The McCarthy Road
The 60-mile McCarthy road offers Wrangell-St. Elias National Park and Preserve visitors a unique opportunity to explore interior Alaska. Natural and historic wonders await those visitors willing to accept travel and access on Alaskan terms.
Driving this road is an Alaskan adventure! Although regularly maintained by the State of Alaska, the gravel surface makes for slow travel-it usually takes two hours each way. Other hazards can make it even longer: there are curves with limited visibility; heavy rain can make the road muddy and slippery; sharp rocks can cause flat tires; narrow and one-lane bridges make maneuvering large vehicles difficult. In fact, large vehicles are not encouraged to drive this road. Under normal summer conditions, most two-wheel drive vehicles can make the trip without difficulty, but be sure to carry at least one spare tire and an adequate jack.
There is NO GAS along the McCarthy Road. At this time, the last place to obtain fuel is in Kenny Lake, AK.
At the end of the road, you will find parking areas and two foot bridges that cross the Kennicott River and lead to McCarthy and Kennecott. Access to McCarthy is by foot, bike, or shuttle.
Did You Know?
The Baneberry, also known as Snakeberry or Doll’s Eyes, produces berries that are extremely toxic. Ingestion of as few as 6 berries has been known to cause the death of a small child. Interestingly, birds are wholly unaffected by the toxin.