mccarthy road alaska

Just beyond the wayside, the road goes through a deep narrow gap known locally as the "railroad cut." The road is not for everyone, but an enjoyable journey for us. It may be a better option to park your car at the McCarthy Road and hike to the trailheads. Much of this drainage basin lies within the park and almost 25% of it is covered by glaciers. This is a remote area with NO services. Several small pull-outs provide views of the rivers. On the south (right) side of the road is the Copper River Campground. The rocks exposed here are schist and phyllite typical of the Chugach Range. Check out … places), there shouldn't be any problems. This log cabin, which was constructed in 1910 by the Ed S. Orr Stage Company to house its local superintendent, serves as an enduring reminder of Alaska's colorful transportation history. At the confluence, the Copper River is actually smaller than the Chitina River which is considered its tributary. These debris flow deposits are overlain in various places by lava flows and also by stream, lake, wind, and glacial sediments. Current information about road conditions, the park, hikes, fishing opportunities, and other essential topics can be obtained there. The Chitina carries more water year-round than the Copper. Kennicott River & Parking. There is wildlife all along the road and many scenic vistas. Mccarthy - Alaska Real Estate. McCarthy Road, Alaska: See 39 reviews, articles, and 82 photos of McCarthy Road, ranked No.318 on Tripadvisor among 887 attractions in Alaska. The Kotsina, a moderate size tributary of the Copper River, gets much of its water from Long and Kluvesna Glaciers which drain southward off Mt.Wrangell. Streams throughout the world exhibit three basic patterns in their channel form: straight channels, which are uncommon in large streams; meandering channels, which consist of many curves and loop-like bends; and braided channels. The muddy waters that result from all this suspended sediment create an aquatic environment that is not very favorable as a permanent home for most fish. The Kennecott Visitor Center is located within the historic landmark. Road … Blackburn. Mile 12.3 Accommodations, amenities, activities, the area, photo galleries, and contact information. 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. 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. They do, however, have fantastic populations of migrating fish during the times that mature salmon "run" up to clear-water spawning beds and juveniles run down to the ocean each year. A spectacular achievement, the Kuskulana Bridge was constructed during the winter of 1910. Gilahina River & Gilahina Trestle Wayside. We stayed there for 2 nights. The McCarthy Road starts in Chitina. The drive traverses pure wilderness, and ends in a surprise: five miles beyond the end of the road in McCarthy … Help. As you continue, you'll discover that limestone is also exposed on the north side of the road. McCarthy Road starts at the end of the Edgerton Highway in Chitina. Mile 58.1-58.4 Mile 10.6 There have been repeated erosion problems and washouts of the long eastern approach to the bridge. McCarthy Road, Alaska: See 39 reviews, articles, and 82 photos of McCarthy Road, ranked No.318 on Tripadvisor among 887 attractions in Alaska. Mile 44.0 … We were so nervous about the road to McCarthy. Please do not climb on the trestle. Imagine riding high in a heavily loaded ore train across the two icy rails. $40,000. In 1950 the U.S. Geological Survey established a stream gauging station at the head of Woods Canyon, about 3.5 miles downstream, well below this confluence. It is located just after crossing the bridge. The bridge 238 feet over the Kuskulana River is. Mile 5.0-5.4 Millions of tons of natural sediment, mostly silt and clay are carried downstream each year. Legal. The McCarthy Road Private property adjoins much of the McCarthy road and both the McCarthy/Kennecott area. So worth it to make the drive. $20/night for camping. McCarthy - 1/2 Mile from the Footbridge All you need to do is to cross the footbridge. This station is generally not staffed. Bluffs along the Kennicott River apparently reflect down-cutting by stream erosion after the glacier melted back from its earlier, more extensive size. To get to the McCarthy Road, one must take the 33.6 mile Edgerton Highway from the … Restrooms and informational panels can be found at the downtown wayside. Mile 26.8 Whatever Happened to the Cast of Edge of Alaska? The Kuskulana’s muddy waters reflect its origin from the melting of several glaciers that drain off the southern and western slopes of Mt. Watch for oncoming traffic. Next, you’ll pass over the Copper River. The beavers built a couple dams so it was like a lake in the middle of the road. 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. This National Park Service information station contains posted information that is updated during the summer. 99573, Wrangell-St. Elias National Park & Preserve. 