Tips for Traveling McCarthy Road

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Chitina, Alaska

Tips for Traveling McCarthy Road Chitina Reviews

esterrene esterrene
189 reviews
Tips for Traveling McCarthy Rd May 24, 2013
McCarthy Road has an infamous reputation for being one of the worst roads in America to travel. In the old days that was probably true, but over the years with the increase of tourism to the Wrangell St Elias National park and Preserve improvements have been made to the once semi hazardous trip a little bit easier. What once took 4 plus hours to travel 60 miles is not about 3 hours one way.

The McCarthy road is scenic and def worth the trip but even with the recent improvements traveling McCarthy road is still not without potential problems. below is a list of helpful tips and suggestions to make your trip a pleasant one.

1. There is NO Gas station in Chitina, AK. Every source I read about visiting McCarthy suggested visitors to fuel up in Chitina. The last gas station is 20 miles before Chitina on Hw 10 in a small village called Kenny Lake. You can also buy some overpriced snacks.


3. Make sure you have a good full size spare tire and know how to replace a tire. Phone reception is not reliable and it may be hours before help arrives.

4. The road follows what was once a rail road bed. It is possible for old rail road spikes to resurface and make a mess of your tires, hence the importance of having a good full size spare

5. Drive Slowly! the road is mostly gravel surface with many potholes. Some potholes are deep and can cause possible damage to your car. Speed Limit was 35MPH I recommend going 30 and allowing the locals who tend to drive faster a chance to get around you safely.

6. Watch for wildlife! Moose, Bears, Caribou do cross the road. Drive slow and be alert.

7. Take the time to stop and enjoy the views!! there are some places to stop for a hike or to check out a point of interest along the road. Don't be in a rush to reach the end and enjoy the road!

8. People do live along McCarthy road, please be respectful and do not liter - it will attract wild animals - or drive recklessly and damage property.

9. Note that the majority of car rental services do not allow you to take their vehicle onto McCarthy Road due to the liability risk. The few that might will charge you and arm and a leg.

10. If you are still nervous about venturing the infamous McCarthy Road there is the option of paying for a shuttle to pick you up at either Glenallen or Chitina. - Note I have not used their service, just offering it as an option.

Following the above tips combined with some basic common sense and you shouldn't have any problems conquering McCarthy Road :)
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