Someone once described Wrangell-St. Elias National Park as "the biggest place you know nothing about." Before we began considering a stay in McCarthy, I'd never heard of this beautiful place. McCarthy, AK was homesteaded in the early 1900s and the park was not established until 1980. This area, therefore, is a patchwork of private and federal land. Here are a few astounding Wrangell-St. Elias National Park stats for ya: - This is the largest national park in the US. It's made of 13.2 millions acres! That's 6 Yellowstones (and larger than Switzerland)!
- It has 4 mountain ranges and 9 peaks over 14,000 ft. Nine of America's 16 largest peaks are found here.
- Wrangell-St. Elias is home to all of Alaska's big game species. It is also the US's most "wild" park. Here's a list of a few mammals that call this place "home": mountain goats, caribou, moose, brown/grizzly bear, black bear, bison, lynx, wolverine, river otter, marten, fox, wolves, marmots, beaver, porcupine, snowshoe hare, and bat.
- Mt. Wrangell, at 14,163 feet, is one of the largest active volcanoes in North America. Mt. St. Elias, at 18,008 feet, is the second highest peak in the United States.
- The Malaspina Glacier is larger than Rhode Island and the Nebesna Glacier is North America's longest--at 80 miles!
That's it for now... I'll let those facts sink in. :)