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“Can't wait to go again!”

Wrangell Mountain Air - Day Trips
Ranked #3 of 7 things to do in McCarthy
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Owner description: Wrangell Mountain Air is based at McCarthy in the heart of Wrangell-St. Elias National Park. We offer day trips and 3 scheduled flight daily from Chitina (at the end of the paved road) to McCarthy-Kennicott, flightseeing tours in the best of Wrangell-St. Elias and fly-in backpacking, basecamping and rafting. There are a range of accomodations and activities available at McCarthy-Kennicott so plan on spending a day or two to enjoy the feel of remote Alaskan towns.
Reviewed 26 July 2014

I did the day trip into McCarthy and Kennicott. My pilot Bill was great and very informative. He was right on time to pick me up at Chitina and on time again to leave from McCarthy.

Thank smokymtndeb
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 24 July 2014

The other one was a hiking tour of the Matansuka Glacier.

We booked a day flight trip from Chitina to McCarthy which included time to walk around McCarthy (not too much to see but quaint), then a shuttle to Kennecott, lunch at the Kennecott lodge (which was quite nice) and then an extensive tour of the Kennecott Copper Mines. It was absolutely a delightful and educational full day experience which we would recommend to everyone.

It's about a half hour flight each way and we had different pilots for each. Both were friendly, made us feel comfortable during the flight and pointed out various points of interest while flying over the Wrangell St. Elias mountain ranges.

It appears to be a very well run and safe operation. They provide shuttle bus service between McCarthy and Kennecott for more than just people like us who use their flight service. Yet, they always made sure that we were given priority on the limited van space to keep to our tour schedule and flight home.

We highly recommend the day trip!

Thank William W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 22 July 2014

Our pilot on the way to McCarthy/Kennecott was excellent, pointing out and telling us about the glaciers, mountains, and other points of interest and the wildlife that had been spotted in the area. We had mostly sunny weather on the way in. He made sure everyone had the opportunity for good views; there were 4 of us in the 6-passenger plane, with my husband in the co-pilot's seat, taking lots of pictures, and window seats for me and the other 2. We had prepaid (before leaving home) for a one day round trip flight, plus a tour of the Kennecott mine buildings and lunch. This was a very good value, as the added cost for the tour, lunch, and round trip shuttle bus to Kennicott from McCarthy, where we landed, was less than we would have paid on our own. The lunch and setting was very good at the Kennicott Lodge. The little NPS Visitor Center in Kennicott is good, too, with several films and activities daily.

One day was sufficient, in my opinion, to experience Kennicott, including a partial hike out to the Root glacier for good views. We left Chitina at 9:05 AM and returned from McCarthy at 5 PM. I thought that our mine buildings tour would be in the AM, but we found out upon arrival that it started at 1 PM. The concessionaire suggested we could wander around McCarthy, seeing the town museum and visiting shops before heading to McCarthy, but we immediately caught the van shuttle into Kennicott from McCarthy, so we could hike part way out to Root glacier before eating lunch at Kennicott Lodge. If, however, you wanted to do the full glacier hike, you might want to stay overnight. There are outfitters in Kennicott who provide guides and equipment, or this is also one of the options you have for the day trip with WMA, but you wouldn't have time for the mine buildings tour, too. Don't miss that! We had an excellent guide who really knew her stuff and made the history of the mine come alive. The tour was 3 hrs long, as you walk to the topmost mine building, then down each level from there, and across the street to the final building where the trains were loaded. Kennicott is in a pretty setting, with the mountains and glaciers visible from the street and from the outside eating area at the Lodge.

The return trip was during pretty overcast weather, and we had 5 passengers, 3 of whom were new acquaintances of the pilot. He proceeded to talk directly to them for the entire return flight, never saying a single word about the scenery or area. He invited himself for a visit to one young woman's home in D.C. during this conversation. I had the feeling that these 3 passengers were not paying ones, either; so while the 2of us who were, had zero flight-seeing commentary. I think we were probably an afterthought on this flight, because the 2 passengers who had flown over with us had to return due to illness the same day, rather than spending the night as they had originally planned. So the 2 seats on the other plane that we were probably supposed to be on were most likely taken by them. But when you are paying $258 per person for a round trip flight, 30 minutes each way, that is advertised as including flightseeing, then that's what you should have.

As the Chitina airport is not all the way to the end of the Edgerton Hwy (Hwy 10), once we arrived back, we drove to its end before heading back to our lodging. There are a few restaurants and retail stores there, but the biggest treat was seeing the fish wheels operating in the river, during the sockeye salmon runs. You can drive down to the river (carefully) with a rental car and get a closer view.

Thank whencanwego
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Kelly B, Manager at Wrangell Mountain Air - Day Trips, responded to this reviewResponded 25 July 2014

Thanks for your review of our day trip to McCarthy. We are sorry you thought that the return flight wasn't as good as you thought it should be. I am pretty sure that the people you were flying with had paid, but none the less, it shouldn't matter. We try to cordial and talkative about the scenery or anything else people find interesting, including a visit to D.C. Again, I am sorry we failed to make you feel like you got you money's worth on the flight back. It surely wasn't the way we like our customer to feel. I am happy that you felt like the trip was overall a "good value" and tht you enjoyed the flight in, in better weather. Thanks again for the honest review.

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Reviewed 19 July 2014

We took a shuttle from McCarthy to Kennecott with Wrangell Mountain Air. It was more than just traveling from point A to B- the trip included flying over the Wrangell Mountains, and up-close views of the Root and Kennicott Glacier, the Erie Mine Buildings, and other attractions. Our pilot, Austin, seemed to enjoy his job, and went out of his way to be helpful and explain the sights.

Thank Minnesota1_Traveler
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 16 July 2014

Wrangell Air flew us from Chitina to McCarthy and back so we could spend a few days in Kennicott. We are absolutely thrilled with this experience. Our pilot, Austin, got our bags loaded, gave us a safety briefing and we were off! The views of Wragell St Elias were breathtaking and Austin was extremely knowledgeable about the area providing us with lots of great information and explaining the glaciers, geology and some history of the area!

Definitely a highlight of our trip!

Thank 543Lisa
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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