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. Try contacting GoNorth Rentals. They allow their vehicles to be driven on gravel roads without restriction. Budget and Enterprise may also have some vehicles they will allow to drive the McCarthy Road – check with them for details.

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.

Wrangell Mountain Air also offers 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 (in cooperation with Reeve Air out of Anchorage) offers air transport between McCarthy, Glennallen and Anchorage on Mondays and Thursday mornings in conjunction with delivering the mail to McCarthy. The flight stops in Glennallen but still only takes about 2.5 hours to get all the way to Anchorage. At $275 each way it’s a deal if the timing works with your plans!

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…

New for 2015, they also offer a daily van service between Chitina/Kenny Lake and McCarthy at different times than the Kennicott Shuttle. Both morning and afternoon departures are available.

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.


The planning was exquisite! Gaia helped me plan the day trips at Kennicott, including the mill tour and a day hiking on the glacier. We loved Noah and the day we had just as a family walking on the Root. She also helped us with Read More >

Melanie F Rafting Chitina River Journey, 2011

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