One-Day Tours From Chitina to McCarthy

     If you only have one day to visit Wrangell-St. Elias National Park, you can see the glaciers and historic copper mining town of Kennicott, near the center of the park, on our Full-Day Trip to McCarthy, AK from Chitina or Kenny Lake. 

     This 12.5 hour tour from Chitina gives you eight hours at McCarthy and Kennicott, in the beautiful, glacier-filled Wrangell Mountains. And our Full-Day Trip with Root Glacier Hike makes it easy to add the popular guided glacier hike to your one-day trip.

     Travel by van on a narrow gravel road, built on the old railway of the Copper River and Northwestern Railroad. Watch for wildlife and observe relics from the historic railroad. The 2.5 hour drive from Chitina to McCarthy is an adventure into the heart of Wrangell-St. Elias National Park.

     Spend the day at McCarthy and Kennicott. You’ll have time for lunch, shopping, and an additional tour, such as the Kennicott Mill Town Tour, Flightseeing, or a Guided Hike on the Root Glacier.


Trip Itinerary*

6:45 am: Tours start from our tour office at Mile 7.8 Edgerton Highway, Kenny Lake. Free parking is available. We also pick up at all campgrounds and accommodations in Kenny Lake from 6:45 – 6:55 am.

7:15 am: We pick up at Chitina Airstrip/Wrangell view RV Park, Mile 28 Edgerton Highway, Chitina. Free parking is available at the Chitina airstrip.

7:30 am: We stop to pick up any guests in Chitina at Gilpatrick’s Chitina Hotel, Mile 33 Edgerton Highway. Limited street parking is available.

8:30-ish: The van stops for sightseeing, photos, and restrooms at the Historic Kuskalana Bridge.

10:00 am: Van arrives at Footbridge in McCarthy. If you are taking the Guided Hike on the Root Glacier, your guide will meet you here and drive you the rest of the way up to Kennicott (5 miles,) where the hike to the glacier begins. If you are taking another tour or just exploring on your own, you can catch a shuttle to Kennicott across the footbridge, or walk into the town of McCarthy from here.

The Full Day Trip gives you eight hours of free time at McCarthy-Kennicott, so there is time to walk to the glacier, visit the museum, and see the exhibits and historic sights around the towns of Kennicott and McCarthy.

The Full Day Trip with Root Glacier Hike includes transportation to Kennicott and a guided hike on the white ice of the Root Glacier, which is accessed via a two-mile trail from Kennicott. See and photograph moulins, waterfalls, blue pools, crevasses, and other unique glacial features. Your guide provides all of the equipment and instruction necessary to traverse the glacier ice safely.

6:00 pm: Be back at the footbridge by 6:00 pm to depart by van to Chitina via the McCarthy Road. If you are taking the Full Day Tour with Root Glacier Hike, your guide will drive you to McCarthy after the hike, and you’ll have time to grab a bite to eat or have a look around before walking back to the footbridge from there.

8:30 pm: The van returns to Gilpatrick’s Hotel in Chitina.

8:45 pm: Drop off at Chitina airstrip/Wrangell-View RV park.

9:15 pm: The van returns to campgrounds and accommodations in Kenny Lake, and Wrangell-St. Elias Tours office. 


   *Actual times can vary depending on passenger load, wildlife, weather, unlisted stops, road conditions, etc.


     We are not responsible for road closures or delays for any reason, including, but not limited to: flooding, mud slides, earthquakes, accidents, or wildfires. We highly recommend the purchase of travel insurance!


     The 12.5 Hour Full Day Tour from Chitina is offered daily from May 15 to Sept 15. The 12.5 Hour Full Day Tour with Guided Glacier Hike is available from May 26 to September 9.

     For more information and to book online click here!