderness town—once home to a bustling mining operation—was left abandoned some 100 years ago, and everything, including the machinery, has been preserved just as it was back then. Now you can tour the town with an expert: St. Elias Alpine Guides was granted special permission to take travelers not only around the town, but also inside the buildings. Experience the eerie feeling of walking around these abandoned buildings, and hear what life was like for those who worked and lived here. You’ll learn some of the stories of these larger-than-life characters and come away with some great photos to show. It’s not a strenuous walk, and all ages are welcome.

Explore historic buildings that were abandoned over 100 years ago on the Kennecott Mill Town Tour

Explore historic buildings that were abandoned over 100 years ago on the Kennecott Mill Town Tour

Glacier Trek Tours

Thanks to the fact that the Root and Kennicott glaciers spill right into town, it’s easy to get to the ancient ice. And it’s on these glaciers you’ll find a fascinating wonderland of nature, with lots of ways to go exploring. It’s truly a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. Choose from a private tour (good for families) or a group tour. You can also choose a half-day option (and combine it with the Kennecott Mill Town Tour) or a full-day option (where you get to see many more of the Root Glacier’s cool features, like the world’s largest icefall outside the Himalayas). Here are a couple options.

Ice Climbing

No experience is necessary to take on the challenge of scaling the dramatic icy walls of a glacier in one of the world’s most spectacular environments! Expert guides will be walking you through every step. You’ll start off with a 2-mile hike to the Root Glacier, get fitted with the gear you need, learn some pro tips, and try your hand at this challenging but satisfying activity. You’ll also enjoy views of the 7,000-foot-high Stairway Icefall as well as 16,390-foot Mt. Blackburn and other surrounding peaks. All climbs can be customized.

Ice Cave Exploration

Glowing blue walls of ice, walking deep in an otherworldly setting, touching the various textures of ice: This truly unique opportunity is your chance to see what’s happening inside a glacier…without climbing. It’s a strenuous half-day trip (though you can also add it to a private full-day hike) that will be one of the most memorable experiences of your Alaskan getaway!

Tent in a mountain valley

Fly in and out of remote locations in Wrangell St. Elias National Park and experience the Alaskan backcountry

Backpacking Tours

Fly in and out of remote locations in this gorgeous national park and experience a real wilderness trip in the Alaskan backcountry—it’s like stepping back in time. Sleep in a tent and wake up surrounded by the sights and sounds of Alaska. Different locations offer different landscapes, like rolling tundra, dramatic ice scenery, snow-capped peaks, glacier access, and more. On each and every trip, knowledgeable and professional guides will share their enthusiasm for the area as they lead you past some of the world’s most amazing scenery. Choose from many itineraries, including these.

Skolai Pass Basecamp

This 4-day expedition visits the dramatic alpine tundra of Skolai Pass. You’ll set up camp in this remote valley and then do day hikes to amazing views from Chitistone Pass. Keep an eye out for bears, sheep, and caribou as you take in the surrounding scenery, including glaciers, towering mountains, gorgeous wildflowers, and much more.

Glacier & Tundra Backpack Trip

Take a 4- or 5-day trip into the heart of the Alaskan backcountry in America’s largest national park. You’ll get a great sampling of the park’s majesty through its massive glaciers, soaring peaks, and lush valleys. Sleep in the great outdoors and spend your days exploring everything from glacial pools to tundra-covered mountainsides.

Other Tours

Choose from a wide variety of tour options when you travel with St. Elias Alpine Guides. Rafting is a thrilling way to see the area, and you can choose a multi-day rafting experience or spend a full day going rafting and hiking. Into mountaineering? Climb remote and never-before climbed peaks surrounded by the stunning wilderness. Go skiing and take advantage of the fact that 35% of the parkland is covered in snow and ice. Or choose from a variety of other options, like fly-in hikes or fly-in kayaking, which allow you to experience the truly remote wilds of Alaska.

Getting There

Motherlode Powerhouse
McCarthy, AK 99588
Driving Directions

Prices & Dates

Season May 29 - Sept 12
Duration 2 hrs - Multi-Day
Rates May 29 - Sept 12 // Kennecott Mill Town Tours | $28 adult - $14 child | 2 hrs | 9:30am, 1:30pm, 3:30 pm Start Times
Half-day Glacier Hike | $95 adult - $75 child | 5-6 hrs | 9am Start Time
Full-day Glacier Hike | $130 adult - $110 child | 8-9 hrs | 9 am Start Time
Ice Climbing | $155 adult - $135 child | 8-9 hrs | 9 am Start Time
Multi-day Backpacking/Basecamp Excursions | 2-8 days | Customizable - Prices vary based on trip
June 1 - Sept 1 // Day Raft and Flightsee Trip | 6-8 hours | $335 adult - $285 child** | 10am Start Time
Half-Day Glacier Kayaking | 4-5 hours | $95 adult - $75 child | 9am, 2:30pm Start Times
July 1 - Aug 15 // Kennecott Mill Town Tours | 2 hours | $28 adult - $14 child | 9:30am, 11:30am, 1:30pm, 3:30pm Start Times
Half-day Glacier Hike | 5-6 hours | $95 adult - $75 child | 9am & 1 pm Start Time
July 1 - TBD // Ice Cave Exploration* | 4-5 hours | $110 | 10am Start Time
Rates Notes Child rates are for ages 12 and under
Additional Rafting and Kayaking trips are available, visit our website for more details
*No advanced bookings are offered for our Ice Cave Exploration. You must participate in a glacier activity with us prior to signing up on this activity. Conditions are extremely variable, and the caves may close unexpectedly.
**Children must be 8 or older to participate in a rafting excursion

St. Elias Alpine Guides

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