How to get to McCarthy-Kennecott
There are several options for getting to McCarthy-Kennecott, our base in the middle of Wrangell-St. Elias National Park. We are off the beaten path and it’s going to take you some time and effort but we promise it will be worth it! We have some of the most raw, majestic scenery you will find anywhere in the state, and without any crowds!
Option #1 – Drive
You can drive your own car or rental 100 miles from the Richardson Highway to McCarthy. This makes sense for many folks who are traveling around the state and stopping for 1-4 days in Wrangell-St. Elias, as long as you don’t mind taking 2+ hours to drive the 60 miles of gravel down the McCarthy Road. Most rental car companies will not cover you to drive this road. We recommend High Country Rentals in Anchorage. They will let you drive your car into McCarthy, and they are nice folks with competitive rates.
Option #2 – Fly
Wrangell Mountain Air offers three daily flights from Chitina, at the edge of the park. Chitina is a 5 hour drive from Anchorage, 2.5 hours from Valdez and about 6 hours from Fairbanks. You can leave your car parked at the airport there and avoid the gravel altogether. They also offer charter flights on whatever schedule works for you from Anchorage and other destinations within Alaska. We work very closely with them and highly recommend them for any bush flying needs.
Copper Valley Air Service offers reasonably priced scheduled flights directly to McCarthy from Anchorage (with a short stop in Glennallen) on Monday and Thursday mornings, and then immediately return. The flight leaves Anchorage at 8:30am, arriving in McCarthy at 11am. Leaves around 11:15 and gets you into Anchorage early afternoon. The flight is convenient but not always on time, depending on both weather and their logistics, so schedule some buffer time before/after essential travel or activities.
Option #3 – Shuttle Bus:
The Kennicott Shuttle offers daily van service from Glennallen to McCarthy in the morning and back in the late afternoon. Their site also has good information about connecting service to and from Anchorage and other destinations.
Wrangell-St. Elias Tours has morning departures for direct van service between Anchorage, McCarthy and Valdez 5 days a week during the summer. Great option especially if you’re spending more than a few days in the area and don’t want to leave a rental vehicle sitting…
We recommend that you contact us before finalizing your plans if you are scheduled on a multi-day trip with us. We can help make sure you’ve got the best option for your particular situation.