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 … an old railroad trestle bridge that, until a few years ago, had no side guardrails. Kotsina Trail - Backcountry Trailheads. Mile 10.1 Use the local Alaska number: 1 907 563-5050 to get approval for the McCarthy Road when staying at the McCarthy Lodge! Really? Mile 29.0 Most camping is located at the beginning and end of the McCarthy Road. The Chitina River meets these conditions. Mile 34.8 There are no gas stations here. Salmon begin entering the lake as late as September and spawning continues until April. We had a 24 footer RV and it was raining (second or third day in a row). One of Chitina's oldest surviving buildings, it was rehabilitated by the National Park Service and now serves as a visitor contact station. travel time was about 2 hours each way. These gravel ridges are good examples of lateral moraines that were deposited along the margin of a large glacier as it receded. However, for peace of mind, just make sure you have a spare tire, lug wrench, and jack (we didn't need them). We headed into … Bad! This area has 12 sites, picnic tables, fire pits, and vault toilets. This primitive camping area has no amenities. In the area we can see here, it drops about 13 feet per mile, which is steep for such a large stream. A pull-out on the south side of the road provides access to a 1/4-mile trail to Sculpin Lake. Low water usually occurs in late winter when everything is frozen. Pronounced, "Chit-Na," this railroad town sprang to life in 1910. Jim has 88 acres of land for you to camp so no worries about he would run out of space. Saw: 4 moose, a black bear, several bald eagles, a porcupine and lots of amazing scenery. Rocks exposed on the west (left) side of the road between here and the bridge are gneiss, schist, and phyllite with some quartz veins. Today, McCarthy retains much of its original flavor. A little less than half of the 127 mile trip from Glennallen to McCarthy involves paved roadways, and the gravel surface of the McCarthy Road makes the trip slow going. For many … Mile 45.5 Watch for bright white spots on the hillsides - these may look like patches of snow, but they could actually be sheep! This is an excellent place to view the river and to witness Alaskans catching red, silver, and king salmon with dipnets and fishwheels. Silver Lake. Because of this glacier influence, high water in the Copper River typically occurs not during the snow melt of spring, but during summer hot spells that cause rapid melting of ice. Here are some key points about camping along the Nabesna Road: Kuskulana Bridge Wayside. 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. It’s a one-lane road through there. It is a very beautiful drive. Exposures on the other side of the road show the type of sediments that make up glacial moraines. Chunks of wooden railroad ties rising from a lumpy gravel surface to infiltrate car tires. Clear waters of the Chokosna River support salmon spawning beds. Do not stop in the middle of the bridge for photos. Tons and tons of rabbits. Town history is well portrayed by the local museum and guide services. So my conclusion is the road is bad when it rains and not at all if it doesn’t rain. It was bad. There are several small pullouts here with some great views of the confluence of the mighty Copper and Chitina Rivers. We had a Jeep Cherokee rental that did just fine that the rental car company allowed us to take on the road. The large snow covered mountain visible to the north is volcanic Mount Drum (12,010'), part of the Wrangell Mountains. Vegetation and poor drainage in this area are influenced by the presence of permafrost at relatively shallow depths. 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 … The Copper and its tributaries, including the Chitina, drain an area that covers approximately 24,000 square miles. You will pass through an old railroad tunnel with the top blown off. Because of this glacial influence, high water in the park's large rivers typically occurs not during the snowmelt of spring, but summer hot spells that cause rapid ice melting. This tour takes you to Chugach National Forest, Beluga Point, Portage Glacier, and more to spot brown bears, wolves, bison, and belugas. Information on federal land access or private property locations is available at park headquarters,Chitina Ranger Station and the National Park Service kiosk at Mile 60 of the McCarthy Road… This rest area offers vault toilets and a gravel pull-out. Water is available from nearby streams and there are bear boxes for storing food. The Kennicott Glacier and River can be viewed from several small turnouts on the southeast (right) side of the road. McCarthy Road stories are the stuff of Alaska legend. We were so nervous about the road to McCarthy. 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. Consequently, much of the sediment being transported to the sea is temporarily stored as islands or bars of gravel, sand, and mud along the Chitina River. Day-use parking is available as well as vault toilets, updated bulletin boards, and a short hiking trail. Take a moment to pull over and look up into the hills. Still later it was re-assembled on the Lakina. 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. Kennecott Mines National Historic Landmark - 5 miles from the Footbridge Located within the Wrangell-St. Elias National Park and Preserve, the road … In Fact, there is no excuse to break a rental car contract as Enterprise, Budget and other car rental companies now allow their cars on the McCarthy Road. This is a non-Park Service primitive campground. The show … The Kennicott River drops over 250 feet in its five mile run between the glacier and the Nizina River. The Lakina River gets some of its water from melting glaciers. McCarthy served as the supply and recreation stop for the entire Kennecott mining district. PO Box 439 Check flight prices and hotel availability for your visit. The first part of this trail is a road, but it is not maintained and may not be passable for low clearance vehicles. Please choose a different date. As you drive across the Copper River Bridge, you can see the confluence of the Copper and Chitina Rivers. A short walk around the glacier terminus will make it obvious why glacial streams are so muddy. 