Erie Mine, Wrangell-St. Elias National Park, Alaska

Ron Niebrugge Alaska, Photos, Travel, Wrangell-St. Elias 11 Comments

Erie Mine, Wrangell-St. Elias National Park, Alaska

I mentioned yesterday that the buildings at Kennicott aren’t actually mine buildings but a copper mill.  The Erie Mine is actually one of the mines that fed that mill. 

I understand that the main building you see here was a bunkhouse.  Access to this site was through the tunnels of the mine.  The Root Glacier that you see in the background continues around and below this building – the view from there must have been outstanding.  Imagine winter at the Erie Mine!

Comments 11

  1. Hey Ron

    What’s with all these posts about Wrangell – St. Elias? You’re making me homesick.

    So, say, for example, someone wanted to go backpacking or hiking, or do a photo trip to Wrangell – St. Elias, but they weren’y sure where to go, or were concerned about bears, glaciers, etc – what would you suggest they do?



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    Hey Carl,

    You know you make a good point, and something I had intended to elaborate on. Wrangell-St. Elias National Park is best seen with a tent and backpack in the back-country. The problem is, if you are not familiar with such difficult terrain, it really isn\’t a place for the inexperienced.

    If you don\’t have a lot of back-country experience, or are fairly new to backpacking, I would strongly recommend hiring a guide. For backpacking in the Wrangell-St. Elias National Park, I would recommend Alaskan Alpine Treks.  I haven\’t personally used them, but I do know the owners, and they are very experienced in the Wrangells, run a safe, ethical and environmentally conscientious operation. It is safe to say, they can provide a once in a lifetime experience.


  3. Hey Ron

    Thank you, sounds like a good route to go.

    Regarding the Erie Mine photo you posted here, was this taken in the evening or morning? It looks like it had to be in the evening, is that the case? I thought you did a morning shoot on that trip?

    Great Wrangell – St. Elias National Park photos Ron, all of ’em.



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    You can drive, but it is a long drive. It is a beautiful trip – you could drive one way, and then take the ferry from Valdez on the return.

  6. Ok. Should we skip planning to take the RR day trip out to Spencer Glacier and head up this way? Once we arrive back to Anchorage, it “appears” that we would only be driving another 3.5 or 4 hours to get to Wrangell-St. Elias National Park. Then we can take the ferry back from Valdez to Whitter and drive on into Talkeetna. Decisions, decisions… guessing, which direction will be better for fall folliage and color next week?

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    Hi Marlene,

    You can get to the Wrangell-St Elias N.P. headquarters with a 3.5 hour drive from Anchorage, but to get to McCarthy and Kenicott, you have another long drive. Here is a link to a write up on that road:

    But, it is a nice drive towards Glennallen and Wrangell-St Elias, and there should be great fall colors out that way soon – as there should be going towards Denali. You could drive out that way, then head north to Paxon, then across the Denali Highway to Cantwell, then to Denali N.P. – should be great colors on that trip. The Denali Highway is a gravel road.

  8. Maybe we could just do the 3.5 from Anchorage to Wrangell-St. Elias and not try to go on into McCarthy/Kenicott though that mining town does look extra cool to photograph. Or, maybe we can get from where the road goes gravel to Kenicott by bus or something… if we go to the NP, can we go back to Valdez to catch the ferry to Whitter or should we drive from Wrangell-St. Elias toward Talkeetna. It’s hell trying to figure roads out when you haven’t ever been on them. I am not interested in breaking the rental car law and drive on Denali Hwy if we aren’t allowed to b/c it is a gravel road. For some reason, the Wrangell St. Elias route looks much more exciting than Cooper River and the RR trip to Spencer Glacier. Am I mistaken? WWYD? You’re the man!

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    You know, the road to Mc Carthy is gravel as well and may not be allowed by your rental car company. I noticed the Kennicott Lodge was offering a special that included a flight out there – might try to look into that. Spencer Glacier is cool, but really just a day trip – McCarthy would be a couple of days. Hope that helps!

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