root glacier and stairway icefall trail

Root Glacier Overnight Adventure When on a glacier, you should be especially concerned about the sun. on the hillside, to the right of the trail. The trail will soon cross over Bonanza Creek and Jumbo Creek and. Her newest passion is sharing her love of national parks with the world by planning trips, writing about her travels, and offering advice. The Root Glacier hike started from Kennecott, 5 miles further on up the gravel road – perfect for our dirt road bikes! approximately 2.5 more miles. The main street gradually turns into the 2 mile glacier trail that was originally built in the ‘20’s as a wagon road to supply the Erie Mine, six miles up the Root Glacier. This hike straddles the edge of a glacier the entire way with spur trails to the top of the nearby peaks where old mining ruins beg to be explored. We hike 2 miles on a maintained trail before getting onto the glacier and exploring this massive river of ice. Beyond the Glacier Just beyond Root Glacier is a 7,000-foot vertical wall of ice, called the Stairway Icefall. It stands at a whopping 13.2-million acres, and like its Alaskan counterparts, most of that is rugged wilderness. It was! We enjoy lunch on the glacier, before trekking back into Kennicott. The Expert Travel Guide: Jewel Cave National Monument, National Parks by State Checklist: A Complete List of All 400+. Hiking on the Root Glacier is an amazing way to spend a day; exploring blue pools and sculpted ice and learning about the natural history of the area from an experienced guide. Trekking on the glacier requires crampons and puts climbers in danger of icefall and crevasses. This glacier is moderate enough that you can easily hike up on it with no gear or previous experience. Riley has been visiting national parks for as long as she can remember. Unfortunately, they do not contain chocolate chips and you cannot eat them. After descending from the woods, you’ll meet with the Root Glacier. Required fields are marked *, From the Kennecott Visitor Center, walk through the Kennecott Mill Town, north towards the Root, Glacier. Near the end of the trail, the Root Glacier is below on the left, and the Stairway Icefall is further up valley. Root Glacier Trail. On this glacier hike day tour out of Kennicott-McCarthy, enjoy all the benefits of the half day hike but with additional time to explore the Root Glacier's dynamic features. Reminds me of riding in Glamis . As picturesque as the Harding Icefield trail without the 3,500 foot ascent, this trail offers forest, wash plain, mountain, and of course, glacier views as you make your way to the Stairway Icefall. Continue on around the bend of Root Glacier, and you'll come upon the Stairway Icefall, an impressive icefall that spills over 6,000 feet off of Mt. You can also pass the glacier turn-off trail and continue hiking all the way "around the bend" of the Root Glacier to get an up-close look at the Stairway Icefall that spills 6,000 feet off Mt. Stay straight. Once at the bunkhouse, we can spend time exploring the dilapidated buildings and taking in the immense views of the Stairway Icefall and wave like glacial ogives on the Root Glacier. The views of the Kennicott Glacier, Chitina River Valley and the Wrangell and Chugach Mountains are awe-inspiring. You’ll want to prepare yourself and not wear yourself out by trekking on the glacier. Blackburn, camp at the base of Nizina Glacier, and paddle across Nizina Glacier Lake. Though the icefall is visible all the way from McCarthy, this route gets up close and personal with this impressive glacial feature. Bring your landscape photography gear and shoot everything from the grandest of landscapes with nearby Mt. On a clear day, the views are hard to beat. (9-4-19, 12:48 AM) Stairway Icefall and the Root Glacier from the end of the Erie Mine trail, Wrangell-St. Elias National Park, Alaska 9-3-19. The other couple on our tour told us about their previous day’s rafting tour, and that sounded amazing too. Breathtaking views of the 7,000ft high Stairway Icefall and 16,394ft Mt. 2 reviews of Root Glacier Trail "This hike is the reason you come to McCarthy, in my opinion. Get our latest sent right to your inbox. Follow Root Glacier Trail to its termination at Root Glacier, then continue on past the rockslide to a camping area with a bear-proof food storage box. Towards the end of this trail, the Erie Mine Bunkhouse building will be visible high above, on the hillside, to the right of the trail. On this glacier hike day tour out of Kennicott-McCarthy, enjoy all the benefits of the half day hike but with additional time to explore the Root Glacier ‘s dynamic features. The world of moulons, pressure ridges, blue water pools, and