McCarthy Road

Image of a map of McCarthy Road

The McCarthy Road begins at the end of the Edgerton Highway in Chitina, Alaska and ends in the town of McCarthy. The road parallels the Copper River and Northwestern (CR&NW) railway which is no longer in use.

This road is known for being rough as it is unpaved and has many washboards and sharp turns. The McCarthy Road leads to Wrangell-St. Elias National Park and Reserve and also allows access to the now abandoned copper mines of Kennecott. However, the road does not lead directly into Kennecott and travelers would have to cross the Kennicott River via a hand-pulled cable tram. In 1997, the National Park Service deemed the cable tram unsafe and built a pedestrian bridge which is now how people cross the river to reach Kennecott.

Image of the Kennicott tram

The original Kennicott hand-pulled cable tram

Image of the Kennicott tram

*It should be noted that the mine is spelled Kennecott, however the river and glacier is spelled Kennicott.*

McCarthy and Kennecott have a fascinating history. You can read more about it on the National Park Service’s website here.

Maya’s blog posts about the McCarthy Road

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