Saturday, May 28, 2011

A Day Trip to Chitina and the McCarthy Road

We packed our lunch and headed east on the Edgerton Highway this morning.  Approximately 14-15 miles from the campground, we came to a north facing viewpoint with a view of the Copper River.Copper-River-1


Our next stop was into Liberty Falls State Recreation Site for a view of Liberty Falls which can’t be seen from the main road.  This photo was taken from the bridge in the camping area.


We found this sign about the fee structure humorous.  We had to look around and see if anyone was timing us!


This cut in the rock is the beginning of McCarthy Road.  Trains used to travel through here between Kennicott and Cordova.


From the bridge crossing the Copper River, Ken took this photo of the fishwheels along the shoreline.  It’s not very busy now, but the season opens on June 3rd and there will be lots of activity after that.


We worked our way down to the river to eat our lunch and watch the small amount of activity.  Some of the fishwheels were in place in the river and turning, but were missing the boxes that hold any fish collected in the buckets.  Here’s a closer photo of one of them.


After finishing lunch, we continued east on McCarthy Road and entered Wrangell – St. Elias National Park and Preserve.


We continued a little over 17 miles on the road, turning around after crossing the one lane Kuskulana Bridge.  The former railroad bridge is about 525 feet long and 238 feet above the river and was built in 1910.


Crossing the bridge.


This next photo was taken from the bridge looking down at the river.


Headed back toward Chitina, the roadsides are covered with blossoming lupine.




Back in Chitina, we drove south on the Copper River Highway to a river crossing.  At this point, the road closes in one mile and is only accessible by ATV…not hardly worth unloading for that short distance.


Back in town, I took a few photos of some of the historic buildings some of which are still in business.

The Chitina Emorium.


Spirit Mountain Artworks


Hotel Chitina


We stopped for a beer at Uncle Tom’s Tavern (no photo), then continued back toward camp, stopping at approximately milepost 15 to take some photos of these yaks.  The Milepost 2011 indicates they may be offering tours this year; however, there were no signs to indicate that.






Tomorrow, we plan to drive to Lake Louise State Recreation Area.  Hopefully it won’t be full considering it’s Memorial Day Weekend.

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