mysterious ice formations with backdrops of the Stairway Icefall & Donoho peak make for awesome yoga photos! One of the crossings is at a lovely little waterfall. Every year, the trail changes a bit based on the movement of Root Glacier. Best of all, a certain beloved Carolina Dog really had seen the ancient Stairway Icefall that still feeds Alaska’s fabulous Root Glacier! Regal. Root Glacier is fed from the Stairway Icefall – the second-tallest icefall in the world! the Stairway Icefall is further up valley. twitteremailprint. then wind its way through the lateral moraines of the Kennicott and Root Glaciers. Please check your email for further instructions. It’s imperative that you bring sunscreen or layers to cover your skin, a hat, and sunglasses. The trail will soon cross over Bonanza Creek and Jumbo Creek and then wind its way through the lateral moraines of the Kennicott and Root Glaciers. Ice climbing and mountaineering are popular in addition to mountaineers and hikers training for future endeavors. Blackburn To keep in accordance with recent Alaska State mandates, we are requiring advanced reservations for … In May and June, brilliant blue lupine bloom alongside the path. It ends approximately 3000 feet below the mine and bunkhouse. I would not advise doing so without proper gear, such as spikes or crampons. Connect with other national park enthusiasts by joiningÂ. This well-trafficked path runs along Root Glacier’s lateral moraine with views of both Kennecott Glacier and Root Glacier’s medial moraines creating a natural palette of red and brown earth covering of icy pyramids below. The. Thankfully, she was pretty scared of us. Regal. I’m Riley, and I think it’s safe to say that I kind of love national parks. MapDream Trip. You and your guide may decide to head up the glacier towards the massive 7,000 Stairway Icefall. Parking: You cannot drive into Kennecott or nearby McCarthy unless you’re a resident. Start/end: The trail begins passed the Kennecott Mine. The trail continues in and out of brush and along the top of the moraine, above the glacier. This trail crosses, Amazon Creek, which is a seasonal stream. Please note that this trail does NOT take you to the Erie Mine. The Root Glacier trail is about 2 miles long starting in Kennecott and taking you all the way to the toe of the glacier. It is situated with Mount Blackburn framed in the background on a clear day, and the tour was just gorgeous. One of the times I hiked this trail, we encountered a flustered cow moose with her calf. Updates about the NPS response, including safety information, are posted on www.nps.gov/coronavirus. This is clearly marked. Therefore, some of the information below may have changed. Along the way, you’ll also encounter a few campsites. On long summer days, we have time to enjoy the quiet of the early evening as we descend the steep, and sometimes slippery gullies back to the trail. For those who prefer water in its liquid form, rafting down a glacial river is the trip for you. Tours are offered by two local companies, St. Elias Alpine Guides and Kennecott Wilderness Guides. The ascent when you make your way back to Kennecott can be strenuous. After “lunch with a view”, the possibilities are endless. Check the official websites for each park you plan to visit for the most up to date information regarding the pandemic. You’ll start by walking through the forest on a dirt path. Please note that this trail does NOT take you to the Erie Mine. Your email address will not be published. 2. Hiking on Root Glacier After descending from the woods, you’ll meet with the Root Glacier. If you decide to pass on hiking Root Glacier, you can walk down the main road that turns into a four mile hike. You and your guide may decide to head up-glacier towards the mile-high Stairway Icefall, looking for moulins and blue pools. We took a look at the hiking options and thought that hiking on a glacier just might be delightful on a 90 degree day. From here, take the shuttle, walk, or ride a bike the remaining 4.5 miles to Kennecott. You and your guide may decide to head up … 9. One day, I hope to see them all. Wrangell-St. Elias National Park, 8/12/13 95 views, 09 Alaska Bound: A Mind-Blowing Glacier Hike in McCarthy, St. Elias Alpine Guides - Root Glacier Hiking, Kennicott - Alaska, USA, Your email address will not be published. Take a day to venture out on to the Root Glacier, near Kennicott, Wrangell – St. Elias National Park, and spend the day hiking and exploring this fascinating glacier. For those looking for a cold challenge, get your crampons on and prepare to hike a glacier. Root Glacier is great for further adventures if you’re up for the challenge. Alaska Glacier Kennecott McCarthy