Over twice the size of Denali, Wrangell-St. Elias National Park covers 13 million acres and is the largest in the U.S. National Park System. It contains 9 of the 16 highest peaks in the U.S.. Although we didn't see much wildlife on our short hike, they are abundant: lynx, wolverines, beavers (we did see plenty of dams), porcupines, caribou and bears. Marine wildlife includes seals, sea otters and even whales.
The Wrangell Range, where we hiked by, was made from thousands of lava flows from eruptions of volcanoes in the past 25+ million years. Mt Wrangell, itself an active volcano, last erupted in 1900. However the range isn't just old lava flows. Glaciers cover over 25% of the entire park, including the Nabesna, Malaspina and Hubbard Glaciers and the Bagley Icefield.
During our stay at Copper River, we did a hike in Wrangell as well as just around the Copper River Princess Lodge. You'll notice the Fish Wheel which they had on their premises. These are still used today, and manage to scoop up tons of Salmon each season. Now to get to our lodge, we first had to travel 135+ miles on the Denali National Highway. This icon is mostly all gravel and connects Richardson Highway with Parks Highway (yes - they are paved). There are several fairly rustic places to stop on the way. These include scenes of an old snow cat converted into a flowerbed, a church smaller than the one at my old College, and cabins, sheds and bars that blend perfectly into the landscape.