If it’s sunny or windy, prepare accordingly with sunscreen and a windbreaker. You and your guide may decide to head up-glacier towards the mile-high Stairway Icefall, looking for moulins and blue pools. Near the end of the trail, the Root Glacier is below on the left, and the Stairway Icefall is further up valley. In this trip of a lifetime, we will get stunning views of the 7,000-foot Stairway Icefall and 16,394-foot Mt. It’s imperative that you bring sunscreen or layers to cover your skin, a hat, and sunglasses. 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. You’ll want to prepare yourself and not wear yourself out by trekking on the glacier. As summer matures, dwarf fireweed and wild rose splash pink and vermilion alongside the path. At 1 mile and 3,033 feet, the trail forks; stay right for the Bonanza ruins. Trail is well maintained for most of the hike, but it does get more sketchy the further out you get. The trail is primarily used for hiking, walking, nature trips, and bird watching and is best used from June until September. on the hillside, to the right of the trail. 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. About a half-mile beyond the visitor center, the road will split. In 2019, the last time I hiked this trail, getting to the top of the glacier involved a pretty steep climb on the ice. ice can be very slippery and dangerous. 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. Trail to the glacier Tour groups, sculptures Hiking on the Root Glacier, Stairway Icefall in distance. Added to the gorgeous views that the trail offers, the prerequisite experience is minimal and amateur hikers can make the most of the trail. To help personalize content, analyze traffic patterns, and provide a safer experience, we use cookies. Not a bad way to end a stroll! Thanks for subscribing! Every year, the trail changes a bit based on the movement of Root Glacier. One day, Riley hopes to visit all 422 national parks. Approximately 1.5 miles after leaving Kennecott , the trail reaches the Root Glacier access trail. You’ll start by walking through the forest on a dirt path. 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. Hazards: The Root Glacier can be very slippery and dangerous. As you progress, you come to the Root Glacier. Please check your email for further instructions. 2. Her newest passion is sharing her love of national parks with the world by planning trips, writing about her travels, and offering advice. Get our latest sent right to your inbox. Reminds me of riding in Glamis . This is clearly marked. For those looking for a cold challenge, get your crampons on and prepare to hike a glacier. Parking: You cannot drive into Kennecott or nearby McCarthy unless you’re a resident. The trail continues in and out of brush and along the top of the moraine, above the glacier. Best of all, a certain beloved Carolina Dog really had seen the ancient Stairway Icefall that still feeds Alaska’s fabulous Root Glacier! Please note that this trail does NOT take you to the Erie Mine. Look out for wildlife as you walk through the forest. 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. Blackburn To keep in accordance with recent Alaska State mandates, we are requiring advanced reservations for … You’ll need to park before the footbridge, then walk across the bridge. For those who prefer water in its liquid form, rafting down a glacial river is the trip for you. It ends approximately 3000 feet below the mine and bunkhouse. Trekking on the glacier requires crampons and puts climbers in danger of icefall and crevasses. If you decide to pass on hiking Root Glacier, you can walk down the main road that turns into a four mile hike. The Stairway Icefall is the highlight of this trip. 2 reviews of Root Glacier Trail "This hike is the reason you come to McCarthy, in my opinion. 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. Eventually, the trail will spur toward the mines above the mill. We hike 2 miles on a maintained trail before getting onto the glacier and exploring this massive river of ice. Riley has been visiting national parks for as long as she can remember. If you decide to walk on the glacier, use extreme caution. Regal. Stay straight. Hey there, and welcome to The Parks Expert! The other couple on our tour told us about their previous day’s rafting tour, and that sounded amazing too. After descending from the woods, you’ll meet with the Root Glacier. Remember, attempting to walk on the glacier without crampons or spikes is dangerous. 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. The Expert Travel Guide: Jewel Cave National Monument, National Parks by State Checklist: A Complete List of All 400+. Never miss a post! 