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Wrangell–St. Elias National Park and Preserve

Encompassing 13.2 million acres (it's nearly the size of West Virginia), the Wrangell–St. Elias National Park and Preserve stretches from one of the tallest peaks in North America, Mt. St. Elias (elevation 18,009 feet), to the ocean. This region is filled with adventures waiting to happen, mountains to be explored. Far, far removed from the hustle of cruise ships and tourist attractions, this is the wild Alaska.

People here have been living off the land in this region for centuries, and they still do. The town of Kennicott, once a profitable copper-mining company town, went bust in 1930, and what remains are excellently preserved buildings and the mill used to extract the copper ore. Kennicott is a now a National Historic Landmark and includes the Kennicott Glacier Lodge, in a replica mine building. Just a few miles down the road is the good-time town of McCarthy where historically mine workers went to drink and gamble. It has some of the same character today—this is where locals and seasonal guides live and play. Limited services are available in McCarthy and Kennicott: there are two places to stay, one food truck, two restaurants, and one bar.

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Fodor's The Complete Guide to the National Parks of the USA: All 63 parks from Maine to American Samoa

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