McCarthy-Kennicott Historic Park or Site
Immerse yourself in the rich history of McCarthy by visiting some of these historic sites and destinations. Discover the captivating Kennicott Mine on a walking tour, where you’ll be transported back in time as you explore the abandoned buildings. Follow the footsteps of the past along the wagon road trail and discover the region’s historic heritage.
Historic Park or Site
This abandoned copper mining camp is a National Historic Landmark District. Established in 1903, Kennecott Mining Corporation operated 5 mines in the area. Kennecott became a bustling mining camp filled with miners and their families. By 1938, Kennecott was a ghost town. This guide shows the self-guided walking tour points.
Talk about an authentic pioneer town. Time seems to have stood still on McCarthy’s Main Street, which is unpaved, only a few hundred yards long, and lined with classic buildings and memorabilia.Some visitors walk through McCarthy and complain that there’s nothing to do — and that’s exactly why folks like living here. But while you may not find much activity, you will find a lot of history: In the town’s heyday there were several hotels,… ...more
Thursday evenings are open mic night in McCarthy. It’s a great chance to rub elbows with some locals and fellow travelers and get a taste for the neighborhood. All are welcome! Bring your guitar, harmonica, and voice – or just your eyes and ears. Occasionally on Fridays and Saturdays there’s a band playing after 8:30 p.m. Be on the lookout for special events that are free and open to the public.
This historical trail through the woods between McCarthy and Kennicott was the walking/wagon road when the railroad was still running. It’s a nice alternative to walking or biking up the 4.5‑mile-long road between McCarthy and Kennicott, where you’ll find more vehicles and dusty conditions.
If you’ve spent the day in Kennicott, on the glacier trail, or in the mountains and still can’t get enough of the outdoors, skip the shuttle ride down the hill to McCarthy and take this nice 1.5‑hour walk. The Wagon Trail cuts off the main road just to the right of the St. Elias Guides office.
Eight signs will guide you through the Copper River watershed landscape. See if you can visit all eight signs on your tour through this upriver basin formed by the ancient, glacial Lake Atna!
Across the street from the museum is a short path leading to the old railroad turntable used to flip the engine around so it could push the train the 4.5 remaining miles up to Kennicott. Look for a wooden sign across the street pointing the way. Two or three people can get it moving again. It’s a great activity for kids looking for a short but unique ride.
The first two things visitors notice about Kennecott are the spectacular views and the town itself…in that order. The combination of dramatic scenery and strange mining town makes for a unique experience. Give yourself a couple hours to explore and take it in.