(907) 822-4200
Scheduled flights, flightsee tours and backcountry drop-offs in the Copper River Valley

Capital Mountain Traverse

Trip Details
Trip Type:
Point to Point
6-8 days
33 miles
More Challenging

Rates shown are charter rates for the entire aircraft per flight, regardless of pax count. Rates are for one way flight between Gulkana and listed airstrip(s).

Airstrip 3-5 Pax *
2-3 Pax *
Cessna 185
1-2 Pax *
Piper PA-12
Windy Ridge N/A N/A $550 for one passenger $180 for each additional passenger
Copper Glacier N/A $650 N/A

*Passenger capacity of aircraft depends on total weight of passengers and cargo. Call us to find the best option for your group.

The Capital Traverse is an approximately week-long trek through stunning alpine terrain around the north side of Mt. Sanford. The route crosses mostly debris-covered ice of two sizable glaciers but spends most of its time on tundra benches and rocky slopes. Except for the final few miles in the valley of the Copper River, the trip is mostly above brushline.

There are many great camps, most with stunning views of towering Mt. Sanford, and there are numerous opportunities for side trips and dayhikes. Along with other wildlife, caribou are common along the route, and you’ll frequently walk in their trails.

The 33 mile hike is best travelled from west to east, starting at the Windy Ridge strip and ending at the Copper River strip just downstream of the Copper Glacier. The glacier crossings are non-technical, and the two main river crossings (Sheep Creek and West Glacier Creek) are fairly straightforward, even at high water. There trip requires one steep descent of a loose rocky gully to reach the Copper River.

For experienced Alaskan hikers, the route is intermediate in difficulty. For hikers new to Alaska, the route-finding and glacier travel may be more demanding of advanced skills.  

Soooooo cool! Would totally do this again!
Our flightseeing tour with Copper Valley Air Service was incredible! Definitely a highlight of our trip to Alaska! Kevin, our pilot, was great. He got us in close to Mt. Drum to see the dramatic crags that are only visible when up so close. He took us close to Mt. Wrangell as well. We got to see the glaciers, and a herd of Dahl Sheep, a herd of caribou and 2 moose in a small lake. We keep wishing we could go back and do it again, before we go home. We would totally do this again!
2016 - cccrockymountain2016 Fort Collins, CO