Friday, October 2, 2009

McCarthy, Alaska is an interesting and rather unique place. It lies at the end of a 60 mile sometimes rough gravel road, right beside the abandoned Kennecott mine and at the edge of the Wrangell-St. Elias National Park.The public road actually ends on the far side of the river, so many of the residents apparently park their trucks over there and walk to the village across the footbridge - or use their quads or motorbikes for the same purpose.
There is a vehicle bridge, but it is apparently private, and you have to pay an annual fee of several hundred dollars to use it. So the village is somewhat pedestrian oriented.
It is a bit of a living museum. Mining artifacts are on display in the street as well as in the free museum. Many buildings are from the mining era, but there is evidence of recent and ongoing construction as well.
There are several outfitting and guiding businesses as well as an air charter company.
This is the cable car that till the new bridge was built, appeared to be the primary way to cross the river to get in to McCarthy!
Mining artifacts on display in the museum.

I took a couple more shots from the Kuskulana bridge on the way out.

And the rock cut at the very start of the road at Chitina. All traffic to Kennecott and McCarthy must navigate this one lane rock cut.
Some pretty cool clouds greeted our return to the pavement.
We stopped at Kenny lake on the way out and made use of the shower and laundry facilities, and ate some tasty left-overs that the fridge provided.
Then it was down the road towards Valdez. We found a primitive bush camp site not far from Squirrel creek state rec area. N61 40.073 W145 10.404

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