Walks & Hikes

Click on the map for a larger, printable map (PDF download).

SOME OF THE HIKING TRAILS IN THE MCCARTHY & KENNICOTT AREA

Below you’ll find some of the most popular hikes in the area.  Use the link below the map to download a PDF version of the full map, including detailed descriptions of each route.

ROUTE 1 – FOURTH OF JULY CREEK & HIDDEN LAKE

This is a very popular route with locals and hikers, but not very advertised. You will meet other hikers most likely. Great views, lots of water, good camping, some bears- be prepared. Rough terrain, and great views  Approximately 15 miles but you can go as far as you want making this a great day hike.

ROUTE 2 – ROOT GLACIER

This hike starts at Kennicott Mill Site. There is a ranger station at the entrance to Kennicott – report in. Camping is allowed along this route. It is a very nice day hike for the whole family. 4-7 miles. Lots of fresh water. Bears possible so be prepared. Ground squirrels in this area. Nice views but better on hike 1 above.

ROUTE 3 – UP THE MCCARTHY CREEK VALLEY

Hikes up McCarthy Creek may require you to cross the creek several times. For much of the year this is no problem as it is a shallow creek. Check with the locals to find out the conditions of this creek as many of us must cross it each day to and from our homes and work place. Take route 4 up the creek and keep following the creek and road. Several tunnels hewn through the rock face on this route. There is private property along this trail so please be respectful of this. You can make this trail a day hike or camp over. Approximately 13 miles possible.

ROUTE 4 – MCCARTHY CREEK NIKOLAI CREEK TRAIL

Starting in McCarthy follow the creek and old road and then branch off at Nikolai Creek and go up and over the Kikolai Pass  to the Nizina River Valley. This historic freight route was much used at the turn of the last century to access the gold rush area of Chisana  or Shushanna and  several other mountain passes used to traverse early Alaska. The Nikolai Creek is named after the powerful Athabascan Chief Nikolai whose domain spread in to this area and played an important part in the early history of this important mining district. 17-20 miles to the Nizina. Definitely a 2-3 day hike, some steep ascents and descents. McCarthy Creek is a great day hike and picnic area.

ROUTE 5 – OLD MINE TRAIL

Probably only 4 miles long this trail is easy to follow about the first half and then gets steep. As long as you are heading uphill  there is no way to get lost. The last half is very steep but the panorama is great. If you get high enough you can check out the remains of an old mine located near the end of a rocky chute. You must be in good shape to complete this hike in one day, it is a hard work out. Horses used to carry supplies up this route to the mine site.

ROUTE 6 – NIZINA ROAD ROUTE OR MCCARTHY/MAY CREEK ROAD

This is a State Road and an easy hike. The May Creek and Dan Creek was a very important mining area in existence before McCarthy or Kennecott. The first phone system went in between McCarthy and Dan Creek. The end of your hike is rewarded by the incredible sight of the Nizina Bridge. The Nizina Bridge tells the importance the early Territorial Government place in this area and the dollar wealth it produced. The road is about 12 miles in length with many homesteads scattered along the way. Great Day Hike for the family or take several days.

ROUTE 7 – DOWN ALONG THE KENNICOTT

Cross over McCarthy Creek here in McCarthy then down the Kennecott for up to 4 miles. A delightful hike that is easy and filled with all kinds of surprises and magical sights. You can retrace your steps or you can hike a short distance through the woods and walk back on the Nizina road. Hard to lose you way on this hike with the river on one side and the road on the other. Great day hike for the family with plenty of places for kids to get wet and muddy and go picnicking.

ROUTE 8 – LOOP FROM AIRPORT TO MCCARTHY CREEK

Starting at the same place as number 5 this is a much easier hike and will take you by beaver lodges, old wood cutting trials as well as horse freight packing trails. The forest is open for much of the trail and one can view the activities of the forest and explore outcroppings and plants in different habitats. Nice Day Hike with the family or alone. Approximately 3 miles.

ROUTE 9 – WAGON TRAIL AND GLACIAL FACE – MORAINE

Walking from McCarthy towards Kennecott to our Community Center “Tony Zaks”. Opposite Tony Zaks you will see a sign marked “Wagon Trail”. You can take this trail to Kennicott Mill Site if you wish, it is a good bicycle trail. During the railroad days this trail was used to carry freight by wagon or motorcar to Kennecott. When the trail forms a Y go to the left and this will take you to the glacial moraine and dry river channels. Locals used to gather ice here in recent years. This is a very fun area for kids and adults alike. Follow the dry channels down river and you will end up near the foot bridges near where you entered McCarthy. 2 – 4.5 miles depending on which way you choose to go. Great Day or Evening Hike with the family or alone. You can spend endless hours out here exploring the interesting geology of our area.