Getting Here

NO MATTER HOW YOU GET HERE, YOU’RE BOUND TO SEE SOME OF THE MOST BEAUTIFUL SCENERY IN THE WORLD

Here you will find detailed information on driving and flying into McCarthy. There are lots of ways to get here: Rental cars, Shuttle services, State-wide bus system info to Glennallen, and Flight Services to and from McCarthy-Kennicott.

Antique Autos in McCarthy, Alaska

Antique Autos in McCarthy, Alaska

TRAVEL BY CAR

Conde’ Naste recommended driving to McCarthy, as it is incredibly scenic. The London Times online calls it: “The most beautiful road I have ever been on” in an article published in 2004.  It is possible to view Alaska Dahl sheep, goats, Tundra swans, moose, black bear, grizzly bear, fox, wolverine and endless assorted waterfowl along this route. If you’re an avid fisherman there are many lakes available from Glennallen to McCarthy for trout, salmon, and burbot. (Remember you must have a license. These may be purchased at numerous locations along your route.)

90% of all visitors to Wrangell-St. Elias take their cars on the McCarthy Road. Of the 40,000 visitors to this park, the number of flat tires per year is in the dozens, not thousands as most guide books would like you to believe. Will you get a flat? It is very unlikely if you drive no faster than 30MPH.

For those worried about getting a flat tire, if getting a flat tire would ruin your vacation, we suggest flying in to McCarthy.  You really need to see the park by air, and we encourage all guests to do the 70 or 90 minute flight see.  So if changing a flat makes you nervous, then fly in (instead of driving in and doing a seperate flight see.)

RENTAL CARS:

The McCarthy Road has been improved so much over the past few years that many car rental companies now allow some of their vehicles on the McCarthy Road. Here is a list of just some of the rental car options that allow you to take their vehicles on the McCarthy Road:

  • The Alaskan owned company, High Country Anchorage has low prices for rental cars in Alaska: 888-685-1155 or 1-907 562-8078
  • Enterprise Rental Cars - When you book with us, request our special McCarthy Lodge Guest code – Enterprise Rental car will waive the McCArthy Road restriction when you stay with us at McCarthy Lodge. Use the local Alaska number: 1 907 563-5050 to get approval for the McCarthy Road when staying at the McCarthy Lodge!
  • In Anchorage & Fairbanks: Go North Alaska Travel Center offers 4 wheel drive vehicles that are allowed on the Mccarthy Road. Call 866-236-7272 or (907) 479-7272.
  • Budget Rent a Car also allows their 4-wheel & SUV vehicles on the McCarthy Road WITH PRIOR APPROVAL FROM BUDGET.

(If you have problems booking a rental vehicle from one of the major rental car companies, let us know and we will assist in your rental.)

The Copper River

The Copper River

DISTANCES BETWEEN MAJOR TOWNS & DESTINATIONS

The following chart lists major cities and their distance to our area:

  • Anchorage to McCarthy – 300 miles
  • Fairbanks to McCarthy – 360 miles
  • McCarthy to Kennicott – 4.5 miles
  • Anchorage to Fairbanks – 362 miles
  • McCarthy to Glennallen – 130 miles
  • McCarthy to Chitina – 60 miles
  • McCarthy to Valdez – 178 miles

IF YOU DO DRIVE, PLEASE NOTE:

You will not be able to drive your vehicle into town but will have to leave it in a designated parking area instead at the edge of town. At present all parking in the McCarthy/Kennicott area is provided by private vendors and will average $5.00 per day.

TRAVELING BY BUS/SHUTTLE TO THE MCCARTHY AREA

There is now a new bus service between Anchorage and McCarthy! 

Wrangell-St. Elias Tours provides direct van transportation from Anchorage to McCarthy and Kennicott (May-Sept). See www.wrangellsteliastours.com for shuttle schedules and rate info. Phone (907) 822 5978 Email jen@cvalaska.net

ANOTHER GREAT CONNECTION FROM GLENNALLEN, CHITINA TO/FROM MCCARTHY:

Back Country Connection operates a daily van service from Glennallen to McCarthy for backpackers during the summer months. You can contact Backcountry Connection at: Backcountry Connection LLC, PO Box 65, Glennallen, AK 99588 – Phone: (907) 822-5292 or 1-866-582-5292 (within Alaska), Fax: 907.822.3500 Web:  www.kennicottshuttle.com Email:  tourwithus@alaska.net.

Kuskalana - Longest single lane bridge in America

Kuskalana - Longest single lane bridge in America

TO GET FROM FAIRBANKS TO GLENNALLEN VIA ALASKA/YUKON TRAILS BUS LINE

Take Alaska/Yukon Trails Bus Line from Fairbanks to Glennallen, then take Backcountry Connection from Glennallen to McCarthy. Alaska/Yukon Trails connects Fairbanks, Denali, Anchorage, Valdez, Prince William Sound, Whittier, Seward within Alaska and Dawson City, Yukon Territory. For Reservations, Please call 1-800-770-7275.

TO GET FROM ANCHORAGE TO GLENNALLEN VIA ALASKA DIRECT BUS LINE

Take Alaska Direct bus service from Anchorage to Glennallen, then take Backcountry Connection from Glennallen to McCarthy. Alaska Direct provides year-round service among Fairbanks, Anchorage, Whitehorse, Haines, and Skagway (Alaska Marine Highway); they also provide service between Tok and Dawson City, YT, in the summer. Summer service on the Fairbanks/Anchorage/Whitehorse routes is normally three times a week; winter service is normally twice a week, with adjustments for periods of severe weather.

Reservations are required. Please call: In Anchorage:   (907) 277-6652; In Whitehorse:  (867) 668-4833; In other areas: 1-800-770-6652. Passengers are allowed one piece of luggage and one overnight or flight bag (which must fit in the overhead rack). Excess baggage will generate an additional charge.   Mailing address: P.O. Box 501, Anchorage, AK 99510-0501.

FLYING INTO THE AREA

Take one of 3 daily flights into McCarthy from Chitina and avoid the McCarthy Road.  Flight Tour Shuttle at McCarthy included!

Go to the Wrangell Mountain air website for details or call 1-800-478-1160 / 1907-554-4411

www.wrangellmountainair.com

From Galkona, you can also use the Mail Plane to get to and from McCarthy Glakona, Glennallen, or Anchorage

http://www.coppervalleyair.com/Flightseeing-McCarthy-Kennicott.php

Flying to McCArthy in your own bush plane?

If you have your own private plane, you can also fly into the McCarthy airfield. There are also several private air taxi services available in the area. Go to our “Activities” section and there you willfind the Flight Services that offer trips from Chitina and other points to McCarthy.

No maTter how you get here, be sure to do a flight seeing trip into the deep wilderness that surrounds McCarthy!

Gilahina Trestle, McCarthy Road

Gilahina Trestle, McCarthy Road