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Ahtna Alaska Native Regional Corporation

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  • Day6

    To Worthington Glacier

    August 18, 2017 in the United States ⋅ ☁️ 8 °C

    Followed the glacier-fed streams through Keystone Canyon, a canyon road blasted through the rock which was built to find a way to the goldfields. An attempt at building a railroad has been abandoned. The road climbs to nearly 3,000 feet over Thompson Pass where there are road work delays. Freshly fallen snow lies across on the peaks and upper slopes.

    We arrive at Worthington Glacier, named after a gold miner who blasted the glacier looking for gold to no avail. We take the uneven track right up to the glacier. Our first 'long drop' experience in Alaska s OK because it's maintained by national parks.
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    Lyn Burg


    Lyn Burg

    The view from the road is beautiful

  • Day6

    Wrangell-St Elias National Park

    August 18, 2017 in the United States ⋅ ☁️ 11 °C

    This very large wilderness area comprises the Wrangell and St Elias Ranges. We visit the NP visitors centre for a quick stop. This is America's largest national park.

    The Wrangells are still active volcanoes but have been eroded by the numerous glaciers around them.

    The St Elias Range is still growing as the Pacific Plate pushes up the North Atlantic Plate along the tectonic plate line. This range is very high and jagged with many active glaciers.

    The mountains are surrounded by a huge glacial flood plain. The Copper River winds its way through the sparse, stunted forest and swampland. We pick up a picnic lunch at Glennallen and eat it overlooking the Copper River.

    The national park is a true wilderness with no road through it; only 2 highways going around it. The extreme weather conditions are difficult for both wildlife and the few people who live in this area. There are mostly hunting and fishing cabins with no running water or power. Being summer, there is lots of work on the roads and we are held up lots.
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  • Day49

    Day 49 Ends @ Paxson Lake Cg

    June 20, 2021 in the United States ⋅ ☁️ 55 °F

    We left Tok with a plan. A plan that failed.

    Our idea was to drive halfway down the Tok Cut-Off and then take the Nabesna Road to one of the primitive camping sites for our overnight stop. Preferably at one of the three sites that are described as having views worth the drive.

    Nabesna Road, 42 miles in total, is one of only two roads that goes into the Wrangell-St Elias National Park and Preserve. It’s all wilderness. The drive — as expected was slow ... the dirt/gravel/chipseal road — heavily potholed ... requiring quite a bit of fancy maneuvering. Luckily for us, we only had to drive to Mile 21.8 for the furthest of the three campsites.

    It wasn’t that we were disappointed by today’s overcast — sometimes drizzly conditions. It wasn’t that we were disappointed with the Wrangell Mountains cloaked by low-lying clouds. It wasn’t that we were disappointed that most of the views at the campsites were visible only by standing on the picnic table. No, it was the swarm of flying insects we found at each site that eventually had us deciding against camping along this road. Sure, we’ve got ways to keep the mosquitoes at bay, but nothing seems to work when it comes to black flies.

    So, we took the time to have lunch, and then drove the 21.8 miles back to the Tok Cut-Off ... managing to do the distance in 45 minutes instead of 1.5 hours as the case was on the way in.

    At the bottom off the Cut-Off, where the road junctions with the Richardson Highway, we turned north. We had not driven this section of the highway to Paxson before. In fact, it was going to be a daytrip from Glennallen later in the trip. So, we just moved it up a bit.

    OMG!!!! We’ve been told about frost heaves and potholes on Alaska Roads. And we have encountered some on practically every road. This section of the Richardson, however, was by far the worst we’ve encountered since we began our road trip on 19 May. Even some of the dirt/gravel roads we’ve driven were in better condition. Luckily, it being Sunday, at least we didn’t have to deal with construction delays ... just a light rain that pretty much accompanied us all the way.

    With the best turnouts taken over by road construction equipment, we ended up dry camping at the Paxson Lake BLM Campground, about 10 miles south of Paxson. Alas, no lakeshore sites for RVs, so we ended up in one of the woodland sites. The mosquitoes were swarming so bad that we lit the mosquito coils and placed them outside the door to clear a space before we attempted to go inside.

    As it was raining, no outside time for us. I even forgot to take a photo of our site ... perhaps somewhere deep in my psyche I didn’t want to remember this place.

    The day wasn’t all bad, though. We found a lovely lake on the Tok Cut-Off ... with mountain reflections on the still water. On the Richardson Highway, we came across a mama moose and her calf grazing in the wetlands. Ándate the Meier’s Lake Roadhouse, we had delicious hamburgers, which we washed down with Alaskan Brewing Company’s White beer.

    Every trip has a day or two like the one we had today. Fingers crossed it will be the only one. Now, I need to jiggle our plans to rearrange our upcoming days.
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    Such a bummer with the bugs. I thought it was always like that in Alaska, so I guess buggy times are a given unless you are lucky. that view from the picnic table is gorgeous

    Two to Travel

    Not always buggy and not everywhere. The wetlands, as might be expected, are the worst. We had no problems until late May on this trip, and even then it was mostly male mosquitoes or the non-biting that were simply irritating. Now the females are out. I killed one today and the amount of blood that came out was quite surprising, but that’s what they need to grow their babies apparently.


    Black flies and potholed roads...not fun. But still you find the beauty, you focus on the positive, and you are flexible about plans. Which is why you guys are such good travelers. (I also really appreciate your honesty about the bad stuff...it will help us in planning.)

    Two to Travel

    No sense looking at things with rose-colored glasses. Flexibility is absolutely essential. The need for reservations for the 4th July has boxed us in a bit, but we’re finding ways around that, too.

    Nickie Wilkinson

    I despise black flies. They come out in force in July, so it must be close to July! On every trip, not everything works like you wish or hope for, but, as you say, just roll with it.

  • Day2

    Flight Over Wrangell-St. Elias

    June 1, 2014 in the United States ⋅ ⛅ 61 °F

    At 5 PM Jared took us, along with a couple from Sumter, S.C., Rob and Courtney, to Copper River Aviation. Our pilot, Alex, packed us into an old Cessna 185 and showed us some wonderful sights during a very bumpy ride. I got some great photos. Glenda found the motion of the airplane very unsettling, so she decided to miss supper. I was still full from the chili at lunch, so I didn't mind. At 8:30 PM there was an evening retreat ceremony ay the flag pole. Only about half a dozen people were there. Two of us were veterans, and both of us were given a small U. S. flag as a token of gratitude for our service. It was very cold and the wind was blowing hardRead more

  • Day3

    Copper River Wilderness

    June 2, 2014 in the United States ⋅ ☁️ 45 °F

    We went on an ATV excursion from the Princes Copper River Lodge along the Klutina River with Carrie, our driver. The scenery was wonderful but the weather was horrible. As we started the rain began. After 20 minutes, the rain stopped and the sun came out and the temperature warmed up. We went through four cycles of cold rain and warm sun when Glenda saw in the distance "beautiful dark blue sky against the powdery white cliffs.” She asked me to photograph the scene, and as I did so, I realized the the "dark blue" was actually an intense rain storm. After a few minutes Carrie commented the the storm was really dumping on the lodge, and the we were heading right into it. About that time we felt the temperature drop about 10 degrees into the high 30’s and heavy rain started. However, within just a couple of seconds it turned into pea-sized hail. We finally made it back to the lodge. Glenda took a warm bath to wash off the mud, and we went to the bar and had a nice glass of wine and a plate of bread and butter.Read more

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Ahtna Alaska Native Regional Corporation