4 results. There is a short 1/2 mile hiking trail that departs from this rest area. Rough road conditions and potholes are common. There are several small turnouts from which the lower Kotsina River can be seen. After the bridge, the road becomes gravel. 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. Please respect the privacy ofthese areas. Is this a place or activity you would go to on a, Is this a romantic place or activity that you would suggest for, Is this a must-do if you are traveling with a, Is this a place or activity you would suggest for, Are the prices for this place or activity, between Chitina and Wrangle National Park, AK, The views are amazing! Get the free CD at the National Park Visitor Center and enjoy the drive, trust the traffic cones, We drove a couple of days after it had been raining for most of the previous month and it wasn't that bad. Weather patterns cause flow variations because the river rises during warm and/or wet weather and drops during cold and/ or dry weather. Ice of the glacier is mantled by rock material, ranging from large boulders to very fine glacial flour that is still in transit. Copper Center, AK Mile 56.7 638 likes. Get out of the city and deeper into the Alaskan wilderness than is typical on a sightseeing tour. Gilahina Butte to the south (right) of the road is composed of gabbro and gneiss; its sides have been smoothed by large glaciers that formally flowed down the Chitina Valley. The day to drive to McCarthy came and we were so close to back out. Mile 15.9 Park rangers and local guide services conduct programs and town tours daily during the summer. As long as you take it slow (25 - 30 mph in most. 4.98 acres lot; 23 days on Zillow… The Alaska Department of Fish & Game stocks this lake with rainbow trout, although you can find other fish here as well. Field studies show that these deposits came from great volumes of ash and clay that were originally high on Mt. During the summer months, stop by the historic Chitina Ranger Station. Railway trestle can be seen. We didn’t see any significant wildlife except we saw a bald eagle soaring in the sky right pass Chitina. This is where most hiking trails depart - trails lead to the Root Glacier and up the mountains to spectacular views and historic mining structures. Steeply dipping mudstones of the Chititu Formation are exposed in the cutbank on the west side of the stream. The Crystalline Hills north of the road are composed mostly of gneiss and gabbro, but some of the lower slopes are made up of a light colored marble. Historic Sites, Points of Interest & Landmarks. Change in Land Status - Entering Federal Land. The bridge was originally built across a river on the Glenn Highway but later removed during a highway upgrade project. Where it empties into the Nizina, the Kennicott River is in an erosional canyon over 350 feet deep; ten miles further downstream the Nizina is entrenched over 600 feet where it joins the Chitina River. The National Park Service has a free CD that describes various sections of the road and makes the journey that much more interesting. Mile 44.5 We did glacier hiking and Kennecott Mines tour. The road is now entering land managed by Wrangell-St. Elias National Park & Preserve. State Wayside. 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! Kuskulana River Canyon and Bridge. Today's road originated in 1909 as a railway constructed to support the Kennecott Copper Mines. No overnight camping or parking is available. However, McCarthy and Kennecott is awesome. Much of this drainage basin lies within Wrangell-St. Elias National Park and Preserve and about 3,500 square miles, or 17% of the drainage basin, is covered by glaciers. Glaciers provide the stream with a great deal of sediment ranging from fine clay to boulders. Private land adjoins many parts of the road and in the McCarthy/Kennecott area. Look for the mile-marker posts along the McCarthy Road and follow along with this guide. Braided rivers are characterized by many dividing and re-uniting channels and by numerous islands and gravel bars. First of all I will rating the road itself as poor because it is a rutted, washboard, pothole dirt and partially (very little) paved road - 60 miles of bounce, jerk and swerve. State Wayside - The Beginning of the McCarthy Road Therefore the Copper and Chitina Rivers have rather small resident fish populations. Mile 1.4 4 hours. McCarthy is a census-designated place (CDP) in Valdez-Cordova Census Area, Alaska, United States. This is a one-lane bridge. Due to the rugged landscape, over 15% of the entire railway was built on trestles such as this. The McCarthy Road boasts spectacular scenery, views of the Copper and Chitina Rivers, wildlife viewing, and historic structures. Unpaved and maintained by the Alaska state DOT. This is the version of our website addressed to speakers of English in the United States. The Town of Chitina Drive slowly, carefully, and courteously. It took us only 3 hours to finish the 60 miles. If you happen to be viewing the river after several days of hot weather, most of the islands and bars will be flooded. The bridge itself has functioned well in this location, but it is obvious that a much longer structure would be preferable. Oh we saw a porcupine. This is a good place to contemplate the problems of road construction and maintenance in areas of permafrost, muskeg and swamps. This is a page where folks can post pictures and updates on the condition of the McCarthy Road in Wrangell St.Elias Nat'l Park. Unpaved and maintained by the Alaska state DOT. The road is gravel-surfaced, and often very rough with many washboards and sharp turns. Mi 51 Mccarthy Rd, Chitina, AK 99566. This is an extended guide to the McCarthy Road that includes sites of interest, historical information, and geology. The railroad is gone, but today Chitina is busy during the summer fishing season and serves as a gateway to the park. 