• Nabesna Road - Slana, Alaska

      gravel road
      Photo by Rick Quinn
      Nabesna Road is one of two entry points for vehicular traffic into the otherwise trackless, mountainous wilderness of Wrangell St. Elias, the largest National Park in the U.S. (20,000 square miles, six times the size of Yellowstone). This gravel road predates the National Park, and is seasonally maintained by the State of Alaska. Maintained is a relative term: there are several unbridged creek crossings, good and splashy, that require four wheel drive when the water is high. There are patches of private land along this route, including some parcels acquired by homesteaders, long before the park was created. The road terminates, after 42 rugged miles, at the tiny community of Nabesna. There's a gold mine (private and off limits), an airstrip where flight-seeing tours can be arranged, and a small lodge.

      If you go:
      Nabesna Road can be accessed from the Tok Cut-off portion of the Glenn Highway, between Glennallen and Tok. Stop at the Ranger Station in Slana for a map and current road conditions. They'll loan you an audio CD that you can play in your car as you drive the road. The narration is timed to point out natural and historical features as you reach various mileposts. There are two trailheads off the Nabesna Road (experienced back country hikers only). Limited lodging is available on private property in several locations, and there are primitive campgrounds with minimal facilities. Check with National Park Service for details.


      Nabesna Road
      Slana, Alaska 99586 USA

      Mailing address:
      Wrangell-St. Elias National Park & Preserve
      PO Box 439
      Copper Center, AK 99573 USA

      Phone Numbers:

      Wrangell-St. Elias National Park & Preserve
      +1 (907) 822-5234