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America’s Largest Glacial System

By Linda Tancs

America’s largest glacial system exists within park boundaries of Alaska’s Wrangell-St. Elias National Park and Preserve. Covering 35 percent of the parklands, glaciers are the headwaters for many of the river systems that flow through the park. One of the most stunning features of this area is Bagley Icefield. Touted as the largest nonpolar icefield in North America, it encompasses multiple glaciers and is 127 miles long, 6 miles wide and up to 3,000 feet thick in some places. In fact, it feeds many glaciers, including the Bering Glacier, the largest in North America. Both public and private lands exist in the park. Public lands are open year round; enjoy snowmobiling this time of year provided there’s adequate snow cover (at least one foot) and frozen ground.


To limit the spread of COVID-19, attractions may be closed or have partial closures. Please keep those affected by the virus in your thoughts and be sure to follow the safety practices advocated by the Centers for Disease Control. Stay safe, and be well.

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