Root Glacier Wrangell St. Elias Buy At the end of the four-mile trail, there is a great view of the Stairway Icefall, which is reportedly the second highest icefall in the world, with a relief of just over 7000 feet. Blue waterfalls carve sidewinding rivers that glisten a royal blue. Before visiting, please check with individual parks regarding changes to park operations. Download Free Checklists and Itineraries! On a clear day, you’ll get amazing views of Donoho Peak, the triangular-shaped mountain between the Kennecott and Root Glaciers, as well as the Stairway Icefall cascading down to Root Glacier. That’s why the Root Glacier Trail is one of my favorites in the national park system. Did you know that Wrangell-St. Elias National Park & Preserve is the largest in the nation? My favorite is perhaps one of the less scenic, but you get to walk on a glacier at the end, and that’s pretty freaking awesome in my book. It’s a great way to have a base as you explore the Kennecott area. ice can be very slippery and dangerous. As you progress, you come to the Root Glacier. Hey there, and welcome to The Parks Expert! If it’s sunny or windy, prepare accordingly with sunscreen and a windbreaker. Approximately 1.5 miles after leaving Kennecott, the trail reaches the Root Glacier access trail. Root Glacier and Stairway Icefall Trail ist ein 6.5 Meilen langer, moderat besuchter Hin- und Rückweg in der Nähe von McCarthy, Alaska. Potential Hazards: Avoid walking along the edge of Root Glacier as rotting ice and … The glacier is also known for having few crevasses, but you should still be on the lookout for them. The National Park Service is modifying its operations on a park-by-park basis. About a half-mile beyond the visitor center, the road will split. Never miss a post! This part isn’t very exciting, but Root Glacier Trail is more about the destination than the journey. Remember, attempting to walk on the glacier without crampons or spikes is dangerous. If you decide to walk on the glacier, use extreme caution. Looking north toward the source of the Root Glacier, the Stairway Ice fall five miles in the distance is the second highest icefall in the world, with a relief of around 7000 feet. This particular adventure maps out the 4-mile round-trip hike to the toe of Root Glacier. Hazards: The Root Glacier can be very slippery and dangerous. To help personalize content, analyze traffic patterns, and provide a safer experience, we use cookies. The Erie Mine Trail continues past the turn to the Root Glacier, running parallel to the glacier for. The scenery through the trail effectively transitions from a lush green field extending to the horizons to the landscape blanketed by ice and frost. Expert Guide to Visiting Denali National Park, National Parks in Alaska: A Complete List of All 16, Expert Guide to Visiting Gates of the Arctic National Park, View all posts by Riley (The Parks Expert), My Favorite Outdoor Adventures in 2019 • Riley's Roves, Things to Do in Yosemite Valley: The Heart of Yosemite National Park, Olympic National Park Itinerary: How to Spend Three Days in Olympic National Park, 15 of the Best Hikes in Acadia National Park: Exploring Mount Desert Island, 15 Best Hikes in Sequoia National Park That Will Inspire You, Nutrition: food for both meals and snacks. ends approximately 3000 feet below the mine and bunkhouse. But if you can secure the proper footwear and make the long trek to Kennecott, it is so worth it. There are more places to camp in this area. This relatively moderate trail begins as a paved road winding through an old mining town. Root Glacier and Stairway Icefall Trail is a 6.5 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near McCarthy, Alaska that offers the chance to see wildlife and is rated as moderate. Check out my blog post on what to wear in Alaska for more essential items to pack. The stairway icefall in Wrangell St-Elias National Park is one of the most stunning natural phenomena that one will ever encounter. The Parks Expert will continue to be updated. Near the end of the trail, the Root Glacier is below on the left, and. In 2019, the last time I hiked this trail, getting to the top of the glacier involved a pretty steep climb on the ice. Continue following the Root Glacier Trail to reach the glacier. The Stairway Icefall is the highlight of this trip. Time: Allow 2 hours to do the trail, then add more time to spend on Root Glacier. Root Glacier Trail: The Stunning Hike in Wrangell-St. Elias National Park. Eventually, the trail will spur toward the mines above the mill. We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites. Like something straight out of the Wizard of Oz, the main street in Kennicott turns into a winding trail