The Pilot’s Paradise
The Wrangell St. Elias National Park (often simply referred to as “The Wrangells”) is one of the largest national parks in the United States. Closely bordering Canada and enjoying large amounts of snow blowing in from the Gulf of Alaska each winter, the park has towering mountains and massive glaciers larger than many counties in the lower 48.
What makes it so special
There is no shortage of places to land in the National Park and National Preserve. With tons of miles-long glaciers feeding massive rivers, there are plenty of gravel bars, alpine strips, and just plain landable tundra with beautiful views everywhere you look. The park offers much more than just camping locations. Activities in and around the park include:
- Fat biking
- Panning for gold
- Fishing / hunting
- Exploring historic mining ruins
How long can you spend here?
Well it doesn’t get old staying in the park service’s first come first served public use cabins. The cabins come complete with wood stoves to keep warm and screened windows to keep out Alaska’s favorite insect (the mosquito). You can easily spend months here flying the park and not see it all. The ample camping spots and public use cabins make it a perfect destination to spend an entire Bush Pilot Training Course duration flying in the park.
What type of flying is there?
Expect to fly over many glaciers, land on gravels bars, riverbanks, tundra, and some high altitude strips (cloud ceiling permitting). You’ll experience a great mix of wind, short and long strips (some greater than 1,000′), density altitude changes, and some rougher terrain (some of the strips can be pretty rough after the rains). This location is great for anyone who feels comfortable at Level 1 or higher.