Chitina Alaska and McCarthy Road

by Lynn

Hey, everyone! I decided to drag Daryl for an adventure down the road to Chitina to get out of the house yesterday. His truck has been shut down for a little over a month now. The strain of everything our world is currently undergoing is taking a visible toll on him. This is not a man who is used to being idle.

We didn’t do anything spectacular, like ice climbing or bear watching. For that matter, no fishing was involved either, unfortunately. FYI- You will never find me ice climbing. I will, however, get pictures of those that do!

What we did do was just enjoy a spur-of-the-moment short drive to Chitina, and each other’s company.

Jack didn’t complain either.


As we made it out of Kenny Lake and into the Chitina area, the winds started to pick up, but that’s nothing new, ha-ha. We knew the chance of rain was high when we left the house, but that is just part of it.

The Edgerton Highway between Kenny Lake and Chitina

This is the time of year when everything is coming to life. Springtime in Alaska always seems to stall for a bit, and then all of a sudden, everything will be in full bloom.

Below is one view of the Copper River from the side of the road.

Copper River, Alaska
Copper River

It’s strange to not have a lot of traffic this time of year. May is usually the month when the RV’s start trickling in, the highways are full, and you can spot license plates from all over. It seems as though for many, the travel plans for an Alaskan Adventure have been put on hold for a little bit.

What we have here is more like winter traffic, only it’s spring and you can see the double yellow.

Edgerton Highway, Alaska
There are not a lot of vehicles on the roads this year.

Chitina is a cool little town. There is a lot of history here that we will cover in a later post once everything is open again.

For now, we will just share some pictures with you guys!

We turned off to head towards O’Brien Creek Road and stopped here at the lake for a couple of minutes. We were laughing and talking about the bear that had popped his head out of the trees last time we were down here. He had seen us and disappeared back into the trees as fast as he had come out, but the look on his face is what makes it so humorous.

Town Lake. Chitina, Alaska.
Town Lake – Chitina, Alaska.

We hopped back in the truck and went on down the narrow road. It is one of those times that I was grateful that there were only a few of us out. The stretch of the road right before you get to the creek is narrow with a rock wall on one side and a steep drop off to the other. You don’t have much room to move over and let someone else squeeze by.

fishing boat
Fishing boat seen from the road above.

Daryl got this video while trying to keep his balance on the rocks. If you look close into the distance, you can see the color change. This is where O’Brien Creek meets the Copper River meets the river.

O’Brien Creek meets the Copper River.

In about a week, the Dipnetting season opens for Alaskan residents, and this place will be hopping with both locals and people from other parts of Alaska. The fish wheels will also be turning!

McCarthy Road

Last summer, planks were removed and replaced on the Kuskulana River bridge. We decided to go on down the road a little further to see if the pile of planks were still there. We didn’t think they would be, but we decided to go check anyway.

Mile Marker
Mile 4 of the McCarthy Road

Sure enough, only the bad stuff was left that had not been picked through over the winter, but it was worth checking into!

Kuskulana River Bridge

This is an old picture of the bridge taken with an old Droid our first year here. Neither one of us thought to get a recent one. We will next time!
Updated in the spring of 2021!

This is one of the coolest bridges that I have ever been on. It scared me to death the first time we went over it our first year here.

The Kuskulana Bridge
The Kuskulana Bridge

The Kuskulana Bridge was built back in 1910. It was formerly a railroad bridge. This bridge is 525 feet long and 238 feet above the river.

living on the edge
The waters are still silty from the spring thaw
Kuskulana Bridge
Underneath the Kuskulana Bridge

Back to Downtown Chitina

We needed to head back home at this point. I looked at the time and realized that supper was close to being done in the slow cooker at the house.

Of course, we had to stop a couple more times. It’s just what we do!

I want to do a complete history of this entire area, and as I said at the beginning of this, as soon as everything is opened up again I am going to start from where we are and work my way out further.

Spirit Mountain Artworks
If these old buildings could talk!

This place was one of the first built in Chitina during the copper boom of the early 20th century. The last owners used it as an art gallery, Spirit Mountain Artworks, featuring around 100 artists from all over Alaska.

Today this place has a for sale sign in the window.

Alaska Pictures
Alaska Pictures

Well, folks, that sums up this quick trip. We had to boogie home for supper!

Until next time…

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