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Wrangell-St. Elias National Park - Backcountry Adventures

In the early 1900's, in the mountains just east of the Kennicott Glacier, prospectors discovered some of the richest deposits of copper ever found. Investors built the processing plant (photo above). The copper was transported by railroad through the rugged mountains to the coast at Cordova. 3 miles from the settlement of Kennicott the community McCarthy was built as a resort area for the miners who had to work in the mine and the factory under appalling conditions.After a sharp fall in copper prices and rising costs of railway maintainance, the mine was closed in 1938 and the area was abandoned.In 1980 the current National Park was opened and both Kennicott and McCarthy were revived with the arrival of guest houses and lodges. From these settlements in the park, you can explore the National Park, including a visit to the abandoned Kennicott Copper Corp.’s mine not forgetting the 14-story mill.

Kennicott Copper Corp.

A guided tour inside the mill gives a good impression of the mining process. From the 14th story you have a stunning view of the area. In the foreground the tongue of dirty ice of the Kennicott Glacier.

Scenic McCarthy retains its original flavour due to the restored buidings.

Scenic McCarthy

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