Hike Root Glacier, McCarthy

What: Stunning hike leading from the Kennecott mine in McCarthy. 6.5 miles with 900 ft of elevation gain rated as moderate.

When to go: Ideally accessed in the summer months of May to October given the accessibility challenges to get to McCarthy. Should take roughly 3 hours for the total hike.

How to get there: https://goo.gl/maps/MEez8nXpDW7DsNqj6; you’ll need to drive to the footbridge leading up to McCarthy and then take a shuttle from there to Kennecott
Alltrails link: https://www.alltrails.com/trail/us/alaska/root-glacier-and-stairway-icefall-trail


  • The highlights of this trail are getting onto the glacier and seeing the “ice falls” further up the valley. There are a few ways to do this – you can hike along the trail and then take the off chute onto the glacier, or keep continuing on the trail until you see the ice falls.
  • You can also see the ice falls by walking across the glacier for half a mile or so; highly recommend using microspikes for good traction on the glacier. On a popular day, you’ll see plenty of people hiking and ice climbing on the glacier.
  • Mosquitos can be especially bad on the trail; bring plenty of bug spray.
  • For the more adventurous, consider checking out the Bonanza Mine trail.