McCarthy-Kennecott is located right in the middle of the largest protected wilderness area on the planet and is the off-the-beaten-path adventure capital of South-Central Alaska. If you’re looking for hiking, climbing, backpacking, rafting, or mountaineering without the crowds of Denali or the Kenai Penninsula, you’ve come to the right place!
The massive Root and Kennicott Glaciers almost spill into town and are towered over by the Stairway Icefall (largest in Alaska) and the enormous Mt. Blackburn (16,391 ft)! In fact, 7 out of the 10 tallest peaks in America find their home amongst the 3 major mountain ranges in Wrangell-St. Elias National Park. Down on the coast, Mount St. Elias itself rises from the ocean to the mighty height of 18,008ft, claiming its name as the 2nd tallest peak in the States! We offer day trips and multi-day adventures exploring this amazing wilderness and there are a few different trails and areas you can explore on your own too – just stop by our office for a map and some recommendations!
The abandoned townsite of Kennecott and well-preserved buildings and artifacts of a thriving prospecting community provide fascinating historical context to this unique convergence of topographical wonders. The obvious highlight and high point of the townsite is the 14-story Mill Building, the tallest wooden structure in North America! The old townsite and some of the buildings are open to the public during the summer so there’s a lot you can explore on your own – make sure to also check out the Museum in McCarthy, too! If you want to take a deeper dive back in time and access the inside of the Mill Building, join us on our 2hr Historical Tour of Kennecott. There are a couple of lodging and food options in Kennecott as well as a gift shop with espresso drinks!
McCarthy is a small community located about 4.5mi down the road from Kennecott. You will find the McCarthy Museum here, a small mercantile, a gift shop, and a few restaurants, including the only bar for hundreds of miles around! There are a few lodging options right in town too, the local air taxi’s office as well as a shuttle stop for transportation to and from Kennecott.