Located 314 miles from Anchorage, McCarthy is about 1 mile by road from the end of the McCarthy Road; Kennicott is about 5 miles by road from McCarthy.
McCarthy and Kennicott both originated with the establishment of the Kennecott Mines Company in 1906. (A misspelling made the mining company Kennecott, while the glacier, river and town are Kennicott).
The mining town of Kennicott, perched on the side of Bonanza Ridge above the wide and rocky Kennicott Glacier moraine, housed the mine offices, homes, a hospital, school and a movie theatre. Today, the 14-story Kennecott Mine mill and concentrator building is a favorite photo subject for tourists. The National Park Service purchased the mill and several other historic structures, which are included in Wrangell-St. Elias National Park.
McCarthy, almost 5 miles away, sprang up to provide the miners with more housing, saloons, a newspaper, stores, hotels, restaurants and a red-light district. A number of these pioneer structures have been restored or rebuilt and now house a variety of businesses.
Accommodations and dining in McCarthy at the McCarthy Lodge/Ma Johnson’s Historic Hotel and Golden Saloon. Camping at the end of McCarthy Road. Accommodations and dining in Kennicott at Kennicott Glacier Lodge.
- Guided mine hikes and narrated tours of Kennecott mine buildings are offered by St. Elias Alpine Guides in conjunction with the National Park Service.
- Glacier tours, ice climbing lessons, backpacking, alpine hikes, fly-in day trips and custom trips from Kennicott Wilderness Guides.
- Wrangell Mountain Air specializes in flightseeing tours of the Park, fly-in backpacking and rafting trips as well as day hiking.
- St. Elias Alpine Guides and Copper Oar specialize in rafting, ice climbing, backpacking, glacier hiking and mountaineering.
- Enjoy slide presentations and other programs are presented by the National Park Service in summer. Inquire at the park visitor center in what was formerly the General Store.
- Hike the Root Glacier Trail.
- McCarthy Museum, located in the red historic railway depot, has historical artifacts and photos from the early mining days.