Alaska Day 17 - Visiting McCarthy, one more ride on McCarthy Road and on to Glacier View

McCarthy Travel Blog

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McCarthy

A new day, and unfortunately also the departure day. I wish we could have stayed here at least two more days! While we waited for the shuttle bus that would take us back to the pedestrian bridge we paid one last visit to the mighty mine ruins. Today it was EXACTLY 73 years ago that the mine closed and workers and families must have been moving out as well.

We brought our luggage to the car and walked back over the bridge. We still had not seen the hamlet of McCarthy. McCarthy had its most flourishing days when the Kennecott Mine was operating. Alcohol, gambling, and other forms of "entertainment" were not allowed in the mine village of Kennicott. So, miners came here to spend their money. The village had everything: bars, hotels, a gym, hardware stores, and a red light district.

Crossing the Kuskulana Bridge, McCarthy Road
After the mine closed people left the hamlet as well. In 1970 McCarthy almost "died". But when the mine tourism came up, McCarthy also made its come-back. Nowadays it has a population of less than 50 people. Business consists as a hotel, museum, outdoor centers, and flight-seeing. McCarthy has its own air strip, which is used for tourists who do not like to drive the McCarthy Road.

Unfortunately the village had almost gone into hibernate because of the end of the season. The museum was closed and so were the few shops. So, after some quick pictures we walked back to the car and started rocking and shaking for 60 miles of McCarthy (dirt) Road, see two blogs back! At 11:10 AM we departed the River parking and at 4:17 PM we arrived in Chitina. 5 hours and 7 minutes. Still a long time for 96 km (60 miles). Of course we also stopped a few times for lunch, a bridge photos, for stunning views, and to take a picture of the carved rock near Chitina.

View from the Glenn Highway at the Chugach Mountains, near Glacierview

The asphalt of the Edgerton Highway felt like a liberation. After a snail's pace of 15 mile per hour it felt so good to drive 55 mph again. We also needed that increased speed, because we still had a journey of 224 km (139 miles) ahead to our last overnight location in the Final Frontier. We tracked back our way via the Edgerton and Richardson Highways to Glenallen where we joined the Glenn Highway (Route 1).

We had travelled on route 1 before from Anchorage to Seward and later from Seward to Palmer. So, we were now catching up with the last and most north eastern leg of the highway. This part was constructed in World War II together with the Alaska Highway, in order to connect Anchorage with the lower 48 states.

The smog less sky in combination with full moon allowed us to make this picture
The highway is really beautiful. After leaving Glenallen it starts ascending immediately to reach the Eureka Summit at an elevation of 1016 meters (3332 ft) providing great views on the Chugach Mountains.

We reached the Sheep Mountain Lodge, our last night stay in Alaska around 7:00 PM. A nice place with many cabins offering great views on the surrounding Alps like mountains. Stephan discovered that the pure and smog less air of Alaska allowed us to make pictures of the full moon just using our zoom lenses. Since we had been in the car almost all day we also hiked a 3-km (2-mile) hike on the premises of the lodge.

More pictures below!

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McCarthy
McCarthy
Crossing the Kuskulana Bridge, McC…
Crossing the Kuskulana Bridge, Mc…
View from the Glenn Highway at the…
View from the Glenn Highway at th…
The smog less sky in combination w…
The smog less sky in combination …
The rail road station of McCarthy
The rail road station of McCarthy
McCarthy
McCarthy
McCarthy
McCarthy
McCarthy
McCarthy
McCarthy
McCarthy
McCarthy
McCarthy
McCarthy
McCarthy
McCarthy
McCarthy
Near the Kennicott River pedestria…
Near the Kennicott River pedestri…
Near the Kennicott River pedestria…
Near the Kennicott River pedestri…
Kennicott River pedestrian bridge,…
Kennicott River pedestrian bridge…
One of the bridges along the McCar…
One of the bridges along the McCa…
One of the bridges along the McCar…
One of the bridges along the McCa…
Along the McCarthy Road
Along the McCarthy Road
Along the McCarthy Road
Along the McCarthy Road
Along the McCarthy Road
Along the McCarthy Road
Along the McCarthy Road
Along the McCarthy Road
Kuskulana Bridge, McCarthy Road
Kuskulana Bridge, McCarthy Road
Some dust accumulated on the car
Some dust accumulated on the car
Near the end of the McCarthy Road,…
Near the end of the McCarthy Road…
Near the end of the McCarthy Road,…
Near the end of the McCarthy Road…
Near the end of the McCarthy Road,…
Near the end of the McCarthy Road…
Near the end of the McCarthy Road,…
Near the end of the McCarthy Road…
Near the end of the McCarthy Road,…
Near the end of the McCarthy Road…
The last 20 meters of the McCarthy…
The last 20 meters of the McCarth…
View from the Glenn Highway at the…
View from the Glenn Highway at th…
Some of the cabins of Sheep Mounta…
Some of the cabins of Sheep Mount…
Our cabin at, Sheep Mountain Lodg…
Our cabin at, Sheep Mountain "Lod…
GPS height profile of the McCarthy…
GPS height profile of the McCarth…
McCarthy Road superimposed on Goog…
McCarthy Road superimposed on Goo…
McCarthy Road superimposed on USGS…
McCarthy Road superimposed on USG…
McCarthy
photo by: kingelvis14