Located in the heart of the Wrangell-St. Elias National Park, McCarthy and Kennicott have a colorful past. The cities began around 1900 when copper ore was discovered in the area. With the creation of the Kennecott Mines Company six years later, the town quickly grew to over 500 people. A hospital, store, grade school, dental office, dairy, and recreation hall were built. The nearby town of McCarthy was also growing at the same time. With a population of nearly 800, the town offered restaurants, pool halls, hotels, saloons, two newspapers, a dress shop, a photography shop, garage and auto repair shop, shoe shop, and hardware store. With the closure of the Kennecott Copper Corporation in 1938, train service ceased and most residents left.
Today, McCarthy and much of Kennicott are privately owned, with about 50 year-round residents. With unique accommodations at both the Ma Johnson Hotel, part of McCarthy Lodge and at Kennicott Glacier Lodge you have a great base for exploring Wrangell-St. Elias National Park
Whether you are interested in history, active adventure, or just want to get off the beaten path, there is no better place than Wrangell-St. Elias National Park. The best way to experience the park is a visit the towns of McCarthy and Kennicott, which are only accessible by air or the 59 mile unpaved McCarthy Highway. As most car rental companies do not permit vehicles to be driven on this unpaved roadway, most visitors will arrive by small plane or a van transfer from Chitina. Contact us at email@example.com for recommendations on how to include North America's largest National Park in your itinerary.