How Long to Spend
Alaska’s most famous ghost town, Kennicott is an old mining village that retains Gold Rush relics, while McCarthy is a sister village, 5 miles away. Today, both are laid-back towns that offer history, scenery, and a taste of old Alaska. You’ll find:
- Massive old mining buildings that look out over a glacier-carved valley.
- One of the most scenic drives in Alaska, coming from Anchorage
- America’s largest national park, Wrangell St. Elias.
- Adventure tours like rafting, guided hikes, and flightseeing
- Accomodations ranging from private cabins, historic hotels, and a lodge overlooking a glacier.
Getting to McCarthy / Kennicott is part of the experience. The drive is approximately 7 hours from Anchorage and 8 hours from Fairbanks, and the final 2 hours are on the scenic, rugged McCarthy Road. This is a gravel road, and many Alaska car rental companies don’t allow their vehicles on non-paved roads. Alaska 4x4 Rentals, and Alaska Overlander, based in Anchorage, do. At the end of the McCarthy Road is the footbridge into McCarthy. Cars aren't permitted in town, so park your vehicle and walk across.
An alternative is to drive 6 hours from Anchorage to Chitina, and then fly into McCarthy.