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. Links: Potential Hazards: Avoid walking along the edge of Root Glacier as rotting ice and … Required fields are marked *, From the Kennecott Visitor Center, walk through the Kennecott Mill Town, north towards the Root, Glacier. 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. 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. Regal. 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. Not a bad way to end a stroll! Every year, the trail changes a bit based on the movement of Root Glacier. 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. the Stairway Icefall is further up valley. We’d highly suggest it. Look out for wildlife as you walk through the forest. Never miss a post! The National Park Service is modifying its operations on a park-by-park basis. The trail continues in and out of brush and along the top of the moraine, above the glacier. This trail leads to both the Erie Mine, about 5 miles from Kennicott, and Erie Lake, about 7 miles from Kennicott. Regal. 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. Check out my blog post on what to wear in Alaska for more essential items to pack. The Root Glacier trail is about 2 miles long starting in Kennecott and taking you all the way to the toe of the glacier. Root Glacier Trail: The Stunning Hike in Wrangell-St. Elias National Park. Root Glacier and Stairway Icefall Trail ist ein 6.5 Meilen langer, moderat besuchter Hin- und Rückweg in der Nähe von McCarthy, Alaska. Blue waterfalls carve sidewinding rivers that glisten a royal blue. 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. then wind its way through the lateral moraines of the Kennicott and Root Glaciers. The Erie Mine Trail continues past the turn to the Root Glacier, running parallel to the glacier for. 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 … Your email address will not be published. Parking: You cannot drive into Kennecott or nearby McCarthy unless you’re a resident. I’m Riley, and I think it’s safe to say that I kind of love national parks. Follow along the edge of the Root Glacier. 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! Unfortunately, they do not contain chocolate chips and you cannot eat them. That being said, you’ll eventually come across a few creek crossings. One of the crossings is at a lovely little waterfall. Eventually, the trail will spur toward the mines above the mill. The Root Glacier hike started from Kennecott, 5 miles further on up the gravel road – perfect for our dirt road bikes! You and your guide may decide to head up the glacier towards the massive 7,000 Stairway Icefall. There are more places to camp in this area. Hey there, and welcome to The Parks Expert! Download our free national parks checklists by signing up for e-mail updates. 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. One day, Riley hopes to visit all 422 national parks. The stairway icefall in Wrangell St-Elias National Park is one of the most stunning natural phenomena that one will ever encounter. It. Root Glacier Overnight Adventure 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. on the hillside, to the right of the trail. 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. From here, descend over the top of the moraine, … Stairway Icefall/ Erie Lake Trail. Before visiting, please check with individual parks regarding changes to park operations. Please check your email for further instructions. Ice climbing and mountaineering are popular in addition to mountaineers and hikers training for future endeavors. Beyond the Glacier Just beyond Root Glacier is a 7,000-foot vertical wall of ice, called the Stairway Icefall. 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. Depending on recent rainfall or spring melt, you may need to, cross this stream and your feet may get wet. 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. ice can be very slippery and dangerous. Though the icefall is visible all the way from McCarthy, this route gets up close and personal with this impressive glacial feature. 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. 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. The use of crampons is strongly recommended. Trekking on the glacier requires crampons and puts climbers in danger of icefall and crevasses. Thanks for subscribing! This is clearly marked. That’s why the Root Glacier Trail is one of my favorites in the national park system. After “lunch with a view”, the possibilities are endless. Remember, attempting to walk on the glacier without crampons or spikes is dangerous. This post was updated on March 29, 2020. This page may contain affiliate links. On a clear day, the views are hard to beat. Root Glacier is fed from the Stairway Icefall – the second-tallest icefall in the world! The. The scenery through the trail effectively transitions from a lush green field extending to the horizons to the landscape blanketed by ice and frost. Please note that this trail does NOT take you to the Erie Mine. We enjoy lunch on the glacier, before trekking back into Kennicott. 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. If it’s sunny or windy, prepare accordingly with sunscreen and a windbreaker. 9. There are strategically placed rocks and wooden planks to guide you across. This part isn’t very exciting, but Root Glacier Trail is more about the destination than the journey. From here, take the shuttle, walk, or ride a bike the remaining 4.5 miles to Kennecott. 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. By clicking on or navigating the site, you agree to allow us to collect information using cookies. ends approximately 3000 feet below the mine and bunkhouse. To help personalize content, analyze traffic patterns, and provide a safer experience, we use cookies. It was! 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. Did you know that Wrangell-St. Elias National Park & Preserve is the largest in the nation? Hiking on Root Glacier After descending from the woods, you’ll meet with the Root Glacier. Approximately 1.5 miles after leaving Kennecott, the trail reaches the Root Glacier access trail. (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. Without crampons, it would’ve been extremely treacherous. You and your guide may decide to head up-glacier towards the mile-high Stairway Icefall, looking for moulins and blue pools. Continue following the Root Glacier Trail to reach the glacier. You and your guide may decide to head up … Time: Allow 2 hours to do the trail, then add more time to spend on Root Glacier. 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 aren’t many trails, but the ones that do exist are all beautiful. The Stairway Icefall and Blackburn mountain frame a gorgeous panorama around Root Glacier but the glacial features steal the show. Breathtaking views of the 7,000ft high Stairway Icefall and 16,394ft Mt. Bring your landscape photography gear and shoot everything from the grandest of landscapes with nearby Mt. The ascent when you make your way back to Kennecott can be strenuous. The trail will soon cross over Bonanza Creek and Jumbo Creek and. This trail crosses, Amazon Creek, which is a seasonal stream. Root Glacier Trail. Reminds me of riding in Glamis . You’ll want to prepare yourself and not wear yourself out by trekking on the glacier. You’ll need to park before the footbridge, then walk across the bridge. Get our latest sent right to your inbox. approximately 2.5 more miles. For those looking for a cold challenge, get your crampons on and prepare to hike a glacier. However, you should be prepared to encounter all types of wildlife on the trail, including bears. 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. 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. 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. Noteworthy: Walking on glaciers is dangerous. 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. Tours are offered by two local companies, St. Elias Alpine Guides and Kennecott Wilderness Guides. (The right hand trail, leads to Jumbo and Bonanza Mines.) But if you can secure the proper footwear and make the long trek to Kennecott, it is so worth it. Blackburn, camp at the base of Nizina Glacier, and paddle across Nizina Glacier Lake. Trail is well maintained for most of the hike, but it does get more sketchy the further out you get. If you see any signs of a crevasse, stay as far away as possible and change your route immediately. Connect with other national park enthusiasts by joiningÂ. We hike 2 miles on a maintained trail before getting onto the glacier and exploring this massive river of ice. When on a glacier, you should be especially concerned about the sun. 2. 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. Root Glacier is great for further adventures if you’re up for the challenge. Thankfully, she was pretty scared of us. Near the end of the trail, the Root Glacier is below on the left, and the Stairway Icefall is further up valley. Near the end of the trail, the Root Glacier is below on the left, and. Who prefer water in its liquid form, rafting down a glacial river is largest! 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