Rental Cars, Shuttle, Plane
NO MATTER HOW YOU GET HERE, YOU’RE BOUND TO SEE SOME OF THE MOST BEAUTIFUL SCENERY IN THE WORLD
There are lots of ways to get here: Rental cars, Shuttle services, State-wide bus system info to Glennallen, and Flight Services to and from McCarthy-Kennicott.
TRAVEL BY CAR – AVOID TROUBLE BY DRIVING SLOWLY!
Conde’ Naste recommended driving to McCarthy, as it is incredibly scenic. The London Times online calls it: “The most beautiful road I have ever been on” in an article published in 2004. It is possible to view Alaska Dahl sheep, goats, Tundra swans, moose, black bear, grizzly bear, fox, wolverine and endless assorted waterfowl along this route. If you’re an avid fisherman there are many lakes available from Glennallen to McCarthy for trout, salmon, and burbot.
Most visitors to Wrangell-St. Elias take their cars on the McCarthy Road. The number of flat tires per year is in the dozens, not hundreds as most guide books would like you to believe. Will you get a flat? It is very unlikely if you drive no faster than 30MPH.
CAUTION: Every year some visitors are amazed at how great the condition of the gravel road is. So they drive faster than 30mph. Don’t destroy a rental car by driving too fast. If you drive over 30mph you will likely spend an extra few thousand dollars by causing expensive damage to your rental car. Sharp rocks shred tires at higher speeds. Sharp rocks and high speed approaches to bumps can cause oil-pan damage (not fun). That said, the McCarthy Road is also one of the most scenic and memorable drives in Alaska!
The McCarthy Road has been improved so much over the past few years that several car rental companies now allow their vehicles on the McCarthy Road when you book with us! Here is a list of just some of the rental car options that allow you to take their vehicles on the McCarthy Road:
Budget Rent a Car: Exclusive to McCarthy Lodge & Ma Johnson’s Guests: allows SUV vehicles on the McCarthy Road with proof of full coverage of insurance. Ask for the McCarthy Lodge Corp ID when you book your room. Alaska’s offices for Budget Car Rental: toll free number 1-800-248-0150, or from overseas # 1-907-243-0150. Or to book online click here>>
Enterprise (& National Car Rental) Exclusive to McCarthy Lodge & Ma Johnson’s Guests: Rental Cars – When you book with us, request our special McCarthy Lodge Guest code – Enterprise Rental car will waive the McCarthy Road restriction when you stay with us at McCarthy Lodge. Use the local Alaska number: 1 907 563-5050 to get approval for the McCarthy Road when staying at the McCarthy Lodge!
High Country Car Rental: Exclusive to McCarthy Lodge & Ma Johnson’s Guests: an Alaskan owned company in Anchorage has been allowing their cars on the McCarthy Road since 2005. Randy or Wes or any of the fine folks at High Country are happy to help you get the most from your Alaska vacation! Go to the High Country website by clicking here>> or call for great rental car deals in Alaska: 888-685-1155 or 1-907 562-8078
Go North Alaska Travel Center in Anchorage & Fairbanks: offers 4 wheel drive vehicles that are allowed on the McCarthy Road. Call 866-236-7272 or (907) 479-7272. Visit Go North >>
(If you have problems booking a rental vehicle from one of the major rental car companies, let us know and we will assist in your rental.)
PLEASE DO NOT DRIVE THE MCCARTHY ROAD UNLESS YOU CAN CONTROL YOUR DRIVER TO NEVER GO FASTER THAN 30MPH. ROCKS GET KICKED UP AT FASTER SPEEDS, EVEN IN AN SUV. THESE ROCKS AT HIGH SPEEDS CAN HIT THE OIL PAN CAUSING MAJOR CAR DAMAGE.
DISTANCES BETWEEN MAJOR TOWNS & DESTINATIONS
The following chart lists major cities and their distance to our area:
- Anchorage to McCarthy – 300 miles
- Fairbanks to McCarthy – 360 miles
- McCarthy to Kennicott – 4.5 miles
- Anchorage to Fairbanks – 362 miles
- McCarthy to Glennallen – 130 miles
- McCarthy to Chitina – 60 miles
- McCarthy to Valdez – 178 miles
IF YOU DO DRIVE, PLEASE NOTE:
You will not be able to drive your vehicle into town but will have to leave it in a designated parking area instead at the edge of town. At present all parking in the McCarthy/Kennicott area is provided by private vendors and will average $5.00 per day.
TRAVELING BY BUS/SHUTTLE TO THE MCCARTHY AREA
Wrangell-St. Elias Tours provides direct van transportation from Anchorage to McCarthy and Kennicott (May-Sept). For shuttle schedules and rate info go here: www.alaskayukontravel.com or call Phone (907) 822 5978 Email firstname.lastname@example.org
ANOTHER GREAT CONNECTION FROM GLENNALLEN, CHITINA TO/FROM MCCARTHY:
KENNICOTT SHUTTLE operates a daily van service from Glennallen to McCarthy for backpackers during the summer months. You can contact KENNICOTT SHUTTLE (Formally Backcountry Connection), at: Kennicott Shuttle, PO Box 65, Glennallen, AK 99588 – Phone: (907) 822-5292 Fax: 907.822.3500 Web: www.kennicottshuttle.com Email: email@example.com
TO GET FROM FAIRBANKS TO GLENNALLEN VIA ALASKA/YUKON TRAILS BUS LINE
Take Alaska/Yukon Trails Bus Line from Fairbanks to Glennallen, then take Backcountry Connection from Glennallen to McCarthy. Alaska/Yukon Trails connects Fairbanks, Denali, Anchorage, Valdez, Prince William Sound, Whittier, Seward within Alaska and Dawson City, Yukon Territory. For Reservations, Please call 1-800-770-7275.
Take Alaska Direct bus service from Anchorage to Glennallen, then take Backcountry Connection from Glennallen to McCarthy. Alaska Direct provides year-round service among Fairbanks, Anchorage, Whitehorse, Haines, and Skagway (Alaska Marine Highway); they also provide service between Tok and Dawson City, YT, in the summer. Summer service on the Fairbanks/Anchorage/Whitehorse routes is normally three times a week; winter service is normally twice a week, with adjustments for periods of severe weather. http://www.alaskadirectbusline.com
Reservations are required. Please call: In Anchorage: (907) 277-6652; In Whitehorse: (867) 668-4833; In other areas: 1-800-770-6652. Passengers are allowed one piece of luggage and one overnight or flight bag (which must fit in the overhead rack). Excess baggage will generate an additional charge. Mailing address: P.O. Box 501, Anchorage, AK 99510-0501.
FLYING INTO THE AREA
Take one of 3 daily flights into McCarthy from Chitina and avoid the McCarthy Road. Flight Tour Shuttle at McCarthy included!
Go to the Wrangell Mountain air website for details or call 1-800-478-1160 / 1907-554-4411
From Galkona, you can also use the Mail Plane to get to and from McCarthy Glakona, Glennallen, or Anchorage
Flying to McCArthy in your own bush plane?
If you have your own private plane, you can also fly into the McCarthy airfield. There are also several private air taxi services available in the area. Go to our “Activities” section and there you willfind the Flight Services that offer trips from Chitina and other points to McCarthy.
No matter how you get here, be sure to do a flight seeing trip into the deep wilderness that surrounds McCarthy!