I've had to pleasure of staying at the Ma Johnson's at least once a summer for the past 3 years, as well as in many of the rooms in the hotel. One of my favorite parts of visiting McCarthy is walking into the town. Even though the Hotel provides a shuttle from the foot bridge, i prefer the 15 minute trek. Upon arriving in the town there has always been welcome activity, from dogs roaming the street to visitors hanging out on the porch of the Golden Saloon, or the Ma Johnsons, seemingly enjoying one anthers company.
Up until this summer I had never ventured up to the neighboring town of Kennecott, so, this time, I decided to check it out. It was great to see and I recommend it to all visitors of the area, but it was nice to return to McCarthy in the afternoon; it feels more like home than a tourist destination . if you can, take 20 minutes to pop into the visitor center and learn all about Kennecot while you're there.
My many trips to the area have also given me an opportunity to try out the food at the lodge. The bar is great for dinner or a late night snack; I'm a fan of the burger (bison - i think), and the fine dining is worth the drive all by itself, and has continued to be this way even as the offerings have changed over the years.
The closest thing i can compare this hotel too is some of the boutique hotels in the states. I've had the opportunity to stay at many Kimpton hotels, as well as the ace hotel in Seattle and find the experience to exceed those hotels. The rooms may be a bit tinier and the amenities less modern, but what i've learned from the town has made every stay more memorable than my trips out of Alaska.
If you are going to plan a trip to the area make sure you can afford to stay for two nights. it's worth it to travel from your starting destination straight to McCarthy and skip breaking it up. there isn't a lot between Anchorage and McCarthy that's worth stoping for, or any other destination you may be coming from, for that matter. If you can't make it for at least 2 night just try to arrive as early as you can. This is one part of Alaska you don't want to miss.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Beautiful Scenery, Fine Cuisine, and True Alaskan History all rolled into one – Perfect for a weekend gateway!Our accommodations and restaurants are in the very center of the largest protected wilderness on earth. McCarthy is surrounded by more mountains and glaciers than anywhere else in Alaska! Experience the unexpected; unique tasting menus with casual style at McCarthy Lodge. The Golden Saloon offers a hearty menu of family favorites. Our greenhouses provide fresh produce for our restaurants, our Copper River Red Salmon is wild-caught by locals. Best of all, the fully restored Ma Johnson’s Hotel is the only authentic historic hotel in the park. Spend a few minutes in the Golden Saloon and make friends instantly. ... more less
- Also Known As:
- Ma Johnson's Hotel McCarthy, Alaska