McCarthy Lodge


Exclusive – The Michelin Guide Alaska “Must Sees” – McCarthy Lodge, is honored to be the first and only restaurant recommended by the Michelin Guide in Wrangell St Elias!

McCarthy Lodge

During the summer, the McCarthy Lodge is the area’s premiere dining venue featuring an extensive wine list with many celebration wines, and value wines too.  Exceptional local specialties such as our famous Wild Copper River Red Salmon, enjoyed in an authentic atmosphere. Next door to the lodge is the Golden Saloon with a more family style menu of local favorites.  Everyone’s welcome.  When making your dinner reservation please let us know if you would like us to arrange a shuttle to Kennicott or the footbridge after dinner. So don’t worry, we make it easy to still spend some time with real Alaskans living a remote life, even if you are staying outside of McCarthy!  (Hey, we understand, there are only 20 rooms in the Ma Johnson’s!)


Halibut, seared tomato, leeks, borage

The Michelin Guide’s Must Sees Alaska exclusively recommends the McCarthy Lodge in Wrangell St Elias. Bon Appetit featured McCarthy Lodge in:  ”The Great Tasting Outdoors, 6 Fantastic Restaurants Inside National Parks” for 2013.  Food & Wine Magazine selected McCarthy Lodge as one of 5 “Top New Summer Destinations For 2011″    See our press section for many similar awards we win each year since 2001.  We offer a superb, original menus each evening, paired with a remarkable wine list.  The Lodge features local specialties such as Copper River Red salmon, halibut, local grown pork, duck, produce from our greenhouses and other local ingredients.  Open seating is available in the Lodge from 6pm to 9pm with advance reservations.  To reserve your table, call us at 1 907 554-4402.

Our goal is to exceed your expectations. We love to share our little ghost town and it’s history with our guests, and we are seriously into food and wine too! Our two restaurants offer different styles – one is the casual center of the valley – the Golden Saloon.  The Golden has all the local favorites, fresh and original comfort foods from Buffalo Burgers, to salads, daily specials, sandwiches, and more.  The Lodge is casual as well, but with a nod to refined technique and local ingredients orchestrated by highly qualified chefs.


Morels from McCarthy

McCarthy Lodge utilize family farms within our community and other vendors in Alaska.  We continue to be an important locally-focused business.  Our buildings and artifacts, our staff and our ingredients all are as local as can be.  We do have to go to unusual lengths for some ingredients.  For instance, to serve a locally grown pig, we must bring the live animal from the farm, to be processed 300 miles away.  Some of our neighbors grow a variety of produce for our restaurant as a way to supplement their income.  Some local gardens are just so prolific, that it is easy to sell produce to the restaurant.

Our wild caught Alaskan seafood has always come from local sources, for all our wild caught, Alaskan seafood, including halibut, black cod, rock fish and more .  We are famous for our Copper River Red Salmon.

Copper River Red Salmon has the longest run of any salmon, over 200 miles.  This creates a 2% higher fat content, and this is why we get our salmon from the mouth of the river, instead of in Chitina.   The higher Omega 3 fat content creates an amazing silky texture and superb flavor that is not oily or “fishy”. Farm raised salmon has never been, and will never be, served at McCarthy Lodge.

Our greenhouse and gardens supply much of our fresh produce.  We continue to encourage local farmers to produce more each year, to help supplement our production.    We constantly reach out to our neighbors in an effort to encourage as much local sustainable product as possible. Jeremy Keller, and their farm on Sourdough Ridge, raises ducks, goats, pigs, and other animals and produce.  A remarkable family, Jeremy had worked with us in the restoration of the McCarthy Lodge, Ma Johnson’s Hotel, Lancaster’s and other buildings around town.  Now the Keller family helps keep the restaurant relevant and sustainable to the local community.  This year, the local Sourdough Hill Farms will supply duck, duck eggs, pigs, and produce for our restaurants.  We are all just living a small life in Alaska.  Expect dozens of folks around town, not hundreds.


Sourdough Hill Farm's pork, pave', crackling, tenderloin, cranberry jus, smoked salt, bacon dust

McCarthy Lodge has an impressive pedigree.   We attract great chefs with a unique approach to local cuisine.  Since 2002 we have built a reputation for amazing cuisine in an authentic, remote setting.  Attracting great chefs and

On October 29th, 2010 McCarthy Lodge had the pleasure of hosting our first James Beard dinner.  This was a special affair for all of us in many ways.    With our locavore approach to Alaska sourcing, we wanted to bring our ingredients to New York City.   Shipping product from Alaska to New York City for a unique “Alaskavore” style was a big part of the challenge.  We are all about community, and we wanted to share a taste of our town with the foodies of the big apple.

McCarthy Lodge sponsored The James Beard Foundation’s “Rugged Alaskan Luxury” Dinner.   Specialty Imports, donated cases of wine for the dinner.   Larry Asher and the folks at Specialty Imports have been actively working with the Lodge, as we developed our wine program over the past 6 years.   The event was held in New York City at the James Beard Foundation, Oct 29, 2010. “Though the resort’s secluded locale can make getting there a daunting task…” Read more on the JBF website >>


McCarthy Lodge has a long history of business since it’s construction here in 1916. Once a cannery building in Katalla on the coast near Cordova, it was dismantled and shipped via train to the new town of McCarthy. As this historic building had previous uses before McCarthy was formed, it is the oldest structure inside Wrangell St. Elias National Park. The building was reconstructed on it’s present location by the famous documentarian photographer Captain J. P. Hubrick, who used it for many years as a photographic and sundries storefront. During the late 1940′s the building along with Ma Johnson’s was renovated by “Mud Hole” Smith, a famous Alaskan Bush Pilot who hosted many fly in tourists through Cordova Airlines.

Throughout the 1960′s, McCarthy Lodge acted as a big game hunting lodge. The 1970′s brought improved access into McCarthy and many new visitors.  Today, McCarthy Lodge is one of the most photographed buildings in the park and has graced the covers of many publications over the years. The building is over one hundred years old, and was probably built just before 1900.

Each summer we discover a little bit more about our buildings, the town’s remarkable history, and the people who use to call this place home.  In our restoration and preservation efforts we are always respectful of the past, but aware that we are a thriving community, alive today.  Adaptive reuse of some property may be more intrusive than other restoration components of our business.  It is a labor of love.  Sustainability, Community, Relevance to a Sense of Place – these are the rewards of our productivity.


Be sure to sample our cuisine while in the McCarthy area and see for yourself why our guests consistently tell us we serve the finest meals they have had in Alaska. All during peak summer season it is recommended to phone or email ahead to assure that you and your party are on the reservation list for that particular day. Our restaurant seats only 40 people at any one time so please reserve by calling hotel reception or email

Our neighbor & commercial fisherman Ralph Lohse

A unique Private Dining room is also available for parties of up to 10 people. The McCarthy Lodge has received rave reviews since 2002 in the London Times, The Chicago Tribune, The New York Times, Food & Wine, Sunset Magazine, AAA Via Magazine,, to name just a few of the many publications that have discovered us (and spread their enthusiasm for our excellence).

Take a look at our chef’s creations: “Culinary Adventures In Remote Alaska” in our Photo Gallery >>