Cash is best McCarthy. Most vendors, such as restaurants and the bar, etc, do take credit cards these days but it’s a good idea to bring some cash as well.
You can leave an overnight bag with us in McCarthy, and any valuables (wallet, passport, etc in the safe with the air taxi if needed).
MXY does have some cell service these days. Not all providers work. I have ATT and that does NOT work in MXY. Verizon usually does, as do Sprint, T-Mobile, etc. Alaska providers like GCI, ACS and Copper Valley Telecom work.
McCarthy General Info
Getting to McCarthy
Getting to McCarthy is a bit of a mission.
There is only one road here and that road doesn’t actually go all the way.
At the end of the 60 mile dirt road from Chitina you’ll find a parking lot and a footbridge. Its a short 1/2 mile way into town or you can wait for a locally provided shuttle. If it’s not raining and you don’t have luggage, take the walk.
The road can be pretty gnarly in the summer. Many car rental please don’t allow drivers to take their cars on the road. If you plan on driving be sure to check with your rental company before making plans.
There are now a couple of shuttles running transport to McCarthy.
You can fly in to McCarthy with local air taxi service Wrangell Mountain Air +1-907-554-4411. You can also fly from Glennallen to McCarthy on the mail plane which runs twice weekly. Check with Copper Valley Air for schedule and rates. +1-907-822-4200.
There are a number of places to stay in the area. Local residents provide B&Bs, cabins and hostels. There is a lodge in town as well as larger lodge in nearby Kennicott. There are a couple of camping areas in the area including one at the end of the road.
There are quite a few choices for eating out. The Golden Saloon is a local bar with good fare. The adjacent fine dining bistro is another choice. The Potato is a great new place just up the road. Joe’s Meatza Wagon in Kennicott has great food. The Slow Down Cafe on the east side of the river is a nice breakfast place. Kennicott Glacier Lodge has excellent food as well. If you camp at Glacier View campground the owner Chris has burgers and similar fare as well.
All the food here is good but expect to pay $$$ in McCarthy.
Things To Do in McCarthy
Enjoy the outdoors. Take a walk up the Wagon trail to Kennicott. it’s not quite 5 miles, one-way. Or catch a shuttle to Kennicott and explore the town there.
You can take a guided hike through the old mill buildings (registered as National Historic Buildings).
You can walk out towards the Glacier on a well maintained trail. It’s 2 miles one way Kennicott to the toe of the Glacier. If you have crampons you can get out on the ice and explore further. Best to hire my buddies at KWG and have them take you out.
For the more adventurous take day ice climbing with KWG.
Super adventurous, bring your mountain bike and try riding the glacier. It’s a bit of a mission but kinda fun.
Other hikes in the area include the Jumbo Mine walk, the Bonanza Mike hike (most common 4 miles up and back).
You can also hike out to Erie Mine and back. you’ll find plenty of info on this stuff in McCarthy.
Other options include rafting and packrafting on Kennicott Glacier and Kennicott Lake.