Week 5: McCarthy, AK and Glacier Trek

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I first visited McCarthy 13 years ago with my friend Lisa (photos from that trip), and ever since then I’ve wanted to come back and do a glacier trek. There are 2 bridges into McCarthy: one for locals (you need a key for the padlock to open the gate), and the other a footbridge. There is a huge campground next to the footbridge with great views, a few pit toilets, and a food truck selling hot dogs.

Many folks warned us that the road to McCarthy was really bad, and to bring an extra spare tire, but advice is based on what the road was like 10+ years ago. The road was not bad at all, and no worse than the stretches of the ALCAN or Denali highways)

For my 60th birthday I treated myself to a 5 day trek out of McCarthy, Alaska. Five hard days of hiking with a 45-50 pound pack over glacier ice, rocks, mud, and a lot of bushwhacking. It was completely amazing. There were 4 of us on the trek: myself, my friend Leanne from Tucson, a great new friend, Alfredo, from Sao Paulo, Brazil, and Monet, our guide. We hiked about six hours per day. I’m so glad I did this while my knees and back could still handle it. We saw a total of 5 bears (2 were young cubs), but all were far away.

While I was trekking, Christine relaxed in camp, and did a tour of the Kennecott Mine (highly recommended), which I did when I was here in 2009.

To better understand the town of McCarthy, check out the book Pilgrims Revenge (available as an eBook from the San Francisco library). It’s a fascinating story, and there is a lot of history of the town and the national park thrown in.

The full set of photos of McCarthy and Kennecott are here, and photos from the trek are here.

Breathtaking views everywhere!
Hiked up a ridge for a better view of the glacier
Kennecott Copper Mill

Posted by travel_b1p6zj

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