My husband befriended some backpackers who were planning in trip into Wrangell-St. Elias, departing (by air) from Nabesna, which is 40+ miles from the main highway, down a rutted gravel and dirt road. They took a 20 minute flight to their drop off point and spent about a week hiking in the backcountry. They came out yesterday.
All six of these guys are experienced backpackers; nonetheless, they appeared to be humbled by the ruggedness of the Alaska terrain. They were unable to find safe creek and river crossings, stumbled across five miles of muskeg and tussocks (which they equated to 15 or 20 miles of trail hiking), and were constantly looking over their shoulders and scanning the horizon for bears. They only completed a fraction of the route they had planned and were quite exhausted when they came out. . . but also talking excitedly about coming back.
It was a good reminder of the grandeur, ruggedness and wildness of this place I call home, something that I come to take for granted at times after years of living here. I always enjoy seeing Alaska through the eyes of first time visitors – it reminds me of my own first experiences here, as well as how fortunate I am to still be here.
Have a great weekend.
Here's the latest article from the Alaska site at BellaOnline.com.
Floating the Gulkana River
One way to see some otherwise inaccessible country is to float one of Alaska´s numerous rivers. The Gulkana River is a road accessible option for either a day trip or a week long float.
Please visit alaska.bellaonline.com for even more great content about Alaska.
Kimi Ross, Alaska Editor
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