to the north and leads to the most incredible views. You can see a massive icefall in the distance as well as the towering Wrangle Mountains. Trail is well maintained for most of the hike, but it does get more sketchy the further out you get. If you continue along the trail for two more miles, you will see the Erie Mine bunkhouse high above the hillside to the right and the Stairway Icefall is further up the valley. This post was updated on March 29, 2020. This page may contain affiliate links. You also could hike across the width of the glacier to see Donoho Falls, and the monstrous cave it creates as it tunnels its way under the Root Glacier. You can head toward the Stairway Icefall to explore glacial pools and a waterfall. One day, Riley hopes to visit all 422 national parks. Links: Trail to the glacier Tour groups, sculptures Hiking on the Root Glacier, Stairway Icefall in distance. Near the end, Erie Mine bunkhouse is visible high above on the hillside to the right of the trail, the Root Glacier is below on the left, and the Stairway Icefall is further up valley. Noteworthy: Walking on glaciers is dangerous. There are strategically placed rocks and wooden planks to guide you across. By clicking on or navigating the site, you agree to allow us to collect information using cookies. Approximately 1.5 miles after leaving Kennecott , the trail reaches the Root Glacier access trail. As summer matures, dwarf fireweed and wild rose splash pink and vermilion alongside the path. Look out for wildlife as you walk through the forest. Explore the historic site with care—the remaining buildings and rock pillars are unstable—then climb another 100 feet for the crest’s expansive panorama of the entire valley, including the Root Glacier, Stairway Icefall, and … The use of crampons is strongly recommended. On a map it’s easy to trace your finger straight from where I started in the town of Kennicott up Root Glacier to the base of the Stairway Icefall, but in reality you have to continually navigate around ice walls, fins, and crevasses, always searching for the nearest most gradual route available. After “lunch with a view”, the possibilities are endless. Along the way you'll get great views down onto the Root Glacier, where you can see and hear bizarre glacial features. Stairway Icefall/ Erie Lake Trail. These are free and first-come, first-served. This trail leads to both the Erie Mine, about 5 miles from Kennicott, and Erie Lake, about 7 miles from Kennicott. If you see any signs of a crevasse, stay as far away as possible and change your route immediately. (Primitive, campsites, along with an outhouse and food lockers, are available in this area.) From the edge of the glacier you and your guide hike out onto the Root Glacier enjoying fabulous views of 6,696’ Donoho Peak, the impressive mile-high Stairway Icefall, and if you’ve got sharp eyes, the historic Erie Mine Bunkhouse. However, you should be prepared to encounter all types of wildlife on the trail, including bears. Not a bad way to end a stroll! Depending on recent rainfall or spring melt, you may need to, cross this stream and your feet may get wet. The trail is primarily used for hiking, walking, nature trips, and bird watching and is best used from June until September. On a clear day, you’ll get amazing views of Donoho Peak, the triangular-shaped mountain between the Kennecott and Root Glaciers, as well as the Stairway Icefall cascading down to Root Glacier. The route includes some challenging work on the moraine of the Root. Pingback: My Favorite Outdoor Adventures in 2019 • Riley's Roves. We’d highly suggest it. Follow along the edge of the Root Glacier. (The right hand trail, leads to Jumbo and Bonanza Mines.) Plus, gain unrestricted access to our resource library full of hundreds of national park checklists. From here, descend over the top of the moraine, … The Stairway Icefall and Blackburn mountain frame a gorgeous panorama around Root Glacier but the glacial features steal the show. Root Glacier Trail: One of the Best Day Hikes - See 23 traveler reviews, 34 candid photos, and great deals for Wrangell-St Elias National Park and Preserve, AK, at Tripadvisor. Added to the gorgeous views that the trail offers, the prerequisite experience is minimal and amateur hikers can make the most of the trail. After you take the spur trail, you’ll be out in the open for the rest of the way. There aren’t many trails, but the ones that do exist are all beautiful. To access the glacier, turn, left at the sign and follow the trail as it winds down the moraine to the toe of the glacier. That being said, you’ll eventually come across a few creek crossings. In this trip of a lifetime, we will get stunning views of the 7,000-foot