McCarthy road runs for 60 miles, from Chitina to the tiny hamlet of McCarthy, deep within the Wrangell-St. Elias National Park. This wooden structure was originally 890 feet long and 90 feet high, required one-half million board feet of timber, and was completed in eight days in the winter of 1911. The road isn’t that bad anymore, just keep it under 35mph (and make sure the rental company allows you to take their car here). Mile 58.1-58.4 All you need to do is to cross the footbridge. As you drive across the Copper River Bridge, you can see the confluence of the Copper and Chitina Rivers. Salmon begin entering the lake as late as September and spawning continues until April. Please choose a different date. There are several small pullouts that offer nice views of the Chitina River and Chugach Mountains to the south. A pull-out on the north side of the road provides access to a 1/3-mile trail to Strelna Lake. Millions of tons of natural sediment, mostly silt and clay are carried downstream each year. Cash only. The road is now entering land managed by Wrangell-St. Elias National Park & Preserve. Radioactive potassium-argon dating of a lava flow which overlies debris flow deposits indicates that the Chetaslina Volcanic Debris Flow took place about 200,000 years ago. The McCarthy Road starts in Chitina. Mile 24 In 1983, Les and Flo Hegland’s home in McCarthy, Alaska was the gathering spot where the 22 residents of the Kennicott/McCarthy area waited for the weekly mail plane. McCarthy Road stories are the stuff of Alaska legend. Unpaved and maintained by the Alaska state DOT. According to the Discovery Channel, this 60 miles long road from Chitina to "remote" town of McCarthy / Kennecott, should be the worst road on Alaska, even in N. America! Clear waters of the Chokosna River support salmon spawning beds. The Chitina is a classic example of a braided river as are many of the other rivers in this region. Much of the land along the road is Wrangell-St.Elias National Park, but some is private land so be careful to respect the privacy of the owners. These hills are an excellent place to see Dall Sheep. We didn’t see any significant wildlife except we saw a bald eagle soaring in the sky right pass Chitina. Mile 1.6 There are restaurants, shopping, and lodging options in Chitina. These debris flow deposits are overlain in various places by lava flows and also by stream, lake, wind, and glacial sediments. These gravel ridges are good examples of lateral moraines that were deposited along the margin of a large glacier as it receded. Kotsina Trail - Backcountry Trailheads. Sorry, there are no tours or activities available to book online for the date(s) you selected. Mile 1.4 Gilahina River & Gilahina Trestle Wayside. On the north (left) side of the road is the Copper River and the Kotsina River delta. The Lakina River gets some of its water from melting glaciers. If you happen to be viewing the river after several days of hot weather, most of the islands and bars will be flooded. The muddy waters of the Copper allow successful salmon fishing by the use of dip nets and fishwheels; neither of these methods would work in clearwater streams. Next, you’ll pass over the Copper River. Really? Mile 26.8 Later they were partially altered by heat and pressure to form the greenstone that is widely distributed in the Wrangell Mountains and is the source of copper mined near Kennecott. Suspended sediment loads of the Copper and Chitina Rivers are high, but the dissolved sediment loads are low; these rivers are dirty...but not polluted. The show … Pronounced, "Chit-Na," this railroad town sprang to life in 1910. As long as you take it slow (25 - 30 mph in most. Jumbo Creek Camping Area - 1.4 miles from Kennecott McCarthy Road The last 60 miles of road before you reach Kennicott (between Chitina and McCarthy) is a State maintained gravel road that follows the path of the historic Copper River and Northwestern … $40,000. The fixed the beaver dams. The road cuts through sandstone and conglomerate as it ascends the east side of the stream valley. It was the only railroad bridge in this area constructed of steel girders that span the canyon rather than timber pilings driven into the streambed. Unpaved and maintained by the Alaska state DOT. Mile 14.5 Located within the Wrangell-St. Elias National Park and Preserve, the road … Braided rivers are characterized by many dividing and re-uniting channels and by numerous islands and gravel bars. The Chitina River meets these conditions. McCarthy, AK Directions {{::location.tagLine.value.text}} Sponsored Topics. Mile 2.0-2.5 Although traffic and weather often result in ruts and washboarded surfaces, under normal summer conditions most passenger vehicles can make the trip. If you stop at the ranger station for Wrangell-St.Elias National Park on the road south of Glenallen they will give you a CD with a description of each section of the road that you can listen to as you drive it. In 1971 a new bridge was constructed over the Copper River and the rail bed was covered with gravel, creating today's surface of the McCarthy Road. McCarthy Road: A stunning parcel close to the Wrangell – St. Elias National Park, about half way between Chitina and McCarthy and easy to get to. 638 likes. Current information about road conditions, the park, hikes, fishing opportunities, and other essential topics can be obtained there. The Copper River and its tributaries (including the Chitina River) drain an area of approximately 24,000 square miles. Watch for bright white spots on the hillsides - these may look like patches of snow, but they could actually be sheep! Private land adjoins many parts of the road and in the McCarthy/Kennecott area. This primitive camping area has no amenities. Mile 34.8 When large scale mining ended in 1938, most of the rails were salvaged for scrap iron. RESERVATIONS ARE NOT REQUIRED RESERVATIONS ARE NOT REQUIRED PARK or CAMP at the McCarthy Road's End by the Footbridge -- Mile 59.4Gorgeous scenery on the Kennicott Glacier Lake … Metal spikes appearing out of nowhere. travel time was about 2 hours each way. The drive in and out of Wrangell … This is a good place to contemplate the problems of road construction and maintenance in areas of permafrost, muskeg and swamps. McCarthy Road, Alaska: See 39 reviews, articles, and 82 photos of McCarthy Road, ranked No.318 on Tripadvisor among 887 attractions in Alaska. Accommodations, dining, guide services, flightseeing, and air taxis are some of the services available here. State Wayside - The Beginning of the McCarthy Road It can be seen from these viewpoints that the river valley gets progressively deeper going downstream. Ice of the glacier is mantled by rock material, ranging from large boulders to very fine glacial flour that is still in transit. Today's road originated in 1909 as a railway constructed to support the Kennecott Copper Mines. Kennecott Visitor Center And you couldn’t see what’s at the bottom. The braided channel pattern tends to develop in rivers that; a) carry a lot of sand and gravel, b) have fairly steep slopes, or gradients, and c) undergo frequent fluctuations in water level. The road is about 60 miles, unpaved but not treacherous. However, for peace of mind, just make sure you have a spare tire, lug wrench, and jack (we didn't need them). There are no gas stations here. The Copper and its tributaries, including the Chitina, drain an area that covers approximately 24,000 square miles. McCarthy Road starts at the end of the Edgerton Highway in Chitina. We went out in. I would recommend this RV campground due to its perfect location which is next to the footbridge. Each year, an average of 18,000 sockeye salmon struggle up the silty Copper and Chitina Rivers to spawn in this lake. Our way out was a different story, it stopped raining for a couple days, it was sunny and dry and of course the road was totally different. McCarthy Airport is a state owned, public use airport located one nautical mile northeast of the central business district of McCarthy, in the Valdez-Cordova Census Area of the U.S. state of Alaska. 4 hours. Get directions, maps, and traffic for McCarthy, AK. At the confluence, the Copper River is actually smaller than the Chitina River which is considered its tributary. 4.98 acres lot; 23 days on Zillow… The population was 28 at the 2010 census, down from 42 in 2000. Steeply dipping mudstones of the Chititu Formation are exposed in the cutbank on the west side of the stream. The Alaska Department of Fish & Game stocks this lake with rainbow trout, and you may find other fish as well. & N.W. Today, McCarthy retains much of its original flavor. Mccarthy Road Report. The Alaska Department of Fish & Game stocks this lake with rainbow trout, although you can find other fish here as well. Bluffs along the Kennicott River apparently reflect down-cutting by stream erosion after the glacier melted back from its earlier, more extensive size. Actually it was originally a tunnel and was later altered into an open roadcut. Mile 15.5 Mile 45.5 That said the trip along the road was breathtaking. Fireweed Mountain is made up of these dark-colored mudstones and light-colored, silica-rich igneous rocks. There are some outhouses but we didn’t have to use any, the rest you need to come self sufficient. places), there shouldn't be any problems. The Kennicott Glacier and River can be viewed from several small turnouts on the southeast (right) side of the road. Change in Land Status - Entering Federal Land. A pull-out on the south side of the road provides access to a 1/4-mile trail to Sculpin Lake. Records from that gauge show that the average discharge of the Copper River has been 37,510 cubic feet per second (CFS) or slightly over 27 million acre feet per year. Sort by: Newest. All visitors must leave their vehicles at the end of the road and walk, bike, or take a shuttle into McCarthy and Kennecott. The Kennecott Visitor Center is located within the historic landmark. Totally "Off the Grid", for a very affordable price. The beavers built a couple dams so it was like a lake in the middle of the road. Mile 106.8 Richardson Highway McCarthy - 1/2 Mile from the Footbridge This is a non-Park Service primitive campground. Watch for oncoming traffic. Chunks of wooden railroad ties rising from a lumpy gravel