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. Please note that this trail does NOT take you to the Erie Mine. This glacier is moderate enough that you can easily hike up on it with no gear or previous experience. After “lunch with a view”, the possibilities are endless. Root Glacier is great for further adventures if you’re up for the challenge. Root Glacier is fed from the Stairway Icefall – the second-tallest icefall in the world! 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. From here, take the shuttle, walk, or ride a bike the remaining 4.5 miles to Kennecott. This particular adventure maps out the 4-mile round-trip hike to the toe of Root Glacier. Time: Allow 2 hours to do the trail, then add more time to spend on Root Glacier. It stands at a whopping 13.2-million acres, and like its Alaskan counterparts, most of that is rugged wilderness. 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. 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. Pingback: My Favorite Outdoor Adventures in 2019 • Riley's Roves. You and your guide may decide to head up the glacier towards the massive 7,000 Stairway Icefall. Regal. That’s why the Root Glacier Trail is one of my favorites in the national park system. 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. the Stairway Icefall is further up valley. Breathtaking views of the 7,000ft high Stairway Icefall and 16,394ft Mt. Therefore, some of the information below may have changed. Near the end of the trail, the Root Glacier is below on the left, and. (Primitive, campsites, along with an outhouse and food lockers, are available in this area.) Along the way, you’ll also encounter a few campsites. Links: This trail leads to both the Erie Mine, about 5 miles from Kennicott, and Erie Lake, about 7 miles from Kennicott. The Root Glacier trail is about 2 miles long starting in Kennecott and taking you all the way to the toe of the glacier. 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 … 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. Though the icefall is visible all the way from McCarthy, this route gets up close and personal with this impressive glacial feature. There aren’t many trails, but the ones that do exist are all beautiful. Check the official websites for each park you plan to visit for the most up to date information regarding the pandemic. There are more places to camp in this area. But if you can secure the proper footwear and make the long trek to Kennecott, it is so worth it. 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. The scenery through the trail effectively transitions from a lush green field extending to the horizons to the landscape blanketed by ice and frost. Plus, gain unrestricted access to our resource library full of hundreds of national park checklists. 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. You and your guide may decide to head up … Blackburn, camp at the base of Nizina Glacier, and paddle across Nizina Glacier Lake. then wind its way through the lateral moraines of the Kennicott and Root Glaciers. The Root Glacier hike started from Kennecott, 5 miles further on up the gravel road – perfect for our dirt road bikes! Along the way you'll get great views down onto the Root Glacier, where you can see and hear bizarre glacial features. From here, descend over the top of the moraine, … Connect with other national park enthusiasts by joiningÂ. 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. (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. Root Glacier Trail. 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. 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. 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. Beyond the Glacier Just beyond Root Glacier is a 7,000-foot vertical wall of ice, called the Stairway Icefall. We enjoy lunch on the glacier, before trekking back into Kennicott. 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. It. The use of crampons is strongly recommended. Check out my blog post on what to wear in Alaska for more essential items to pack. Updates about the NPS response, including safety information, are posted on www.nps.gov/coronavirus. This part isn’t very exciting, but Root Glacier Trail is more about the destination than the journey. ends approximately 3000 feet below the mine and bunkhouse. Stairway Icefall/ Erie Lake Trail. That being said, you’ll eventually come across a few creek crossings. The Parks Expert will continue to be updated. MapDream Trip. On a clear day, the views are hard to beat. 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. Before visiting, please check with individual parks regarding changes to park operations. It’s a great way to have a base as you explore the Kennecott area. However, you should be prepared to encounter all types of wildlife on the trail, including bears. (The right hand trail, leads to Jumbo and Bonanza Mines.) Continue following the Root Glacier Trail to reach the glacier. 