Tag Archives: University Mountains

Chitistone, the Goat Trail, Wrangell-St. Elias National Park.

Sunset over the Chitistone Valley and University Peaks.

Sunset over the Chitistone Valley and University Peaks. Mount Bona stands in the background. Please click on the thumbnail to view a larger version of the photo.

Hey Folks,

One gorgeous evening, a 2 mile hike (one-way) from camp and some more photos that I had been hoping for some time now to make. Lucky me!

We just trekked from Skolai Pass, in Wrangell St. Elias National Park and Preserve, to ‘Wolverine‘, a landing strip high above the Chitistone Valley, over the relatively popular ‘Goat Trail‘. This is a classic hike, and one I try to make every summer. Before I talk about it further, I’ll qualify what I mean by ‘popular’ here.

Probably not 50 people hike this route each year, more likely 40, at most. Consider, for example, that nearly¬†TWO THOUSAND people venture to hike the entire Appalachian Trail each year, and one starts to see that the word ‘popular‘ is entirely contextual. I only say ‘popular‘ here because so few people hike anywhere else in Wrangell-St. Elias National Park.

We had a real mix of weather on this trip, so I was SUPER lucky to grab such a gorgeous evening here at this location. the clouds dissipated throughout the course of the day, which we spent backpacking across the Goat Trail, a steep sloping scree-sided series of ravines, traversed by a meandering myriad sheep and goat trails; hitting the correct ones makes a huge difference on how easy the traverse is. The ‘wrong’ ones can easily be impassable for people, especially those carrying heavy backpacks. Continue reading