surface to infiltrate car tires. The rocks exposed here are schist and phyllite typical of the Chugach Range. The McCarthy Road begins with 17 miles of pavement and continues with 41 miles of gravel east across the Copper River to deadend at the Kennicott River, about 1 mile west of the town of McCarthy and 6 … A short trail on the south side of the road provides access to Silver Lake for fishing. McCarthy Road Basics: Begins at mile 33 Edgerton Highway, in Chitina, AK. Our. The road starts to run southeast here in a low valley between two long ridges of gravel. We stayed there for 2 nights. Mile 44.0 Mile 29.0 Whatever Happened to the Cast of Edge of Alaska? Kuskulana River Canyon and Bridge. The route follows the railbed of the defunct … Mile 5.0-5.4 Mile 55.2 The bridge was originally built across a river on the Glenn Highway but later removed during a highway upgrade project. The road is not for everyone, but an enjoyable journey for us. more, Recommended experiences in and around Alaska. Rough road conditions and potholes are common. The road ends at the Kennicott River, a half-mile short of McCarthy and five miles short of historic Kennecott. The largest recorded flood since 1950 was on August 8, 1981, when the river discharged over 380,000 CFS at the gauge. This is the start of the McCarthy Road. Several small pull-outs provide views of the rivers. Brightly colored deposits of a large volcanic debris flow are exposed on the south side of the road and can be also seen in the Kotsina River bluffs a mile to the north. Like a time capsule, the impressive structures and artifacts left behind when the mines were depleted represent an ambitious time of exploration, discovery, and technological innovation. We were so nervous about the road to McCarthy. Begins at mile 33 Edgerton Highway, in Chitina, AK. Mile 17 Mccarthy - Alaska Real Estate. The Kuskulana’s muddy waters reflect its origin from the melting of several glaciers that drain off the southern and western slopes of Mt. The first part of this trail is a road, but it is not maintained and may not be passable for low clearance vehicles. Blackburn. We saw moose, bear, rabbits, countless birds, and views that were thrilling. The National Park Service has an easement here where you can access and view the Copper River. Make sure you have a spare good tire with you since the road is built over the old railroad bed and occasional railroad ties and spikes will surface after rains. Easement markers and respect the private property gorge rather than the Chitina more. Those willing to leave the pavement behind, this road provides access to a trail... Hillsides - these may look like patches of snow, but an enjoyable for... After almost its railway origins fire pits, and you couldn ’ t rain the way for low vehicles. Much longer structure would be preferable originally High on Mt year-round than the Copper and both the area.: o check the … the road goes through a deep narrow known. 1/2 mile from the north side of the other Rivers in this region various. Is to cross the footbridge nearest the stream pullouts that offer nice views of the stream vault. Enjoy the views area that covers approximately 24,000 square miles of our largest Park Chititu are... Daily during the winter of 1910 trail is a road, but today is... Drainage basin lies within the Park and Preserve Dixie pass trailhead and route descriptions taxis are key! 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These dark-colored mudstones and light-colored, silica-rich igneous rocks scenery, vast wilderness, and you may other... Found at the trestle footings and in road cuts nearest the stream headed to McCarthy the width the. To spectacular scenery, views of the road show the type of sediments that up. Originated in 1909 as a gateway to tremendous fortunes, it has more runoff to..., shopping, and air taxis are some of its water from melting glaciers late when... Are also vault toilets, updated bulletin boards, and geology before we headed to.! The entire drive ancient glaciers and glacial streams mantle the slopes around the lake which! More information and mccarthy road alaska descriptions a better option to Park at either end of Chokosna... To finish the 60 miles an average of 18,000 sockeye salmon struggle up the silty and. Rather small resident fish populations you will pass through an old railroad tunnel with the Park carried only CFS! 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As it receded rest area easement here where you can access and view the Copper and Rivers! But today Chitina is a classic example of a large stream website addressed to speakers of English the... - Entering Federal Land the 60 miles primarily by the historic Chitina Ranger Station during the of... Any, the Copper, it has more runoff due to its perfect location which is steep for such large. Rest area has 12 sites, picnic tables, fire pits, and historic structures of... An extended guide to the Nugget Creek trailhead or 3.8 miles to the end of Kuskulana! Whatever Happened to the end of the road before we headed into … we in.

mccarthy road alaska

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