Chitina to McCarthy Day Trip (One Day, Same-Day Round-Trip) 

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See the glaciers and historic copper mining town of Kennicott, in Alaska's Wrangell-St. Elias National Park.

If you have only one day to visit Wrangell-St. Elias National Park, this full-day trip will give you eight hours at McCarthy and Kennicott, in the beautiful, glacier-filled Wrangell Mountains, near the center of the park. 

You'll travel by van with a knowledgeable local on a narrow gravel road, built on the old railway of the Copper River and Northwestern Railroad. Watch for wildlife and observe relics from this historic railroad on the 2.5 hour drive from Chitina to McCarthy. There are stops for photographs and stretching the legs.

Spend the day at McCarthy and Kennicott. You'll have time for lunch, shopping, and an additional tour, such as the Historic Mill Tour (2.5 hour Kennicott walking tour) or a guided trek on the Root Glacier. Or you can hike and explore on your own.

At 6:00 pm, you'll depart by van on the return trip to Chitina via the McCarthy Road.


The trip begins in Kenny Lake at 6:45 am. 

There is a pick up at the Chitina Airstrip at 7:15 am.

Then there is a pick up at Gilpatrick's Chitina Hotel in Chitina at 7:30 am. 

(Other pick-up times/places may be arranged by request.)


From the historic railroad town "Chitina," you will travel by van along the bluffs of the Copper and Chitina Rivers, into the Wrangell Mountains, and the Wrangell-St. Elias National Park. You will learn about the native people of the area, the rivers and glaciers, and the Copper River fishery. See fish wheels turning, and if it's clear, you can see and photograph some of the tallest peaks in Alaska.

On the McCarthy Road, you'll discover the history of the Copper River Northwestern Railroad and the Kennicott Copper Mine, which amazingly operated in this remote region for 30 years, back in the early 1900s. 

At 10:00 am, the van will arrive at the McCarthy Footbridge. From here, you can walk or get a shuttle into McCarthy and Kennicott. You will have eight hours to explore. The return trip to Chitina departs at 6:00 pm. 

There are many options for hiking or enjoying additional tours! The white ice of the Root Glacier is accessed from a two-mile trail from Kennicott. Old mining roads lead up above treeline for spectacular views of the Kennicott Valley. Fascinating guided tours are available in the Kennicott townsite. Great food is available. The flight-seeing from McCarthy is amazing.

We can help you plan your day! Please give us a call or email if you have questions or need help planning tours and activities to add to your day trip!

6:45 am in Kenny Lake.

7:15 am at the Chitina airstrip located 5 miles before the town of Chitina.

7:30 am at Gilpatrick's Chitina Hotel in Chitina. 

(Other pick up times/places may be arranged. Additional fees may apply.)

8:30 pm at Gilpatrick's Chitina Hotel in Chitina.

8:45 pm at the Chitina airstrip.

9:15 pm in Kenny Lake.

Drop-off times are approximate and may vary depending on group size and road conditions. 

(Other drop-off times/places may be arranged by request. Additional fees may apply.)

Be sure to wear good walking or hiking shoes. Bring your water bottle, rain gear, sun screen, snacks, and your camera! Bring layered clothing as weather can go anywhere from hot and sunny to cold blowing rain or snow. Insect repellent may be desirable in June/July. 

This trip includes guided van transportation in the morning on the McCarthy Road, from Kenny Lake or Chitina to McCarthy. 8 hours of free-time in McCarthy/Kennicott is included, and in the evening, guided van service on the McCarthy Road from McCarthy to Chitina or Kenny Lake.

No additional tours or meals are included. Transportation from the footbridge to Kennicott is not included. 

(Shuttles to Kennicott, meals, and additional tours can all be purchased when you arrive at McCarthy.)



Add a guided glacier hike on the Root Glacier, and round trip transportation to Kennicott


Please call us at 907-390-0369 or email if you have questions or need help planning additional tours and activities to add to your day trip.

We have a 24 hour cancellation policy. Please let us know if you need to cancel your reservation at least 24 hours prior to your scheduled tour, and we will refund your payment, less 10% cancellation fee. Cancellations made within 24 hours of scheduled departure are non-refundable.

Change-of date is allowed at no charge when available.