Why This Trip?
This itinerary gives you the opportunity to explore a small piece of America's largest national park, Wrangell-St. Elias, with a scenic flight to get there. You'll also experience a ghost town, enjoy some rafting and fishing, and have time to get to know Anchorage.
Arrive & Overnight in Anchorage
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Welcome to Anchorage! Take today to explore Alaska's largest city. Go on a city tour via trolley or bike to get an overview, or join a brewery tour and sample some of the innovative suds being brewed here. Then get an in-depth picture of the city and state at the Anchorage Museum, or visit the Alaska Native Heritage Center for a dose of history and culture. Of course, you'll also want to experience the city's fantastic bars and restaurants.
Fly to McCarthy from Copper Center
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Today you'll drive northeast for about 200 miles to the tiny town of Copper Center, on the edge of Wrangell-St. Elias National Park. If you have time, stop in at the Copper Center VIsitor Center Complex and start to learn about the beautiful park you're about to explore. Also tour the Ahtna Cultural Center next door to see a hand-built fish wheel and hear about the Native Alaskans in this area. You'll then take an air taxi on a short, spectacular flight into McCarthy.
Day & Overnight in McCarthy
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With just a short time here, you'll only be able to explore a tiny section of this vast national park, but it's as fascinating as it is beautiful. Start with a tour of the Kennecott Mine, an abandoned copper mine established in 1903. Then try some activities. Have the unique experience of going for a guided hike on the Root Glacier; you can even try ice-climbing here. Enjoy some rafting, either on a placid glacial lake or speeding along a river, propelled by whitewater. You can also choose to go on a guided hiking or flightseeing tour in Wrangell St. Elias National Park.
McCarthy + Fly to Copper Center, drive back to Palmer / Wasilla
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Take the air taxi back from McCarthy to Copper Center. You'll be driving partway back to Anchorage today, so you may well have time for activity in this wilderness paradise. The Copper River Basin offers some real Alaskan fishing; guides can take you out to cast a line and then send home whatever you catch. Or go out for some spectacular rafting. Choose calm rivers or whitewater and soak in the beauty around you as you keep an eye out for wildlife like bears, moose, and eagles. Then drive around 3 hours to the day's final destination, the Palmer/Wasilla area.