(907) 822-4200
Scheduled flights, flightseeing tours and backcountry flying 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 $510 for one passenger $200 for each additional passenger
Copper Glacier N/A $720 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.  

Awesome flight-seeing!
Such a great flight seeing trip with Copper Valley Air! There are very limited roads into Wrangell St Elias NP, so the best way to see the amazing sights of the park are by plane. The pilot was very knowledgable and we had a very smooth flight. Each passenger had a window seat and a headset to hear the pilot tell us about what we were seeing. We got great views of the park's mud volcanos, mountain peaks, and my favorite a huge glacier. We highly recommend this trip as a great way to see the U.S.'s largest National Park.
dianaf938 - 2016