Activities For Dogs In Wrangell-St. Elias National Park

1k Views
0 Comments
0 Votes

Introduction

Wrangell-St. Elias National Park is the sort of place that you see in feature length films and beautifully painted portraits. The park's most defining features are its massive, snow coated mountains and glacier blue lakes. There's a lot to see and do at the Wrangell-St. Elias National Park and most of it can be experienced with a dog by your side; pet parents will be happy to know that all of the trails and backcountry sections of the park are open to people and dogs, so long as the latter are looked after and kept on a leash no longer than 6 feet in length.

Day Hiking

Popular
0 Votes
Sunny Day
Moderate
Normal
1 - 8 hrs
Items needed
Backpack
blanket
Water
First Aid Kit
Leash
Waste Bags
Activity description
The Wrangell-St. Elias National Park has an abundance of trails that you and your dog can travel through during a day hiking trip. These trails vary drastically in length, with some (like the Boreal Forest Trail & Copper River Bluff Trail) being incredibly short while others (such as the Erie Lake & The Knoll  Trail) taking multiple days to complete. You'll need to decide if you'd like to go hiking with your dog for a short or long period of time, find the trails that correspond to your needs, and then spend about $100 getting the appropriate hiking supplies to adequately prepare for your trip. As this activity is called "day hiking," the best time to try a short to moderate length hike is on a warm, sunny day.
Step
1
Short or long prep
Before you take your dog on a trail, decide how long you would like to travel for the day and then check to see if you're about to embark on a trail that will suit your needs. Plenty of information is available online. Pack accordingly - the gear needed will stay the same, it is just the amount of food, water and clothing you will need that will change, depending on your plans. Additionally, pack your pup's leash, some snacks, and a few waste bags and you are all set.
Step
2
Hitting the road
After you've got all of the prep work out of the way, you and your pet will be ready to actually start hiking. Since this activity is called day hiking, your goal will be complete your trail while the sun is still up. That means that if it looks like you and your dog won't finish before sunset, you'll either have to turn back or set up camp before sundown. It's often best to just camp for the night rather than try to out race the sun, so mentally prepare to rough it in the wilderness if you go out hiking late in the day. However, it really is best to be prepared for an overnight stay rather than winging it, in order to have adequate supplies to keep you and your dog safe.
Love this activity?

Backpacking

Popular
0 Votes
Any Day
Moderate
Hard
24 - 72 hrs
Items needed
Tent and Bedding
Food and Water
First Aid Kit
Waste Bags
Dog Harness
Activity description
Backpacking is a lot like hiking, only a backpacking trip typically takes a couple of days to complete at minimum. You'll have to carry enough gear to sustain yourself and your pet for multiple days as well as camp overnight many times during a backpacking trip. Needless to say, this activity isn't for everyone and will be challenging for anyone who does attempt it. But as difficult as this activity is, there aren't very many better ways to "unplug" from your daily routine and reconnect with nature. You'll need to set a budget as you plan so you can buy the kinds of supplies you and your pet will need. You're welcome to go backpacking during any time of the year that the park is open as well.
Step
1
Backpacking vs hiking
In many respects, backpacking and hiking are very similar. But it's the few facets in which they differ that their disparities become most apparent; while hiking trips typically take less than one day to complete, backpacking trips can take days to weeks. While one only needs to be slightly interested in travelling through the great outdoors to go hiking, one needs to be prepared to practically live in the wilderness for a brief time to go backpacking. Backpackers also don't typically use trails, so you'll need to know how to navigate as well. You have to have a willing pup partner as well, so try out a long hike and see how they do before you bring them along on a backpacking trip.
Step
2
The canine element
Backpacking with a dog is twice as hard as backpacking alone or with another human; your dog may be tempted to chase after small animals like squirrels and raccoons or may act antagonistically towards larger animals like moose or bears if the two of you encounter them. These potential hazards can be mitigated if you take your dog backpacking through the areas of the park that are known to be bear and moose free, but you'll also want to make sure that your dog can control their urges before embarking on this trip with them.
Love this activity?

Wagon Road Trail

Popular
0 Votes
Any Day
Free
Easy
1 - 3 hrs
Items needed
Dog Leash
Waste Bags
Activity description
This particular trail is one of the easier paths to traverse and is perfect for first time visitors and hikers. This trail is also great for helping you and your dog get used to travelling with one another if the two of you haven't completed any trails beforehand. The Wagon Road Trail is a one way road that can take anywhere between one to three hours to complete based on how quickly you and your pet are moving. This trail is 100% free to access and couldn't be defined as intense by any stretch of the imagination. All you really need to do is bring a reliable leash of the proper length and you and your pet will be set.
Step
1
Press forward
As mentioned before, the Wagon Road Trail is a one way trail that will take visitors to one of the park's biggest attractions: an authentic glacier! That's right, should you and your dog see this trip through, the both of you will be able to come face to face with the toe of the Nizina Glacier. So if you get tired during this trip and think about turning back, goad yourself on until you've at least seen the glacier in person.
Step
2
Other sights and sounds
Since the Wagon Road Trail is inside the park grounds, you and your dog will also be able to get brief glimpses of some of the park's other trails and attractions from time to time. In a way, these glimpses are previews to the other landmarks and attractions that await you in the park. If you've got a camera or a phone with a camera in it, you can take a few pictures with your dog to immortalize these fleeting moments.
Love this activity?

More Fun Ideas...

Rafting Trip

The water that surrounds and permeates the Wrangell-St. Elias National Park is perfect for rafting and rowing through with your dog as your first mate. A company by the name of Copper Oar provides wilderness rafting trips for those who'd like to get a view of the park from a new perspective. Pets are allowed to accompany their human family members so long as they're leashed and fitted with a functioning life jacket.

Litter Patrol

As unfortunate of a reality as it is, some folks who visit the Wrangell-St. Elias National Park ended up leaving the area in worse shape than they found it. This is particularly egregious because waste products like plastic and styrofoam can end up harming the native inhabitants of the park in a number of unforeseen ways. While visiting the park, you and your dog can work together to clean up as much waste as you can.

Conclusion

Most national parks are meant to serve two primary purposes; one is to protect the native flora and fauna of the surrounding areas and the other is to provide folks with a safe and reliable means to admire and appreciate nature while it's in an unaltered state. To serve these two ends, the national park service has implemented a number of rules and regulations to protect both the native inhabitants of the Wrangell-St. Elias National Park and any visitors. This is all to say that by following the rules that have been laid out by the NPS, you and your dog will be contributing to the preservation of a number of wild species of plants and animals in a major way.