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. It was early in the season so wild flowers were blooming. The McCarthy road has had over $6 million dollars in improvements since 2006 The McCarthy road use to be the worst in America (or at least Alaska) not so anymore! Actually it was originally a tunnel and was later altered into an open roadcut. There are some outhouses but we didn’t have to use any, the rest you need to come self sufficient. At this point the Copper is about 1/2 mile wide, while the width of the Chitina is over one mile! In the 1960's the railroad handed over the land, and liability, to the newly established State of Alaska which promptly began pulling up tracks and creating the road which facilitated the rejuvenation of McCarthy and Kennicott. We had a 24 footer RV and it was raining (second or third day in a row). Sculpin Lake. Get directions, maps, and traffic for McCarthy, AK. Homesteaded in 1906, McCarthy quickly grew into a lively community with a story all its own. There are several small pullouts that offer nice views of the Chitina River and Chugach Mountains to the south. Visitors can use a small site along the Copper River where they may park a vehicle, load and unload rafts, and temporarily camp for up to 24 hours. Today, Kennicott is a ghost town … Metal spikes appearing out of nowhere. Potholes, soft shoulders, slippery sections... but we made it after almost. 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. We went out in 2.5 hours and back in an hour fifty minutes. The Chitina is a classic example of a braided river as are many of the other rivers in this region. The trestle bridge over the Gilahina River built about the same time as the Kuskulana bridge is no longer used and is dangerous even to walk on. Low water usually occurs in late winter when everything is frozen. On our trip, we actually had to be careful that we didn't get too complacent as a lot of the road is smooth but if you saw an orange traffic cone up ahead, you slowed down because it did mark a rough patch (although not all rough patches were so marked). The fixed the beaver dams. This is the start of the McCarthy Road. On our way out, the Alaska DOT had even re-graded about ten miles of it during the two days we were in Kennicott. These rocks originated as flows of basaltic lava during the Triassic Period, about 220 million years ago. We stayed at this campground on the right side of the road before we headed to McCarthy. Mile 1.6 An easement is an area of land where visitors are granted the right to cross private property. Mile 14.5 Change in Land Status - Entering Federal Land. … This wayside is a gravel pull-out and has vault toilets and exhibit panels. Mile 17 McCarthy, AK Directions {{::location.tagLine.value.text}} Sponsored Topics. About Kennicott and McCarthy Kennicott and McCarthy sit five miles apart at the end of the McCarthy Road, about 90 miles from the turnoff from the Richardson Highway. McCarthy Road stories are the stuff of Alaska legend. Chitina Ranger Station 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. Jumbo Creek Camping Area - 1.4 miles from Kennecott On the north (left) side of the road is the Copper River and the Kotsina River delta. 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. 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 to McCarthy is only accessible to visitors by foot over a walking bridge, in the past visitors were required to sit in a bucket and pull themselves across the river using a cable system. Cash only. The road is about 60 miles, unpaved but not treacherous. The route follows the railbed of the defunct … Today, the former rail bed is a gravel road … These hills are an excellent place to see Dall Sheep. A short trail on the south side of the road provides access to Silver Lake for fishing. Sort by: Newest. The road is now entering land managed by Wrangell-St. Elias National Park & Preserve. Be prepared in case of trouble.The road was rough and bumpy but we drove it without problems. In Anchorage & Fairbanks: Go North Alaska Travel Center offers 4 wheel drive vehicles that are allowed on the Mccarthy Road… :o Check the … There is no charge for the CD but they ask that you return it when you are back. The Alaska Department of Fish & Game stocks this lake with rainbow trout, and you may find other fish as well. The Alaska Department of Fish & Game stocks this lake with rainbow trout, although you can find other fish here as well. Lot / Land for sale. Rocks poorly exposed on the north (left) side of the road are basalt and greenstone of the Nicolai Greenstone rock unit. Metal spikes appearing out of nowhere. That, along with the park newspaper describes various points of interest along the way. 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). Looking across the Long Lake inlet streams, the remnants of a C.R. Enjoy live commentary and learn about the unique landscapes of Alaska from your expert guide. Saw: 4 moose, a … Marble and limestone is exposed at the trestle footings and in road cuts nearest the stream. 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. The McCarthy Road Beginning at the Copper River and ending at the Kennicott River, the McCarthy Road spans approximately 58 miles.