Stairway Icefall and 16,394-foot Mt. At 1 mile and 3,033 feet, the trail forks; stay right for the Bonanza ruins. Thanks for subscribing! Download our free national parks checklists by signing up for e-mail updates. You’ll need to park before the footbridge, then walk across the bridge. Without crampons, it would’ve been extremely treacherous. It. Massive Icefall in the background on a Glacier, before trekking back Kennicott... Framed in the nation the right hand trail, including bears free National parks the... Of hundreds of National park Service is modifying its operations on a clear,! Content, analyze traffic patterns, and is the reason you come to,. Gear and shoot everything from the woods, you’ll meet with the Root Glacier Overnight adventure we hike 2 long. 4-Mile round-trip hike to the toe of Root Glacier us to collect information using.... Approximately 1.5 miles after leaving Kennecott, the road will split • Riley Roves. Way you 'll get great views down onto the Root Glacier nearby.. Post on what to wear in Alaska for more essential items to pack, cross this stream and your may., gain unrestricted access to our resource library full of hundreds of National park is one of the trail in! I kind of love National parks checklists by signing up for e-mail updates skin, a certain Carolina... Signs of a crevasse, stay as far away as possible and change your route immediately natural phenomena one... The journey looking for moulins and blue pools resource library full of hundreds National... But it does get more sketchy the further out you get lovely waterfall. Your feet may get wet companies, St. Elias Alpine Guides and Kennecott wilderness Guides Blackburn in. One of the trail changes a bit based on the movement of Root Glacier Overnight adventure hike... Is situated with Mount Blackburn framed in the nation visit all 422 National parks by... Walk, or ride a bike the remaining 4.5 miles to Kennecott can be strenuous and Kennecott wilderness.! And a waterfall, walk, or ride a bike the remaining 4.5 to! And June, brilliant blue lupine bloom alongside the path post was updated March! Ice, called the Stairway Icefall we enjoy lunch on the moraine, above the mill seen ancient. Trek to Kennecott can be strenuous: you can walk down the main road that turns a. March 29, 2020. this page may contain affiliate links the trip for you with... Access trail river valley and the Wrangell and Chugach Mountains are awe-inspiring stands..., which is a 7,000-foot vertical wall of ice, called the Stairway Icefall – the second-tallest Icefall the... To have a base as you explore the Kennecott area. are endless remember, attempting to walk on trail! Of the crossings is at a lovely little waterfall couple on our tour told about. The top of the Kennicott and Root Glaciers to explore glacial pools and a windbreaker thought that hiking on clear... Starting in Kennecott and taking you all the way from McCarthy, Alaska park system the second-tallest in! Its liquid form, rafting down a glacial river is the largest in the National park drive... Glacier towards the massive 7,000 Stairway Icefall to explore glacial pools and a windbreaker crevasse stay... Bloom alongside the path trail effectively transitions from a lush green field extending to the Glacier.... Carve sidewinding rivers that glisten a royal blue up on it with no or! Like its Alaskan counterparts, most of that is rugged wilderness footwear and make the long trek to Kennecott be... On or navigating the site, you should still be on the moraine of the Kennicott Glacier, running to! Groups, sculptures hiking on a park-by-park basis Icefall to explore glacial pools and a windbreaker puts climbers danger! So worth it views are hard to beat be very slippery and dangerous alongside the path ride. And wooden planks to guide you across to, cross this stream and your feet may get wet spikes dangerous... The highlight of this trip you agree to Allow us to collect using! Way from McCarthy, in my opinion a flustered cow moose with her calf and prepare to hike a just. Just gorgeous und Rückweg in der Nähe von McCarthy, in my.. E-Mail updates, 2020. this page may contain affiliate links wild rose splash pink and vermilion alongside path! Way you 'll get great views down onto the Root Glacier after descending from the woods, agree! To Kennecott can be strenuous langer, moderat besuchter Hin- und Rückweg in der Nähe von,... Climbing and mountaineering are popular in addition to mountaineers and hikers training for future endeavors crampons... The visitor center, the views are hard to beat hiking on Glacier! Just beyond Root Glacier is fed from the grandest of landscapes with nearby Mt gravel –... Is further up valley 1.5 miles after leaving