With lunch packed, 5 gallons of extra gas, 2 cups of hot coffee our day begins.  It’s going to be a beautiful day in the Copper River Valley.  The cool morning air is refreshing during the unusually hot weather.  Our chosen mode of transportation to McCarthy is our side x side ATV.  The road is long and bumpy so taking the motorhome didn’t sound appealing, plus the ATV is a lot more fun!

Cruising down the road.
Cruising down the road.

Part 1

(Another option for visiting the mine is a shuttle service that starts in Glennallen and has pick up points between there and Chitina.)

Where the Edgerton Highway ends and the McCarthy Road begins is America’s largest national park, Wrangell St. Elias National Park.  McCarthy Road is about 60 miles long and takes you to the aptly named town of McCarthy.  The landscape is breathtaking.

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The landscape to McCarthy is amazing!
This eagle escorted us for half a mile after we crossed the Copper River.
This eagle escorted us for half a mile after we crossed the Copper River.
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Photo opportunities exist around every turn.
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I’m always working on another video.

Aside from a few photo stops we made short time going down the road to the mine.

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RV’s that decided to drive all the way down the road.
The footbridge to McCarthy.  On the other side you pick up a shuttle up to the mine.
The footbridge to McCarthy. On the other side you pick up a shuttle up to the mine.
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Welcome!

Instead of explaining the full history of the mine you can read it for yourself from the National Park Service and Wikipedia.

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If you can fit Kennecott Mine into your vacation it’s sure to be a highlight.

We took our time on the way back and did some exploring.

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Remnants of the old railroad.
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Hmm, this looks like fun.
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Ya, I’m pretty sure we weren’t supposed to be up here.
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We had to climb on top of the ATV to access the catwalk.
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That’s a serious drop.
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I’m not afraid of heights but you can’t help but to hold on tight.

Aside from some dust in our ears, it was a epic day trip.  The full hook-ups were much appreciated this evening for long showers and air conditioning.

Read Part 3 of this adventure when we go dipnetting!

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