Explore America’s largest National Park between yoga classes.
Even in a state famous for its size, Wrangell St. Elias National Park stands out. Four major mountain ranges converge here: the Chugach, the Alaska, the volcanic Wrangells, and the St. Elias- these are the tallest coastal mountains in the world!
We spend 5 days & 4 nights hiking & paddling through spectacular terrain, coming back every evening to our lodging on the banks of glacial Kennicott Lake. Enjoy evenings lakeside with views of the Root Glacier- home to one of the world’s largest icefalls.
This trip is the perfect blend of creature comforts, adventure exploration & time relaxing in nature. We sleep every night indoors, eat daily Ayurvedic meals, begin & end our days with yoga & meditation & we get to play in Jule’s favorite National Park. Jule spent 5 seasons living and guiding out of McCarthy. She has extensive local knowledge of the area and loves coming back to share this Alaskan gem with others.
Dates: June 11-15th 2021
Location: Wrangell St. Elias National Park, Alaska
Activities: Day hiking, Lake paddling
Duration: 5 days, 4 nights
Lodging: Shared indoor lodging
Max group size: 6
“McCarthy holds a special place in my heart- these are the first mountains I explored when I arrived in Alaska & I come back every year. I love the Wrangells, & how close you get to these massive glaciers- but really it’s the vibrant, fun loving locals that make this area so special.” -Jule
Depart Anchorage at 9am. The scenic 7 hour drive to McCarthy isn't your run-of-the-mill road trip. Expect awesome views of the Chugach, Talkeetna & Wrangell Mountains as we drive alongside massive rivers and inspiring mountains. We stop for lunch & a short hike in the Copper River Valley along the way before the infamous “McCarthy Road:” a historic 60 mile gravel road that was once responsible for transporting rail cargo to and from the area. Roadside wildlife is pretty common along the journey- bears, moose, beaver, eagles & lynx are frequently seen along the road!
Arrive McCarthy approx 6pm. Settle into Kennicott River Lodge & Hostel and have dinner.
We meet lakeside for an energizing yoga morning practice to help wake us up & welcome the day. After breakfast and packing our day packs, we take a shuttle up to the historic old mining town of Kennicott, where we begin our hike to the Root Glacier. We hike 2 miles on a maintained trail before getting onto the glacier and exploring this massive river of ice. 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! We enjoy lunch on the glacier, before trekking back into Kennicott. We will take some time exploring and checking out this National historic landmark before enjoying dinner at a local food vendor with great views of the mountains. Before heading back down to McCarthy, we end our evening with a restorative & deep stretch yoga practice in the Kennicott Rec Hall.
After our morning lakeside yoga, meditation & delicious breakfast, we get ready to explore Kennicott Lake. We will be fully outfitted with individual packrafts- 1 person inflatable boats that have spray skirts, comfortable seats & are easy to use. We will have a mini “paddle school” on boat handing skills, techniques & safety before venturing out onto the lake. We explore the serenity of the lake, marveling at the nearby mountains and glacial features. After our lakeside lunch, we stash the boats & go for the short hike nearby, taking us farther up the glacier & perhaps even to an ice cave!
When we return to the lodge, we will take a little bit of time to relax before another lakeside deep stretch yoga practice to relax & release our muscles & center the mind. That evening we will create & enjoy another delicious dinner with each other at the lodge. Then… the night is yours! Maybe you chill out and read by the lake, enjoy a walk along the river bank, or venture into McCarthy for a “night on the town!”
We begin the day with another lakeside yoga & meditation practice before a wholesome breakfast. We enjoy our last full day in the Wrangells by journeying back up to Kennicott & hiking up to the historic Bonanza Mine. This is our longest, most challenging day; it’s 4.5 miles one way & 3,800 ft of elevation gain. This hike really will really get your heart pumping, but it’s well-worth it! The views are unbelievable, and the mine ruins are pretty impressive. If this hike sounds too strenuous for you, or you would rather relax and have a more mellow experience; Jule can give you alternate ideas OR you can hike until you reach your own personal stopping point. We bring lunch & trail snacks with us.
Post hike dinner at the Potato, a fun & lively restaurant in McCarthy. After meandering back to the lodge, we will enjoy our final evening yoga class together followed by an evening fire.
We rise with our final morning lakeside yoga & meditation practice. After breakfast, we say goodbye to the Wrangell Mountains, pack up our belongings and begin the journey back to Anchorage. We will enjoy the road back home, stopping along the way for lunch and a short