Explore the Historic Town
This history of Kennicott began in 1900, when “Tarantula Jack” Smith and Clarence Warner spotted the green glint of copper ore in the mountains above the Kennicott Glacier.
Soon, Kennicott became a boom town where 600 people worked to mine what was then the richest known concentration of copper ore in the world.
The mine was abandoned in 1938 but many of the historic buildings still stand as they were on that last day, leaving a living history of those rugged days of high adventure. The National Park Service purchased the town in 1998 and began an extensive resoration and stabilization project. Guided tours into the mine buildings are offered by St. Elias Alpine Guides, whose knowledgeable guides will bring to life the miraculous story of this world-class copper mine. Many of the buildings are also open for the public to explore during the day.
During your visit, be sure to stop by the National Park Service Visitor’s Center located in the old Blackburn School House. Rangers are available throughout the day to answer your questions and you can watch a short introductory video about Kennicott. The Park Service also offers several free programs about Kennicott and the Wrangell-St. Elias National Park each day.
You can learn more about Kennicott at the National Park Service Website.