Alaska lodging options in McCarthy-Kennecott and beyond
This lovely quiet and traditional lodge sits right in “downtown” Kennecott, with fabulous views of the Kennicott Glacier and 16,394ft Mt. Blackburn off the glorious deck. They have some rooms with private baths and others (slightly less expensive) with shared toilets and showers down the hall. They prepare delicious, hearty meals and dinner is served family style each night at 7pm. You can’t go wrong.
Run by long-time local family the Shidners, these new and comfortable cabins boast running water (!), full kitchen and bathroom, bedroom and pull-out sofa. Located approximately 3 miles out the McCarthy road, you’ll want to be arriving in your own vehicle to stay here. Bring your own food or plan to drive 3 miles and walk for half a mile to get dinner. Beautiful views, huge yard and garden, and friendly and accommodating hosts.
McCarthy Lodge/Ma Johnson’s Hotel/Lancaster Backpacker’s Hotel
Back in the heyday, Kennecott was the company-run mining town and McCarthy was the social hub. It’s not that far from the truth today. If you want to experience a remote Alaska community up close and personal, plant yourself at McCarthy Lodge in downtown McCarthy. The historic lodge has been beautifully re-done and the bar across the street is the social hub of the area. They also have a cheaper “backpacker’s hotel” which is a good budget option, if sometimes a little loud (right next door to the saloon). McCarthy Lodge also claims the classiest restaurant in bush Alaska right next door.
Located in a beautiful location near the end of the McCarthy Road, looking north at the Stairway Icefall, the Kennicott River Lodge has private cabins and rooms as well as hostel beds. They also have a communal kitchen and a sauna.
For folks on a budget, we recommend setting up your tent at Glacier View Campground. Friendly host Chris grills up hamburgers and hotdogs at his camp-side restaurant, and locals and visitors alike stop by for a bite and a hello. Just a quarter mile from the end of the McCarthy Road, you can drive your car right in. Some sites have beautiful views up the valley.
1. Copper River Princess Wilderness Lodge – Located in Copper Center with fabulous views of the Wrangell Mountains. They only have cruise ship guests a couple nights a week and the other nights tend to be quiet and peaceful!
2. Golden Spruce Cabins – Cute little cabins located at Mile 9.9 on the Edgerton Cutoff in Kenny Lake.
3. Copper Moose B&B – Just off the highway in Kenny Lake. Cozy log cabin with great views and friendly hosts.
4. Gilpatrick’s Hotel Chitina – “Downtown” Chitina at the start of the McCarthy Road. Good restaurant downstairs.
5. Chitina House B&B – Also right in Chitina. Located in the original site of the Copper River and Northwestern (Can’t Run and Never Will) Railway Bunkhouse and Mess house.
Valdez has a dearth of good lodging options. There are usually several decent B&Bs in town, but they seem to come and go so much that we can’t keep track of what is available. We generally send our guests to one of a few decent standard hotel-type places, listed here.
1. Mountain Sky Hotel – The nicest hotel in Valdez. They have a pool and spa and a decent restaurant/bar downstairs, as well as an included continental breakfast. They even have some rooms with their own whirlpool tubs! Central to everything.
2. Valdez Harbor Inn – Generally your standard Best Western, but with the best location in town, right on the small boat harbor. Also the best restaurant in town, the attached Off the Hook, with fabulous views of the harbor. Mel, the owner of Off the Hook, will take great care of you.
3. Downtown B&B Inn – Probably the cheapest lodging in Valdez, in a convenient location right next to the Prospector (nice outdoor gear store!). They include a pretty dang good breakfast too.
2. Alaska Leopard B&B - The Alaska Leopard Bed & Breakfast is a quiet and casual chalet with comfortable rooms. Located in Anchorage’s Hillside District, 10-15 minutes from the airport. Spectacular views of the Anchorage bowl, the Cook Inlet, and the volcanoes of the Alaska Range from the “leopard’s perch”.
3. Copper Whale Inn - Great central location downtown, with spectacular views of the inlet and mountains, a lovely garden and friendly staff. Might be slightly noisy due to location.
4. Anchorage Guest House - The Anchorage Guest House is conveniently located near mid-town, downtown and the lovely coastal trail. It is a hostel-like environment, with communal tea, condiments, etc in the pleasant kitchen, and a great place to meet other travelers.
5. Spenard Hostel International – Our hostel of choice because they always take such great care of our staff when they come through Anchorage in the spring and fall. 5 minutes from the airport. 2 blocks from the float-plane lake. Walk to restaurants, etc. Not the greatest neighborhood, so women especially be careful at night (fortunately it almost never gets dark in the summer!).
6. Alaska Backpacker’s Inn - Great downtown location, this hostel is a good place to stay if you’re on a budget but don’t want to miss out on the fun. Laundry, bicycles, internet and free coffee are just a few of the perks!