McCarthy, Kennecott Mine, and the Wrangell-St. Elias National park and preserve

Tour Details

DURATION: 

3 DAYS 2 NIGHTS

Anchorage or Palmer shuttle included

311 mile drive to the Kennecott Mine

Tent, Cabin Rental, and Hotel Options Available

Great for everyone (littles and elders be aware, there will be bouncing)

 

Difficulty:

Easy

Multi-Night Alaskan Road Trip with Optional Excursions

 

Meals:

Two meals a day and snacks are included.

 

Pricing:

Starting at $2,500 per person

 

WHAT TO EXPECT:

Historic Copper Mine Walk-Through

Mountains

Up-Close Glacier Views

Wildlife

 

At 13 million acres, making it the nation's largest park, Wrangell-St. Elias has more to see and experience than you could fit in a lifetime. Seemingly endless mountains and valleys, wildlife around every corner, views the best painters in the world couldn't imagine, not to mention the rich history of the Kennecott Mine, are all part of this multi-day tour.

Starting out of Anchorage, this 3 day sightseeing tour will take you up the Glenn Highway past the glacier-filled Chugach State Park to the East and the Talkeetna Mountains to the West. Five hours away from Anchorage, we make it to the start of the McCarthy Road in Chitna where we cross the Copper River.

The 60 mile dirt road to McCarthy is one of Alaska's most rugged. Originally established as a railroad track back in 1907 to haul ore from the mine, it only saw its intended use for 27 years. The mine closed in 1938 and railroad traffic stopped overnight making McCarthy a ghost town. The McCarthy road became a road in 1999 when the state drove a dozer down it, pushing the beams and ties out of the way for wheeled traffic. Most of the beams were taken out for scrap, but parts of elevated sections still stand crossing small valleys. Railroad spikes, ties, and beams can still be found sticking out of the roadbed.

The Kennecott Mine was the world's largest copper mine of its time. Producing an estimated 200 million dollars worth of copper ore and approximately 7 million worth of silver in the 1920's and 30's. With the abrupt shut down, the people of McCarthy and Kennecott left behind an amazing trove of history to explore.

The mine shafts themselves are rather difficult to reach. Back in the day, miners developed a series of cable tram systems with "angle" stations to extract the ore from the side of the cliffs. It was said that a bucket with 750 pounds or raw ore containing up 70% pure copper would come down the tramway to the 13 storied production facility every 52 seconds where it was processed and loaded onto the train.

Learn more about the rich history of Kennecott here http://www.nps.gov/wrst/learn/historyculture/upload/Kennecottbulletin.pdf

As with all of our tours… be prepared! Dress warm, bring multiple layers, and wear shoes you don't mind getting muddy (no open toes, waterproof hiking boots are preferred). 

When scheduling, please let us know and allow additional time if you need to make a flight or other scheduled connection.

Shuttle service from Anchorage and Palmer is included. Please ask about service from other locations.