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Report - Kennecott Mines- Alaska



OK, so this needs a lot more exploration time than I had to do it justice, sadly it’s in the middle of Alaska 60 miles down an unpaved road from the nearest vaguely populated area.

Kennecott is situated on just outside of of Mccarthy, a small settlement of about 50 residents, (more like 12 in the winter, when it’s dark 23 hours a day and snow is really, really deep. I asked one guy what people did up here then? “drinkâ€￾, was the reply.) The only way over to Mccarthy is by footbridge, so the only cars you see belong to locals, who are an eccentric but generally friendly bunch.

Basically the Kennecott mine was the largest copper mine in the world from about 1910 to 1938, when it closed. The mill was surrounded by dwellings for the 300 or so workers, whilst the ore was mined in the mountains above.

Now, the mill is open to the public, but the mine buildings above are left to degrade in the elements, and be explored by anyone who gets up here. The buildings around the mill are well secured, but in the mountains Security is not a problem, the nearest police are 100 miles away.

On the road to Mccarthy-a car graveyard




The refinary buildings



Cablecar station



On the way up to Bonanza Mine- only 4 miles from the refinary, but 3000ft up...


Old axle with Bonanza in the background





My dreams of exploration are overridden by common sense. I'm on the top of a mountain and the nearest hospital is 100 miles away, and the building looks like this.


Still there was this.


View was pretty good tho...


It was a full days hike up and back, we saw loads of other interesting buildings on distant ridges, and heard rumours of others with old equipment and even a pool table in, but time was not on our side....If anyone ever gets the chance, I can't recommend it enough.....