McCarthy Lodge


McCarthy Lodge

During the summer, the McCarthy Lodge is the area’s premiere dining venue featuring an extensive wine list with many celebration wines, and value wines too.  Exceptional local specialties such as our famous Wild Copper River Red Salmon, enjoyed in an authentic atmosphere. Next door to the lodge is the Golden Saloon with a more family style menu of local favorites.  Everyone’s welcome.  Since 2001, we have been offering complimentary shuttles to Kennicott or the footbridge after dinner at McCarthy Lodge, or an evening at the Golden Saloon. So don’t worry, we make it easy to still spend some time with real Alaskans living a remote life, even if you are staying outside of McCarthy!  (Hey, we understand, there are only 20 rooms in the Ma Johnson’s!)—————————————————————————————————————–


Halibut seared tomato borage flower

The McCarthy Lodge accepts reservations.  We offer a superb, original 4-course dinner each evening.  This fixed-price dinner (around $40 per person) features local specialties such as Copper River Red salmon, halibut, local grown pork, duck, produce from our greenhouses and other local ingredients.  Open seating from 6pm to 10pm is available with advance reservations.  Call 1 907 554-4402 to reserve your table.  Every Sunday, Wednesday and Friday our chef creates a multi course tasting menu.  A remarkable evening of many new flavors, textures and experiences; the tasting menu offers many plates, each delicacy is two bites of heaven.  If you are celebrating a special event or just a great day on the glacier, a evening at the Lodge is most memorable when the chef is enticing you with a dozen or so astonishing plates.   Take a photo then take a bite…

Our goal is to exceed your expectations. We love to share our little ghost town and it’s history with our guests, and we are seriously into food and wine too! Our two restaurants offer different styles – one is the casual center of the valley – the Golden Saloon.  The Golden has all the local favorites, fresh and original comfort foods from Buffalo Burgers, to salads, daily specials, sandwiches, and more.  The Lodge is casual as well, but with a nod to high quality technique and ingredients by some highly qualified chefs.


We use a local approach beyond just our own greenhouse and gardens, we also use family farms within our community and other vendors in Alaska.  We continue to be an important locally-focused business.  Our buildings and artifacts, our staff and our ingredients all are as local as can be.  Some of our neighbors grow a variety of produce for us.

Local morels

Our wild caught Alaskan seafood has always come from just one source, Ralph Lohse.  Ralph, a longtime McCarthy resident, supplies us with all our wild caught, Alaskan seafood, including halibut, black cod, rock fish and more .  We only serve one type of Salmon… The famous Copper River Red Salmon.   Ralph and family, have been our exclusive supplier for many years.

Copper River Red Salmon has the longest run of any salmon, over 200 miles.  This creates a 2% higher fat content, and this is why Ralph gets our salmon from the mouth of the river, instead of in Chitina.   The higher Omega 3 fat content creates an amazing silky texture and superb flavor that is not oily or “fishy”. Farm raised salmon has never been, and will never be, served at McCarthy Lodge.

Our greenhouse and gardens supply much of our fresh produce.  We continue to encourage local farmers to produce more each year, to help supplement our production.    We constantly reach out to our neighbors in an effort to encourage as much local sustainable product as possible. Jeremy Keller, and their farm on Sourdough Ridge, raises ducks, goats, pigs, and other animals and produce.  A remarkable family, Jeremy had worked with us in the restoration of the McCarthy Lodge, Ma Johnson’s Hotel, Lancaster’s and other buildings around town.  Now the Keller family helps keep the restaurant relevant and sustainable to the local community.  This year, the Keller’s Sourdough Farm will supply duck, duck eggs, pigs, and produce for our restaurants.  We are all just living a small life in Alaska.  Expect dozens of folks around town, not hundreds.


Keller Farm pork, pave', crackling, tenderloin, cranberry jus, smoked salt, bacon dust

Joshua Slaughter, comes to McCarthy Lodge via an impressive pedigree.   Working at such notable establishments as Bouchon, Yountville, WD~50, Ducca, he has decided that McCarthy is home.  In 2010, We knew it was time to bring this chef out of hiding.   On October 29th, 2010 McCarthy Lodge had the pleasure of hosting our chef’s first James Beard dinner.  This was a special affair for all of us in many ways.  Joshua identifies with Fernand Point’s style of cooking, finding inspiration not in a list of ingredients but in techniques and preparation.   Refinement.  Great ingredients, minimal distance from garden to table.   With our locavore approach we wanted to use local ingredients.  Shipping from McCarthy, essentially all the ingredients to be used at this event in New York City.   Shipping product from Alaska to New York City for a unique “Alaskavore” approach was a big part of the challenge.  We are all about community.  We have been a “locavore” restaurant before locavore was a word.


McCarthy Lodge has a long history of business since it’s construction here in 1916. Once a cannery building in Katalla on the coast near Cordova, it was dismantled and shipped via train to the new town of McCarthy. As this historic building had previous uses before McCarthy was formed, it is the oldest structure inside Wrangell St. Elias National Park. The building was reconstructed on it’s present location by the famous documentarian photographer Captain J. P. Hubrick, who used it for many years as a photographic and sundries storefront. During the late 1940′s the building along with Ma Johnson’s was renovated by “Mud Hole” Smith, a famous Alaskan Bush Pilot who hosted many fly in tourists through Cordova Airlines.

Jeremy Keller's farm

Throughout the 1960′s, McCarthy Lodge acted as a big game hunting lodge. The 1970′s brought improved access into McCarthy and many new visitors.  Today, McCarthy Lodge is one of the most photographed buildings in the park and has graced the covers of many publications over the years. The building is over one hundred years old, and was probably built just before 1900.

Each summer we discover a little bit more about our buildings, the town’s remarkable history, and the people who use to call this place home.  In our restoration and preservation efforts we are always respectful of the past, but aware that we are a thriving community, alive today.  Adaptive reuse of some property may be more intrusive than other restoration components of our business.  It is a labor of love.  Sustainability, Community, Relevance to a Sense of Place – these are the rewards of our productivity.


Be sure to sample our cuisine while in the McCarthy area and see for yourself why our guests consistently tell us we serve the finest meals they have had in Alaska. All during peak summer season it is recommended to phone or email ahead to assure that you and your party are on the reservation list for that particular day. Our restaurant seats only 40 people at any one time so please reserve by calling hotel reception or email

Our neighbor, Ralph Lohse

A unique Private Dining room is also available for parties of up to 10 people. The McCarthy Lodge has received rave reviews in the London Times, The Chicago Tribune, The New York Times, to name just a few of the many publications that have discovered us (and spread their enthusiasm for our excellence).

Take a look at our chef’s plating in the “Foodie Fun In Remote Alaska” part of our Photo Gallery by clicking here>>