By Road

Many of our guests choose to drive to Kennicott in order to enjoy the scenic countryside along the way.

To get to Kennicott by car, you must drive to the end of the McCarthy Road, park your car, walk across a footbridge with your bags, and take our shuttle van five miles to Kennicott. The Lodge shuttle provides complimentary transportation for arriving Guests from the footbridge to Kennicott on the hour from 12pm to 8pm.

Approximate Driving Times

Distance Driving Time
Anchorage to McCarthy 314 miles 7.5 hours
Fairbanks to McCarthy 374 miles 9.5 hours
Valdez to McCarthy 176 miles 5.5 hours
Glennallen to McCarthy 125 miles 4 hours
Chitina to McCarthy 60 miles 2.5 hours
Denali N.P. to McCarthy 395 miles 11 hours

Click here for driving directions.

McCarthy Road

The last 60 miles of road before you reach Kennicott (between Chitina and McCarthy) is a State maintained gravel road that follows the path of the historic Copper River and Northwestern Railroad. The State did extensive work on the road during the summer of 2012 and it is now in better shape than ever before. Here are a couple of tips for driving on the road.

  • It usually takes 2 – 2 ½ hours to drive the McCarthy Road.
  • The speed limit for the McCarthy Road is 35mph. If you stay under the speed limit, the risk of a flat tire or car damage is minimal.
  • The road is wide enough for two lanes in most places and the State has brushed most of the road to increase visibility. However, the road is still narrow in some places, so you should watch out for other traffic.
  • The number of flat tires on the McCarthy road has decreased drastically in the last few years, but it is still a good idea to carry a good spare tire. There is a tire repair shop at the end of the road during the summer months if you do have a problem.

For more information, you can visit the Wrangell-St. Elias National Park McCarthy Road  website.


The End of the Road

The McCarthy Road ends at the Footbridge that crosses the Kennicott River, approximately 5 miles from the town of Kennicott.

Free parking is available for Lodge Guests at Base Camp Kennicott, located next to the Footbridge.   The Lodge shuttle provides complimentary transportation for arriving Guests from the Footbridge to Kennicott on the hour from noon to 8pm.  If you arrive before noon, please call us to arrange a pick up time.

Please note that dinner at Kennicott Glacier Lodge is served one seating at 7pm. If you wish to have dinner with us, you should plan to take the Lodge shuttle no later than 6pm.

Transportation after 8pm is only available by prior arrangement for a $50 fee.  We do not provide transportation after 9pm.

Rental Cars

The following rental car companies allow select “gravel ready” vehicles to drive on the McCarthy road. Please contact them for details on vehicle restrictions, pricing, and availability.

RentaSubaru: (907) 644-0309, [email protected]

Go North: 866-236-7272 or 907-479-7272

Alaska 4×4 Rentals: 907-771-1300

Midnight Sun Car Rentals: 907-243-8806 or 888-877-3585