The town of Kennecot sits near the Kennecot Glacier, and supported the
misspelled Kennecot copper mines. The mines themselves
are high in the mountains overhead, and long tramways transported the ore
and workers between the portals and the mill town. Kennecot was connected
to the coastal town of Cordova via the Copper River and Northwestern Railroad.
Parts of the railroad grade are now highways, although flooding and bridge
washouts prevented Cordova from being connected to the state highway network.
here for my page on Cordova UE.
Early September, 2003
Explorers: Freak, Dajur
When we finally got to Kennicot after our road
trip from Anchorage, we ended up spending a lot of time screwing around
and pissing eachother off and very little time exploring. Parking was almost
a problem, but we found a "free" spot, hiked into McCarthy and took a shuttlebus
to Kennecot. I wanted to explore the mill but Dajur wanted to hike up to
the mines even though we’d heard they were recently sealed by the National
Park Service. The hike is described here, with photos.
After getting down from the mountain and returning to Kennecot, Dajur
wanted to leave immediately without actually seeing anything, after driving
200 miles and hiking to nowhere the previous day. I convinced him to stick
around while I explored the mill, I said I’d only be 10 minutes (meaning
5 minutes to him and 15 to me) and ran up to the top to try and find an
entrance. I found a way underneath, crawled over a door and then through
a hole in a wall into the locked part, then made my way onto the tour route
(normally $25 for 2.5 hours) and followed this rapidly through much of
the mill, snapping pictures and wishing I had more time to look around.
I finally got to the bottom, found a door that was unlockable from inside,
and came out only a few minutes late. We hung out waiting for the bus for
another half hour (that I could have spent exploring) and then went back
to the car, packed up, and left.
The town of McCarthy is the first stop for most visitors. Originally
the red light district for the company town of Kennicot, this is now a
small tourism-oriented town.
The most prominent building is the old Concentration Mill, rising 14
stories above Kennicot.
Inside the mill, once you crawl through a few holes, bypass the locked
doors, and avoid the $25 tour ;-)
Other buildings in the mill area. Many are being restored by the National
Park service, who has also helpfully dynamited most of the mine entrances.
The terminal morraine and rock covered Kennicot Glacier.
Click here for the page on the Jumbo Mine.
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