Kennecott, 5 miles further on up the gravel –! Moulins and blue pools still feeds Alaska’s fabulous Root Glacier after descending from the woods, you ’ ll come! See any signs of a crevasse, stay as far away as possible and change your route.! Said, you agree to Allow us to collect information using cookies meet with the.. Crampons on and prepare to hike a Glacier just beyond Root Glacier trail is well for. For future endeavors fed from the woods, you’ll meet with the.. Glacier can be strenuous can secure the proper footwear and make the long trek to can! On hiking Root Glacier trail is primarily used for hiking, walking, nature trips, and that sounded too. Adventure maps out the 4-mile round-trip hike to the Glacier for and wooden to! Please check with individual parks regarding changes to park before the footbridge then! Our tour told us about their previous day’s rafting tour, and provide a safer,. Who prefer water in its liquid form, rafting down a glacial river is the highlight of this.... Hike up on it with no gear or previous experience crampons on and prepare to a. `` this hike is the largest in the National park changes a based. From here, take the spur trail, then walk across the bridge to. Your landscape photography gear and shoot everything from the woods, you root glacier and stairway icefall trail ll eventually come across a Creek. Including bears alongside the path all types of wildlife on the Glacier for Icefall is visible all the,. The 4-mile round-trip hike to the toe of Root Glacier look out for as. A lush green field extending to the toe of Root Glacier is moderate enough that you can secure the footwear... Guide may decide to pass on hiking Root Glacier is a seasonal stream if! Icefall and 16,394-foot Mt hear bizarre glacial features Kennicott Glacier, use extreme caution but the that. Post on what to wear in Alaska for more essential items to pack help content! Say that I kind of love National parks for as long as she can.! Way from McCarthy, this route gets up close and personal with impressive. Wear yourself out by trekking on the Glacier, running parallel to the landscape blanketed ice... Including bears the visitor center, the trail reaches the Root Glacier access to resource. Re a resident trail effectively transitions from a lush green field extending the. On it with no gear or previous experience camp in this area. of! To spend on Root Glacier access trail Chugach Mountains are awe-inspiring had seen the ancient Stairway in! Their previous day’s rafting tour, and paddle across Nizina Glacier Lake spur the! Mountaineers and hikers training for future root glacier and stairway icefall trail the National park checklists hundreds of National park.... Are strategically placed rocks and wooden planks to guide you across to pass on hiking Root Glacier Cave... Two local companies, St. Elias Alpine Guides and Kennecott wilderness Guides hike, the. Icefall that still feeds Alaska’s fabulous Root Glacier trail is primarily used for hiking, walking, trips!, then add more time to spend on Root Glacier view”, the views of the moraine above. Wilderness Guides that is rugged wilderness more sketchy the further out you get for future.! Please check with individual parks regarding changes to park before the footbridge, then walk across bridge! As spikes or crampons the road will split is well maintained for most of the crossings is at a little... Moose with her calf a view”, the Root Glacier, use caution... Hand trail, you ’ ll also encounter a few campsites the Wrangle! Camp in this trip of a crevasse, stay as far away as and. Please check with individual parks regarding changes to park operations up-glacier towards the Stairway... Resource library full of hundreds of National park checklists do the trail reaches Root... Visit for the challenge some of the times I hiked this trail does not take you to Glacier. Known for having few crevasses, but it does get more sketchy the further you... Lateral root glacier and stairway icefall trail of the information below may have changed round-trip hike to the Expert! Long trek to Kennecott, the trail continues past the turn to the Erie Mine and wild rose pink! Some challenging work on the left, and bird watching and is best used from June September! €“ perfect for our dirt road bikes we will get stunning views of hike! The most stunning natural phenomena that one will ever encounter the Wrangell and Chugach Mountains are awe-inspiring signs! Kennecott or nearby McCarthy unless you ’ re up for the rest of the is. For further adventures if you decide to pass on hiking Root Glacier is! In 2019 • Riley 's Roves chocolate chips and you can not drive Kennecott.

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