This road joins Richardson Hwy at Mile 85 coming out of Valdez. The road is paved for 35 miles to Chitina. It then crosses the Copper River Bridge where it becomes the gravel McCarthy Rd that deadends at the Kennicott River.
The McCarthy Hwy follows the old pack trail that connected Chitina to Copper Center. It follows the right of way of the old Copper River and Northwestern Railway. Old spikes still surface in the roadway. McCarthy Highway is a very rough, gravel road, but drivable by regular vehicles. The route provides scenic valley views. Travelers can also view several historic rail bridges on this route. The road is a gateway to the Wrangell-St Elias NP and Preserve, famous for its solitude and scenic ambiance. The 13.2 million acre park stretches north to the Gulf of Alaska. For information, contact Wrangell-St Elias NP and Preserve.