Backpacking Loops Overview
Off-trail adventures in true Alaskan wilderness.
Breathtaking scenery and great off-trail hiking has made backpacking in Wrangell-St. Elias world famous and one of the best places for backpacking loops anywhere.
What are backpacking loops?
Backpacking loops are multi-day hiking trips that start and end at the same location, forming a loop or circular route. One of the biggest rewards of Backpacking Loops is spending time in backpack-access only locations. These are amazing places that you’ll work to get to and we recommend giving yourself ample time to enjoy them once you are there.
Backpacking Loops start with scenic bush plane flights into the backcountry or directly from our office in Kennicott. You will need to be able to carry a pack on these trips that range from 35 – 50lbs through a variety of terrain.
Unlike a point-to-point hike where the trail leads from one end to the other, a backpacking loop allows hikers to experience a variety of landscapes and terrain within a circular route. This type of trip often requires camping overnight along the way, and requires careful planning for things like food and water supplies, as well as navigation and shelter. Although generally less committing than Point-to-Point trips, Backpacking Loops can range from first time backpacking trips to challenging multi-day adventures in areas not traveled by popular Point-to-Points and are a popular way for outdoor enthusiasts to experience the beauty and isolation of the wilderness.
How long does it take?
Trip length and types vary depending on your goals. You can move camp every day, or mix in day hikes and layover days. For example, on a 5 day trip, you may move camp 3 days and have 2 days to enjoy day-hikes without big backpacks.
View all Backpacking Loops
Length of Trip
|Root Glacier||Easy - Hard|
|$||Hike in from KWG’s office and explore our unbelievable backyard. Cross glaciers, hike in the alpine and camp with views of icefalls.
|The Fosse||Easy - Hard|
|$$||Fly over Alaska valley glaciers. Hike through wildflower-filled alpine to an iceberg filled lake and views of 16,390 ft Mt. Blackburn.|
|Nizina Lake||Easy - Medium|
|$$||Impressive flight next to the Mile High Cliffs. Mountain and valley views, glacial lake with floating/calving icebergs, dynamic geology.|
|Nikolai||Easy - Hard|
|$$||An impressive flight to a dramatic location. Hike world class ridges with incredible wildflowers, dynamic geology and expansive views.|
|Fan||Easy - Hard|
|$$$||A long flight gets you away from the crowds. Excellent hiking to views of hanging glaciers, huge vistas and unique kettle pools.|
|Skolai||Easy - Medium|
|$$||Fly through the heart of the Wrangells to an epic alpine pass at 6,000ft. Hike to waterfalls, hanging glaciers, lakes and big views.|
|Wrangell Plateau||Easy - Medium|
|$$$||A scenic flight to the enchanting alpine below Mt Wrangell, 14,163 ft. Hike to stunning views of waterfalls, glaciers and high peaks.|
|Iceberg||Easy - Hard|
|$$$||Fly through a large portion of the park. Hike to emerald alpine lakes in a valley surrounded by jagged peaks in an impressive landscape.|
|Hidden Gems||Easy - Hard|
|$$$$||These are special trips to places seldom seen. Trips and locations custom tailored to personalized itinerary and logistics.|