A Beautiful Gloomy Escape to Wrangell-St. Elias National Park

Wrangell St. Elias National Park-Alaska Adventures 1This is a very much delayed post but life has picked up its pace pretty fast since landing in Alaska at the end of 2011. Fast forward to the present day and we have now been through a short deployment, a forever furry dog named Flynn, two cross-country moves in one year with one move happening while we were pregnant, a baby girl, a crazy army schedule, and lots of fun in between. This is why you have been seeing memories from our 3 years in Alaska pop up here on the blog even to this day. 

There’s one national park we were excited to visit before our move back to the Lower 48. Unlike the popular and well-regulated Denali National Park, Wrangell-St. Elias Nationa Park is a little more “wild” and a lot less touched than Denali. Of course, Denali National Park homes the tallest mountain in North America, but Wrangell has its own beauty. We’ve always driven past it while on our way to Valdez. Unfortunately, it was super gloomy when we arrived at Wrangell-St. Elias but I discovered the beauty in the gloom. The morning after, we woke up to a fresh but deep morning dew and a warm ambiance enveloping our camping tent. We could tell from the yellow light gently spilling on the top of each blade of grass that the clouds were separating and the sun started to show. During this trip, we only got to see a few mountains peaking from the break in the clouds. 

 

The gloom was a welcoming break from the bright summer we had in Fairbanks. It was Labor Day and winter was just around the corner. When there’s nothing to fear, there’s a sense of quietness and stillness that comes from a deep gloom. Normally, gloomy days mean a storm is to come. However, this gloomy weekend only produced a bit of rain. A retreat to the wilderness is one of the ways my family comes together and rest, but this overcast weekend in a remote land was more than just an escape. It was a surprising refresher from the busy, fun, bright, colorful Alaskan summers. Since summers are so short in Alaska, they tend to be jam-packed full of one adventure after another. Our weekend to this occasionally overlooked national park was a good one. I hope these pictures show the beauty in the darkness. Wrangell St. Elias National Park-Alaska Adventures 2

The drive was SO wet and MUDDY! Our bikes were caked!

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There is a bridge you cross going to the park. To get to the Kennicott Glacier Lodge, you have to either cross the bridge by foot (after parking right outside of the bridge) or take a bus across…crazy! This was NOT that bridge but I started to see the bridge motif in Wrangell-St. Elias National Park. Wrangell St. Elias National Park-Alaska Adventures 7Wrangell St. Elias National Park-Alaska Adventures 8Wrangell St. Elias National Park-Alaska Adventures 9Wrangell St. Elias National Park-Alaska Adventures 10Wrangell St. Elias National Park-Alaska Adventures 11Wrangell St. Elias National Park-Alaska Adventures 13

We woke up to a fresh yet deep morning dew and the sun peaking out of the clouds!

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We found an A-W-E-S-O-M-E blueberry picking spot near the remote and more “adventurous” entrance to the park. 

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