Alaska June 22, 2019
This Abandoned Copper Mine In Alaska Is Like Nothing You’ve Seen Before
Alaska has a fascinating history with the gold rush, railroads, and settlers coming in to explore this beautiful state. One incredible historical landmark combines all three; the Kennecott Mine, an abandoned copper mine in Alaska outside of McCarthy, and inside the gorgeous Wrangell-St. Elias National Park.
Kennecott Mine was opened for business even before the railroad to the mine was completed, in 1911.
The first shipment of copper left the mine and was an estimated $250,000.00 worth of the mineral. It was ready to go just 11 days after the railroad was finished!
In its heyday, Kennecott had 300 people working at the mill in town.
200-300 more men worked up in the mines. But the mill and mines were only shut two days a year, July 4th and Christmas!
The town’s small hospital was the only building in town painted white.
Entire families lived in Kennecott year round. The town had a recreational center, post office, general store, and skating rink, among other things.
Perhaps one of the most striking things about Kennecott is the unbelievable view.
When the town was constructed however, the glacier was a hundred feet higher! You were unable to see the mountains on the other side of the valley.
The mines ended up producing almost $200 million dollars worth of copper before shutting down in 1938.
The town ended up being abandoned for 60 years. The National Park Service and Friends of Kennecott organization work together to preserve as many of the buildings as they can.
Nowadays the National Park Service operates this historical landmark, which received its designation in 1986.
With informative, guided tours, you can safely walk through the abandoned buildings and learn more about the history of the mine and town. The National Park Service even runs the old General Store, now a gift shop!
You can visit this fascinating trip back in time by heading out to Kennecott yourself!
You can find them at the end of the thrilling McCarthy Road. Hire a shuttle or hike up the four miles to get to Kennecott Mines, located inside Wrangell-St Elias National Park and Preserve.
To learn more about this incredible piece of history, check out the
National Park Service’s website on Kennecott Mine here.
Have you ever visited Kennecott? What did you think? Let us know in the comments below!
Headed out to see the mine? Make sure to check out more about McCarthy,
The Surprising Alaska Town That Makes An Excellent Weekend Getaway!