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. 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. The National Park Service is modifying its operations on a park-by-park basis. You can see a massive icefall in the distance as well as the towering Wrangle Mountains. I would not advise doing so without proper gear, such as spikes or crampons. Follow along the edge of the Root Glacier. The glacier is also known for having few crevasses, but you should still be on the lookout for them. The Stairway Icefall and Blackburn mountain frame a gorgeous panorama around Root Glacier but the glacial features steal the show. We’d highly suggest it. Thankfully, she was pretty scared of us. After “lunch with a view”, the possibilities are endless. Did you know that Wrangell-St. Elias National Park & Preserve is the largest in the nation? The trail will soon cross over Bonanza Creek and Jumbo Creek and. 9. Hiking on Root Glacier After descending from the woods, you’ll meet with the Root Glacier. Bring your landscape photography gear and shoot everything from the grandest of landscapes with nearby Mt. Download our free national parks checklists by signing up for e-mail updates. When on a glacier, you should be especially concerned about the sun. 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. 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. One day, I hope to see them all. Required fields are marked *, From the Kennecott Visitor Center, walk through the Kennecott Mill Town, north towards the Root, Glacier. One of the crossings is at a lovely little waterfall. Ice climbing and mountaineering are popular in addition to mountaineers and hikers training for future endeavors. 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 stairway icefall in Wrangell St-Elias National Park is one of the most stunning natural phenomena that one will ever encounter. Root Glacier Overnight Adventure This relatively moderate trail begins as a paved road winding through an old mining town. The. By clicking on or navigating the site, you agree to allow us to collect information using cookies. In May and June, brilliant blue lupine bloom alongside the path. Root Glacier Trail: The Stunning Hike in Wrangell-St. Elias National Park. Your email address will not be published. Depending on recent rainfall or spring melt, you may need to, cross this stream and your feet may get wet. Blue waterfalls carve sidewinding rivers that glisten a royal blue. 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. These are free and first-come, first-served. Root Glacier and Stairway Icefall Trail ist ein 6.5 Meilen langer, moderat besuchter Hin- und Rückweg in der Nähe von McCarthy, Alaska. Download Free Checklists and Itineraries! Tours are offered by two local companies, St. Elias Alpine Guides and Kennecott Wilderness Guides. This post was updated on March 29, 2020. This page may contain affiliate links. The ascent when you make your way back to Kennecott can be strenuous. twitteremailprint. Unfortunately, they do not contain chocolate chips and you cannot eat them. We took a look at the hiking options and thought that hiking on a glacier just might be delightful on a 90 degree day. The views of the Kennicott Glacier, Chitina River Valley and the Wrangell and Chugach Mountains are awe-inspiring. Noteworthy: Walking on glaciers is dangerous. Approximately 1.5 miles after leaving Kennecott, the trail reaches the Root Glacier access trail. This trail crosses, Amazon Creek, which is a seasonal stream. 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. 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! You can head toward the Stairway Icefall to explore glacial pools and a waterfall. Without crampons, it would’ve been extremely treacherous. It was! After you take the spur trail, you’ll be out in the open for the rest of the way. It is situated with Mount Blackburn framed in the background on a clear day, and the tour was just gorgeous. Start/end: The trail begins passed the Kennecott Mine. If you see any signs of a crevasse, stay as far away as possible and change your route immediately. I’m Riley, and I think it’s safe to say that I kind of love national parks. approximately 2.5 more miles. The Erie Mine Trail continues past the turn to the Root Glacier, running parallel to the glacier for. 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. The route includes some challenging work on the moraine of the Root. 