What to do while you're here...
There are several "must-dos" during your stay here in McCarthy/Kennecott, and two of them can be accomplished with our friends at St. Elias Alpine Guides. The first is to take a Tour of Kennecott. On this two hour adventure you'll walk through all 14 stories of the impressive concentration Mill as well as the rest of the town, and learn all the fascinating details of historic life in the mining era.
The second "must-do" is to get out on the Root Glacier. St. Elias Guides offers half and full day Glacier Hikes and well as Ice Climbing seminars for beginners. The surreal blue ice and epic views are a highlight of many of our guests entire time in Alaska. Don't miss out!
Another not-to-be-missed adventure is traveling down our remote glacial rivers with our friends at Copper Oar Rafting. They have a fabulous day trip that travels nearly 20 miles down the Kennicott and Nizina Rivers, including through a narrow limestone canyon with Class III whitewater. Along the way they serve you an impressive riverside lunch, and at the end of the day you get picked up by bush plane on the edge of the river and fly back over the canyon and glacier to McCarthy on a spectacular 15 minute flightseeing trip.
Copper Oar also has a short inflatable kayaking trip around the icebergs and rocky "moonscape" at the toe of the Kennicott Glacier, as well as multi-day rafting adventures if you want to experience the backcountry of the park in style!
We are in the middle of an enormously vast wilderness and the only way to really get a sense of it is to get up in a plane for an aerial view. Wrangell Mountain Air has some of the best pilots in the state and they love to show of our big, beautiful "backyard". We highly recommend a Flightseeing Tour with them while you're here.
Wrangell Mountain Air also offers flights in from Chitina and charters throughout the state as well as backcountry drop-offs for backpacking, climbing and rafting trips.
Pangaea Adventures isn't located right in Wrangell-St. Elias, but their adventures are too great to leave off this list. After leaving McCarthy, head back out to the Richardson Highway and then turn south to Valdez. Not only is the drive through Thompson Pass one of the most scenic in the state, but at the end of it you can spend a couple nights and take of the fabulous sea kayaking tours offered by our colleagues at Pangaea. We highly recommend either the Shoup Glacier or Columbia Glacier trips.
From Valdez, if you don't want to backtrack, just hop on a ferry (the Alaska Marine Highway) for the trip to Whittier and then back to Anchorage from there (yes, you can take your rental car!).