Many of our guests choose to drive to Kennicott in order to enjoy the scenic countryside along the way.
Approximate Driving Times
|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|
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 to 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. To get to Kennicott, you must park your car, walk across the bridge with your bags, and take our shuttle van to Kennicott.
There is a free parking lot for Kennicott Glacier Lodge Guests 1/4 mile before the footbridge. The parking lot is marked by a “Visitor Information” sign and is attended from 10am to 7pm. Just tell the attendant that you are a Kennicott Glacier Lodge Guest and they will call us to let us know you have arrived. The attendant will drive you and your luggage to the footbridge. You must walk across the footbridge and the Kennicott Glacier Lodge shuttle van will pick you up on the other side. It typically takes 20-25 minutes for the shuttle to reach the footbridge after we are notified of your arrival.
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 on arriving at the footbridge no later than 6pm.
The Kennicott Glacier Lodge shuttle will pick arriving Guests up at the footbridge until 9pm. If you arrive after 9pm, transportation can be arranged for a fee of $50.00. Please let us know as early as possible if you will be arriving after 9pm.
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.
Go North: 866-236-7272 or 907-479-7272
Alaska 4×4 Rentals: 907-771-1300
Shuttle to Kennicott
If you would like to leave the driving to someone else, you can take a shuttle from Glennallen or Chitina to McCarthy.
The Kennicott Shuttle: This scheduled shuttle runs seven days per week. It departs Glennallen at 7am, stops in Chitina at 8:30 am, and arrives in McCarthy at 11:00am. It departs McCarthy at 4:30pm, gets to Chitina at 6:30pm, and arrives in Glennallen at 8:00pm. The cost is around $130 per person roundtrip. Call 907-822-5292 for details.
However you decide to get to Kennicott, you’ll have the opportunity to see some of the best scenery in Alaska. If we can help with your travel plans in any way, please call or email us.