Wrangell–St. Elias National Park and Preserve are a United States national park and national preserve jointly managed by the National Park Service in southeastern Alaska established in 1980 by the Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act. This protected area is included in an International Biosphere Reserve and is part of a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The park and preserve form the largest area managed by the National Park Service in the United States by area with a total of 13,175,799 acres (20,587.19 sq mi; 53,320.57 km2). This is larger than nine states and is comparable in size 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 18,074 feet (5,509 m), Mount St. Elias is the second highest mountain in both Canada and the United States. In total 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. Nearly 66 percent is designated as wilderness. 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 which makes much of the interior accessible for backcountry camping and hiking. Chartered aircraft also fly into the park. Wrangell–St. Elias received more than 60,000 visitors in 2011 and is quickly gaining popularity through its combination of size, remoteness, and accessibility.
Famous quotes containing the words preserve, park and/or national:
“But the impressions which the morning makes vanish with its dews, and not even the most persevering mortal can preserve the memory of its freshness to midday.”
—Henry David Thoreau (18171862)
“Mrs. Mirvan says we are not to walk in [St. Jamess] Park again next Sunday ... because there is better company in Kensington Gardens; but really, if you had seen how every body was dressed, you would not think that possible.”
—Frances Burney (17521840)
“Maybe its understandable what a history of failures Americas foreign policy has been. We are, after all, a country full of people who came to America to get away from foreigners. Any prolonged examination of the U.S. government reveals foreign policy to be Americas miniature schnauzera noisy but small and useless part of the national household.”
—P.J. (Patrick Jake)