Abandoned before the mid-20th century, Kennecott drew enough attention after the 1980's to initiate its stabilization and rehabilitation by the Park Service. Current visitors to Kennecott enjoy NPS tours of the restored mill town, available each day during the summer.Visiting McCarthy and Kennecott is worth the small journey to get there, 3-4 hours via road (See other road and air options below).
The road leads south through Kenny Lake and historic Chitina, through an impressive railroad cut above the broad confluence of the Copper and Chitina Rivers, and onto the 60 mile McCarthy Road to McCarthy and Kennecott. Check in at the NPS Visitors' cabin at Chitina, just before you cross the Copper River on a modern bridge. North of the bridge you'll see a small city of fish wheels turning all along the river, bringing local subsistence users a bright seasonal catch.
Beyond Chitina, motorists are following the route of the Copper River and Northwestern Railroad. This railroad heritage is evident in large abandoned trestles along the roadway and the occasional railroad spike that emerges from the gravel roadway to threaten rubber tires. Vehicles traverse the deep Kuskulana River gorge on a beautiful and breath-taking one-lane bridge built for the railroad in 1910 .
For more information about the area and the WRST Park
You can visit WRST Park Headquarters and Visitor Center just north of Copper Center at milepost 106.8 on the main Richardson Highway. Find Wrangell-St. Elias National Park and Preserve visitor services and programs online at https://www.nps.gov/wrst/index.htm or call 907-822-5234.
Take a virtual tour down the Gulkana River that begins in the Alaska Range near Summit Lake and flows south into the Copper River. Find more about our history and people at the Copper River Watershed Project. Find Wrangell-St. Elias National Park and Preserve visitor services and programs online at https://www.nps.gov/wrst/index.htm or call 907-822-5234.
The Kennicott Shuttle (your Backcountry Connection) can do the driving for you, featuring daily van trips between Glennallen and McCarthy-Kennecott. In 2018, the shuttle will operate from May 26 through September 10. Make reservations at 907-822-5292. Check out their website at http://kennicottshuttle.com/