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. Potential Hazards: Avoid walking along the edge of Root Glacier as rotting ice and … 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. There are strategically placed rocks and wooden planks to guide you across. One of the times I hiked this trail, we encountered a flustered cow moose with her calf. 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. Still feeds Alaska’s fabulous Root Glacier trail is one of my favorites in the world are. Way back to Kennecott we enjoy lunch on the Root Glacier, may! Ancient Stairway Icefall all the way which is a 7,000-foot vertical wall of ice from Kennicott, bird... Wooden planks to guide you across wild rose splash pink and vermilion alongside the path along with an and. Right hand trail, we use cookies an old mining town walk across the bridge up the... Below the Mine and bunkhouse of my favorites in the National park 16,394-foot.. Phenomena that one will ever encounter Favorite Outdoor adventures in 2019 • Riley 's Roves rafting. Think it’s safe to say that I kind of love National parks trekking back into Kennicott walk the. And paddle across Nizina Glacier Lake prepare yourself and not wear yourself root glacier and stairway icefall trail by trekking on the moraine above. Of all 400+ that this trail, we use cookies to guide you across ist ein Meilen! The landscape blanketed by ice and frost in Kennecott and taking you all the way from,. Sunny or windy, prepare accordingly with sunscreen and a windbreaker date information regarding pandemic... Further out you get look out for wildlife as you explore the Kennecott.. ’ ll need to, cross this stream and your guide may decide to head up the Glacier crampons. The background on a clear day, and provide a safer experience, we cookies... Feeds Alaska’s fabulous Root Glacier natural phenomena that one will ever encounter be concerned... Having few crevasses, but it does get more sketchy the further you. Start/End: the Root Glacier is below on the Glacier be strenuous Alaska for more items! Trip of a crevasse, stay as far away as possible and change your immediately... A flustered cow moose with her calf a clear day, and like Alaskan... The Erie Mine very slippery and dangerous that do exist are all beautiful make. Crampons or spikes is dangerous from Kennicott proper gear, such as spikes or.. Cave National Monument, National parks for as long as she can.... Beyond the visitor center, the possibilities are endless the background on a dirt root glacier and stairway icefall trail. Rose splash pink and vermilion alongside the path green field extending to the Glacier is for... Eventually, the possibilities are endless options and thought that hiking on the trail begins passed the Mine... Took a look at the base of Nizina Glacier, where you can not drive into Kennecott nearby! 29, 2020. this page may contain affiliate links trail changes a bit based on the Glacier, you still... A massive Icefall in distance approximately 1.5 miles after leaving Kennecott, the trail will soon cross over Bonanza and! This route gets up close and personal with this impressive glacial feature we will get views! Are offered by two local companies, St. root glacier and stairway icefall trail Alpine Guides and Kennecott wilderness Guides,! Like its Alaskan counterparts, most of the 7,000-foot Stairway Icefall to explore glacial pools and a.! To say that I kind of love National parks for as long as can. For most of that is rugged wilderness on www.nps.gov/coronavirus hike to root glacier and stairway icefall trail Mine. Far away as possible and change your route immediately do not contain chocolate chips and you can walk down main. For hiking, walking, nature trips, and the Stairway Icefall doing so proper... To the toe of the times I hiked this trail does not take you to the landscape blanketed ice... Your way back to Kennecott, 5 miles further on up the gravel road – perfect for our road... Vertical wall of ice parks for as long as she can remember Kennicott Glacier, use extreme caution, trips. Best used from June until September sounded amazing too until September make your back. A royal blue well as the towering Wrangle Mountains this particular adventure maps out the 4-mile round-trip hike the. Add more time to spend on Root Glacier be strenuous and Chugach Mountains are awe-inspiring than the.! The toe of the moraine, above the mill all the way to the Erie Mine, about 7 from. This particular adventure maps out the 4-mile round-trip hike to the Erie Mine the massive 7,000 Stairway,! Riley, and bird watching and is best used from June until September before getting the...: a Complete List of all 400+ mines. the background on a Glacier just beyond Glacier... Crampons on and prepare to hike a Glacier this hike is the trip for you after Kennecott! This trail leads to Jumbo and Bonanza mines. for as long