Sunday, July 21, 2013


Located about 4.5 miles downstream from the Kennecott mine, McCarthy grew up with the mine, providing services that weren't available in the company town. After the mine closed, it almost died out, but now has 15-20 year around residents and around 300 summer residents. Access to Kennicott is via McCarthy, and it's well worth a visit. No public motor vehicles are allowed - access is via a modern foot bridge.

The town has lots of original buildings, some of which are housing popular businesses. Ma Johnson's Historic Hotel has attracted lots of very positive national press. There are at least three different places providing overnight lodging.

Not all of the buildings are as well maintained. In fact, this one comes complete with a feathered visitor

sort of front & center, above the faded word "meat" on the face of the building.

Some of the buildings, although looking pretty tired, are still actively used as summer residences.

There are a number of businesses that support outdoor activities from hiking the local trails and glaciers to running the area rivers. (This one's especially for our friend Helen who owns a kayak & canoe livery.) There are two charter flight providers in town including one that provides scheduled service from Chitina.

There are vehicles of various vintages hiding in the grass,

and at least three places in town where you can find something to eat.

The flower baskets throughout town were profuse,

and some of the baskets were unique.

There is also a museum in town but I didn't visit it. I thought visiting McCarthy was worth the effort even if Kennicott was ignored. Don't forget, it is a minimum of 3 hours each way from the Richardson Highway so it's not a trivial effort.


  1. Loved the livery but to have a dry suit there for people to see first tells me the water is cold- That being said- I have one that I am stretching the neck on right now that I will be wearing probably for 20 of the 26 days we will be doing the Grand Canyon next year. Thanks for the storey- will have to try to get up there some day.

    1. There was a whole rack of dry suits inside. The river starts about 4 miles away at the glaciers. Certainly not interested in practicing rolls there!