The dark red buildings of the Kennecott Mine are sandwiched between steep mountains and massive glaciers in the semi-ghost town of Kennecott, located five miles from McCarthy  on a dirt road. It’s a pleasant (but all uphill) mountain bike ride, or pay $5 each way for a ride from the Wrangell Mountain Air shuttle. Vans run back and forth daily in the summer, at half-hour intervals in the peak season.
At the Park Service’s Kennicott Visitors Center (907/960-1105, daily 9 a.m.–5:30 p.m. late May–early Sept.), rangers offer daily nature and history hikes. Most historic Kennecott Mine buildings are open only for guided tours, but you can visit the restored recreation hall. Visitors are welcome to explore the building exteriors, but watch for nails, glass, and metal scraps underfoot, and don’t try to walk on decks or stairs alongside the buildings since the boards may be unsafe.
St. Elias Guides (907/554-4445 or 888/933-5427, www.steliasguides.com ) leads educational 3.5-hour historic tours ($25 pp) of Kennecott Mine buildings. The company’s specialty is 4–12-day mountaineering expeditions and backcountry hikes in the St. Elias Range, but it also offers glacier day hikes and ice climbing, along with all-day trips to Jumbo Mine or Erie Mine ($95) and various fly-in and rafting adventures.
For a taste of this magnificent place, join Kennicott Wilderness Guides (907/554-4444 or 800/664-4537, www.kennicottguides.com ) on one of their half-day glacier hikes ($60 pp) or all-day ice-climbing treks ($120). These require a 1.5-mile hike to the glacier, where you put on crampons and head out to explore the otherworldly terrain of creeks that abruptly disappear and deep aquamarine pools, all backed by an incredible ring of peaks. The company also leads fly-in backcountry trips and multiday mountaineering and glacier skills courses; these adventures are highly recommended.
An easy and popular hike or mountain bike ride follows the east side of Kennicott Glacier and Root Glacier. When the weather cooperates, hikers are treated to striking views of Mt. Blackburn, Regal Mountain, and Donaho Peak. Take the old road north from Kennecott Mine for 0.5 miles, turning left when it diverges. The trail follows the Root Glacier, crossing bridges over Bonanza Creek and Jumbo Creek along the way. At approximately 1.25 miles, a side trail leads to primitive campsites near the glacier. An outhouse is nearby, and storage lockers are available to keep food away from the bears that sometimes roam through. The Kennicott Visitors Center has additional details on this and other local hikes.
Fireweed Mountain Arts and Crafts (907/554-4500, late May–mid-Sept.) sells quality works by Alaskan artists and has a wonderful back deck overlooking Kennicott Glacier. They’re just downhill from Kennicott Glacier Lodge.