This Jeep Grand Cherokee Stranded in the Alaskan Wilderness Needed To Be Rescued via Helicopter

Jeep Grand Cherokee being rescued by Elite Towing & Recovery in Alaska | Image by Tim Beevors 4x4 Reviews
Jeep Grand Cherokee being rescued by Elite Towing & Recovery in Alaska | Image by Tim Beevors 4×4 Reviews

Jeep Grand Cherokee owners have the added luxury of being able to go off-roading on a moment’s notice and be totally comfortable knowing that their vehicle is built to handle the rough terrain. But because many of these trails are untouched by humans, and come with all kinds of hills and valleys, it means that mother nature remains untamed and unpredictable. This much is true for the man whose Nissan got stuck inside a Redwood Tree when he attempted to drive through it.

Of course, it is because of this that many Jeeps come equipped with heavy-duty off-roading tires, winches, and high-performance suspension systems. In the event that you find yourself stuck in a deep mud puddle, or on a fallen tree, you have the tools necessary to free yourself from nature’s grasp.

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But as we have seen time and time again, nature has a tendency to be brutal and unforgiving. One Jeep Grand Cherokee owner found out the hard way that when it comes to tackling the Alaskan wilderness, he never stood a chance.

Jeep Grand Cherokee vs Alaskan Wilderness

On July 4th, 2023, the owner of this mostly stock, first-gen Jeep Grand Cherokee had wandered about 16 miles down the Knik Glacier Trail near Butte, Alaska before things quickly took a turn for the worst. At some point, the SUV had slid off the path down towards a body of melted glacial water and found itself stuck in some stubborn terrain. According to OnX Off-Road, the Knuk Glacier Trail is a 20.3-mile trip rated a 6 out of 10, which makes it a slightly difficult challenge for your average off-roader.

So now stranded in the Alaskan wilderness 16 miles away from civilization, what are you supposed to do? You call in the Chopper.

How Did The Rescue Mission Happen?

Granted that a helicopter wasn’t the first choice for this rescue mission. But considering that rain and high-water crossings made recovery via truck wasn’t in the cards, Elite Towing and Recovery of Wasilla dispatched their chopper to airlift the Jeep Grand Cherokee out of its predicament.

The specific kind of helicopter that can handle airlifting nearly two tons was a UH-60 Black Hawk which costs $8,250 per hour for a charter flight. Overall, the rescue mission lasted about an hour for the chopper to disembark from Big Lake, Alaska, pick up the Jeep from the trail, and load it onto the back of a rollback wrecker.

Based on the images in the photo gallery, part of the Jeep was already submerged in the glacier water prior to its rescue. From there the rescue workers were able to strap up the SUV before it was finally able to be airlifted back to civilization while upside-down.

For Jeep owners, this rescue mission could be seen as both embarrassing and brag-worthy. Sure, you needed a helicopter to get you unstuck. But at the same time, it means that it took the harsh Alaskan wilderness to take out your tough-as-nails, first-generation Jeep Grand Cherokee.

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