Destinations: Chitina & Kennecott Mine, Part 1

Kennecott Mine
Kennecott Mine

Question:  Kennicott or Kennecott?

Answer:  It’s actually both, the name of the on site glacier is Kennicott after the naturalist Robert Kennicott, but due to a clerical error the mine was named Kennecott Mining Company.

Starting from our home in Seward it took about 8 hours of driving before we reached the intersection of the Richardson Highway and Edgerton Highway (uncharted territory for us).  The goals for the trip were to; take a new adventure, dipnet for Copper River red salmon, and visit the Kennecott Mine.

We chose to drive our RV to Chitina and set up a base camp.  We stayed in the Wrangell View RV Park, an informal park (a dirt lot with full hook ups) about 4 miles this side of Chitina.  It was unusually warm with temperatures pushing 90* and the only time we’ve run the air conditioner in our RV.  We were very thankful for 30 amp hook ups, we wouldn’t have been able to leave the dogs in the motorhome without risking heatstroke.

The first day we decided to relax and get a lay of the land.

This was our first time dipnetting the Copper River so we decided to check out O’Brien Creek.

O'brien Creek, a popular dipnetting area.
O’Brien Creek, a popular dipnetting area easily accessible to cars and trucks.

This was also our first time seeing fish wheels.

Fish wheels.
Fish wheels on the Copper River.

Chitina became a thriving community in 1914 with the development of the Copper River and Northwestern Railway but the area has had a rich Athabascan history for centuries.

Chitina, AK
Chitina, AK
Chitina, AK
Chitina, AK

Our choice of transportation around rural Alaska is our Arctic Cat Prowler.

This machine takes us exploring, fishing, hunting, plows snow, and helps with yard work.
This machine takes us exploring, fishing, hunting, plows snow, and helps with yard work.

Since it was so hot we went to cool off at Liberty Falls, a beautiful set of waterfalls nestled in a canyon.

Liberty Falls
Liberty Falls

The next step of our journey was a trip to Kennecott Mine.   Instead of driving the RV 60 miles down a bumpy dirt road we packed a lunch, grabbed a gas can, and jumped in the ATV.

This sure beats driving the motorhome down a dirt road.
This sure beats driving the motorhome down a dirt road.

Stay tuned for Part 2 of this adventure!

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