The Edgerton Highway (Alaska Route 10) is a scenic paved road leading 33.5 miles east from its junction with the Richardson Highway (Alaska Route 4) to the small town of Chitina. The gravel McCarthy Road leads 59.3 miles east from Chitina, across the Copper River, and deadends at the Kennicott River, about 1 mile west of the town of McCarthy and 6 miles from the historic mining area of Kennicott.
Named for U.S. Army Major Glenn Edgerton of the Alaska Territorial Road Commission, the Edgerton Highway—known locally as the Edgerton Cutoff—provides access to homesteads in the Kenny Lake area and to the salmon dip-net fishery on the Copper River at Chitina.
The McCarthy Road follows the right-of-way of the old Copper River & Northwestern Railway. Begun in 1907, the CR&NW (also referred to as the “can’t run and never will”) was built to carry copper ore from the Kennecott Mines to Cordova.
The McCarthy Road is recommended for those who like adventurous driving. Watch for sharp rocks, railroad spikes, no shoulders, narrow sections of road, soft spots, washboard, potholes and a few “roller coaster” curves. Carry a spare tire. Not recommended for large RVs.
There is no vehicle access for visitors across the Kennicott River from the end of the McCarthy Road. The main course of the Kennicott River is crossed by a pedestrian bridge.
The MILEPOST® Quick Reference Log Miles from Richardson Highway junction (J) shown.