What Is It?
Once a bustling mining town, Kennecott, Alaska, has been abandoned for more than 70 years, offering a glimpse into the boom-and-bust tales from mining history.
In 1900, prospectors Clarence Warner and Jack Smith explored the Kennicott Glacier and came across cliffs of exposed copper, which became the Bonanza mine. Samples showed it was one of the richest copper deposits ever found. Between 1911 and 1938, the mine produced nearly $200 million of copper.
Walk Through the Past
In Kennecott, the old general store and post office are home to many exhibits, but visitors can also walk through the recreation hall, railroad depot, residential cottage and more. The mines are a National Historic Landmark run by the National Park Service, so consider taking a walking tour with a ranger.
I Before E
The Kennecott Copper Corp. got its name from the famous Kennicott Glacier, itself named after the naturalist Robert Kennicott. One theory for why the company uses an “e” rather than an “i” is that a clerk made the typo early in the company’s history, and nobody ever bothered to correct the mistake.
Explore the Surroundings
If you’re looking for a hike, there are options near Kennecott, such as Root Glacier Trail and Old Mine Trail. Kennecott is within Wrangell-St. Elias, America’s largest national park at 13.2 million acres. Once you’re done at the mines, take the time to take in more of the Alaskan wilderness.
To start planning your trip and to stay up to date on local travel restrictions, visit www.nps.gov/wrst/planyourvisit/kennecott-visitor-center.htm or call