Wrangell St. Elias National Park
Backpacking or Base Camp Trek: Bremner Valley
Distance: 27 miles
Type: Backpacking, base camping
Difficulty: easier to moderate
Approx. hiking time:3-5 days
Total elevation gain: variable
Best season: July - early September
Access: Bush flight from McCarthy to Bremner airstrip
Maps: USGS McCarthy A-7
Challenges: No major difficulties.
Some people want to get into the backcountry for an Alaska wilderness experience but don't feel ready to take on a point to point backpacking trip through a place like Wrangell St. Elias National Park. Golcanda Creek valley, better known simply as Bremner, is an ideal location for a base camping trip. There are lots of options for day hikes including ridges, alpine lakes, open tundra and historical walks to explore the remains of the area's rich mining history.
There are lots of places in the valley for setting up a base camp for further exploration and the hiking options are many and varied. For an easy day of kicking around historic relics, check out the Lucky Girl mine site where the remains are making a slow motion slide down the mountain. A more aggressive option would be a day of ridge hiking on the dramatic ridge to the north. The Corner Pocket makes a good day hike but would also be an outstanding choice for an overnight backpacking trip. Golden Pond is another possibility for a backpacking overnighter which is a bit more demanding.
The on the north side of the valley offers some outstanding hiking terrain with great views.
There are many good water sources in the valley so finding a great place to camp is not a problem.
Even detailed route descriptions such as those found in the book are not a substitute for skills and experience. If you would like to do this route but don't feel that you are ready to tackle the Alaskan wilderness on your own, consider a guided trek.
If you are interested in doing this route as part of a guided trek, click here for more information on the Bremner Base Camp Trek.