Travel between Anchorage and McCarthy with Wrangel-St. Elias Charters, LLC

Summer Shuttles Between Anchorage and McCarthy, Alaska

You can travel to McCarthy, AK by van from Anchorage.

The Anchorage-McCarthy shuttle transports you through 503 km (313 miles) of Alaska wilderness — all the way from your accommodations in Anchorage, to the remote town of McCarthy, near the center of Wrangell-St. Elias National Park.

On this full-day trip, you can see and photograph many impressive glaciers, mountains, and rivers on the scenic Glenn Highway, plus see the Wrangell volcanoes, unique rural Alaskan towns, and the McCarthy Road.

View of King Mountain and the Matanuska River from the Glenn Highway

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The Anchorage-to-McCarthy shuttle makes plenty of stops for picture-taking, restrooms, and stretching the legs.

Trail to an overlook of the Copper River at Wrangell-St. Elias National Park Visitor Center

A 30-minute break at the Wrangell-St. Elias National Park Visitor Center near Copper Center allows time for picnicking and perusing exhibits. 

The Chitina River

Trips on the McCarthy road are always an adventure!

This 60-mile gravel road is built on an old railroad bed, and railroad spikes can still be found on its surface. The Copper River & Northwestern Railroad hauled copper from the Kennicott Mines in the early 1900s.

Beautiful historic bridges and other train relics await your discovery.

Arrival time in McCarthy is 6:00 pm. A minimum stay of at least three nights in McCarthy is suggested.

From McCarthy, our shuttle van departs at 10:00 am for Anchorage, the Copper River Valley, and Valdez.



Reserve online or call us at 1-907-390-0369.

Our Anchorage-McCarthy shuttle is ideal for backpackers and solo travelers. Groups of 3 or more traveling on the same reservation receive a 10% discount.

Early reservations are recommended.

Trip Itinerary:*

8:00 – 8:30 am: We pick up at hotels, hostels, and B & Bs in Anchorage. Our vans from Anchorage have a 2 person minimum, and 10 person maximum.

9:00 – 9:30 am: We stop at the Fred Meyer Marketplace in Palmer to pick up lunch items, snacks, drinks, and any last-minute necessities. This is just a 30-minute rest stop.

11:00 am: We stop to view the Matanuska Glacier. Vault toilets available.

12:30 pm: We stop for fuel in Glennallen, AK.

1:00 pm: We take a 30-minute break at the main visitor center for Wrangell-St. Elias National Park, north of Copper Center. Restrooms available. This is the half-way point on the trip. We are not actually in the park yet, but you can see it from here.

2:00 pm: We stop in Kenny Lake! The trip from Anchorage to McCarthy is a long drive, so we often split it between two drivers. Here is where your first driver says good-bye, and you meet up with a new driver for the next leg of the trip.

2:45 pm: Sometimes we stop at the Chitina Airstrip. If you want to fly from Chitina to McCarthy, we can have you there in time for the 2:45 pm flight.

3:00 pm: When seats are open, we may also pick up passengers in Chitina. Vault toilets available.

Travel is slow on the McCarthy Road, and there are stops for wildlife, pictures and restrooms.

A moose crossing the McCarthy Road

6:00 pm: The van will arrive at the Kennicott River Footbridge in McCarthy. This is as far as we can go – access across the river is by foot only!

Footbridge access to McCarthy, Alaska

Hotels and accommodations in McCarthy-Kennicott provide transportation from the footbridge, and your driver can assist with transportation arrangements if needed.

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Here is a list of accommodations in McCarthy-Kennicott that are well-suited for shuttle passengers.


Kennicott Glacier Lodge
Located in Kennicott, 5 miles from the footbridge. Hotel provides van transportation to/from lodge. Offers: restaurant meal packages, vacation packages, private in-room bathrooms. Walking distance to glacier and historic attractions.

Ma Johnson’s Hotel
A historic property located in McCarthy, 0.5 mile from the footbridge. Hotel provides van transportation to/from lodge. Offers: breakfast, shared bathrooms. Walking distance to restaurants, museum, rivers,
shuttles to Kennicott, and flight service.

Shushanna Guesthouse
Located in McCarthy, 0.5 mile from the footbridge.
Transportation between the footbridge and your accommodation is
provided. Offers: 2 modern apartments with private bath, kitchen. Each unit can sleep up to 5 people. Large deck. Walking distance to restaurants, museum, shuttles to Kennicott, guides, and flight service.


McCarthy B & B
Road accessible, located 0.5 mile before the footbridge. Offers:
breakfast, private cabins, full bathrooms. Some cabins have kitchens. Walking distance to footbridge, museum, restaurants, flight and
shuttle services.

Kennicott River Lodge
Road accessible, just before the footbridge. Offers: private cabins, kitchen access, shared bathrooms, glacier views. Walking distance to footbridge, museum, restaurants, flight and shuttle service.

Blackburn Cabins
Located on the wagon road between McCarthy and Kennicott, about one mile beyond the footbridge. Provides transportation to/from footbridge. Offers: private cabins, bike rentals.


Glacier View Campground
Located on the McCarthy Road, 0.5 miles before the footbridge. Offers (dry) campsites, glacier views, an outdoor restaurant, bike rentals, showers, cabin rental. Walking distance to footbridge, museum, restaurants, flight and shuttle service.

*All shuttle arrival times are approximate and can vary depending on weather, wildlife, passenger load, road conditions, and unscheduled stops.

We are not responsible for road closures for any reason.

Book Anchorage to McCarthy

Book McCarthy to Anchorage

Have questions? Call us at 1-907-390-0369, or send an email to:

Wrangell-St. Elias Charters, LLC

HC 60, Box 227N, Copper Center, AK 99573