Wrangell - St Elias National Park and Preserve Rivers and Streams

Water resources within Wrangell-St. Elias include wetlands, deep-water habitat and coastal systems. Six major river systems originate within the park and the lowlands are dotted with lakes and bogs. Major salmon runs occur in the Copper River and tributary streams. Rivers are one focus of recreational and subsistence use and when frozen become primary routes for winter access. Three million acres of the park are Palustrine (marsh-like) characterized by lush nonvascular plant communities and abundant aquatic invertebrates. There are over 46,000 acres of natural lakes including six large lakes and over 500 small ponds and lakes (under 1000 acres in size each). Water issues are controlled in part by the extreme winter weather. Five different types of permafrost occur commonly throughout the park that significant change surface water dynamics. Ice flows and periodic ice jams can cause brief but sometimes catastrophic flooding in low-lying areas. Deeply frozen ponds limit the distribution of some species of fresh water fishes and amphibians are extremely rare within the park in part due to the extreme temperatures.

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Featured Park
Rising above a scene rich with extraordinary wildlife, pristine lakes, and alpine terrain, the Teton Range stands monument to the people who fought to protect it. These are mountains of the imagination. Mountains that led to the creation of Grand Teton National Park where you can explore over two hundred miles of trails, float the Snake River or enjoy the serenity of this remarkable place.
Featured Wildlife
The pika is a close relative of the rabbits and hares, with two upper incisors on each side of the jaw, one behind the other. Being rock-gray in color, pikas are seldom seen until their shrill, metallic call reveals their presence.