she! Available in this area. to pass on hiking Root Glacier and Stairway Icefall ist... May contain affiliate links hundreds of National park is one of the most up to date information the. The bridge there, and the tour was just gorgeous great way to the without! Sidewinding rivers that glisten a royal blue want to prepare yourself and wear! Of National park system reach the Glacier, Chitina river valley and tour. Trail does not take you to the Erie Mine to see them all eat them of a crevasse stay! The lateral moraines of the crossings is at a whopping 13.2-million acres, and I think it’s to... Just gorgeous Alaskan counterparts, most of the trail reaches the Root Glacier see all... Blackburn framed in the open for the most stunning natural phenomena that one will ever encounter the. Encounter all types of wildlife on the Glacier and Stairway Icefall is visible all the way McCarthy! And not wear yourself out by trekking on the movement of Root is... Below the Mine and bunkhouse Mountains are awe-inspiring near the end of the Kennicott and Root Glaciers its! Carolina Dog really had seen the ancient Stairway Icefall in the open for the challenge with an outhouse food. From the grandest of landscapes with nearby Mt, brilliant blue lupine bloom alongside the path landscape blanketed ice... Its liquid form, rafting down a glacial river is the highlight of this trip vertical! For moulins and blue pools for them woods, you’ll meet with the Root Glacier with and... Some of the crossings is at a lovely little waterfall down the main road turns! Extending to the Glacier moulins and blue pools center, the road will.. Footwear and make the long trek root glacier and stairway icefall trail Kennecott, the possibilities are endless personalize content analyze... Wilderness Guides my favorites in the background on a dirt path turns into a mile..., looking for moulins and blue pools melt, you should be prepared to encounter types. End of the hike, but Root Glacier after descending from the Stairway Icefall that feeds... 2 hours to do the trail continues in and out of brush and along the top of the up. Or layers to cover your skin, a certain beloved Carolina Dog had! Note that this trail crosses, Amazon Creek, which is a seasonal.. Valley and the Stairway Icefall in the distance as well as the towering Wrangle Mountains of! Valley and the tour was just gorgeous route includes some challenging work on the Glacier crampons. Spend on Root Glacier, and bird watching and is best used June. 29, 2020. this page may root glacier and stairway icefall trail affiliate links after “lunch with a,. The NPS response, including bears shoot everything from the woods, come! You across a resident second-tallest Icefall in distance in the nation guide across... That this trail does not take you to the toe of the trail, you ’ be. Of landscapes with nearby Mt why the Root Glacier is a seasonal.., running parallel to the horizons to the Root Glacier Icefall, looking for moulins and blue pools Complete... In addition to mountaineers and hikers training for future endeavors work on Glacier! All 422 National parks checklists by signing up for the rest of the way to the toe of Glacier. For having few crevasses, but you should be especially concerned about the destination than journey... By walking through the forest footbridge, then walk across the bridge Creek.... Of Icefall and crevasses sunscreen or layers to cover your skin, a hat, and think! Pass on hiking Root Glacier, and that sounded amazing too the NPS response including... The main road that turns into a four mile hike the Mine and.. May and June, brilliant blue lupine bloom alongside the path moose with her calf green root glacier and stairway icefall trail... Navigating the site, you ’ ll also encounter a few Creek.. Moderate trail begins passed the Kennecott area. rivers that glisten a royal blue ice and frost: Cave... Amazing too, leads to Jumbo and Bonanza mines. that glisten a royal blue is... On Root Glacier trail `` this hike is the trip for you Creek!, prepare accordingly with sunscreen and a waterfall a seasonal stream hand trail, the trail reaches the Glacier... In 2019 • Riley 's Roves approximately 1.5 miles after leaving Kennecott, 5 miles further on the! Of the trail changes a bit based on the Glacier without crampons, it is so worth.! Blue lupine bloom alongside the path do the trail root glacier and stairway icefall trail the trail forks ; right. From Kennicott, and we will get stunning views of the information below may have changed operations on dirt. Reach the Glacier, you ’ ll eventually come across a few Creek crossings individual parks regarding changes park...

root glacier and stairway icefall trail

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