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“perfect way to experience a national park!”

McCarthy River Tours & Outfitters - Day Tours
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US$ 95.00*
and up
Kennicott Glacial Lake Stand Up Paddle Board Tour
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US$ 115.00*
and up
3-4 hr Kennicott Glacier Lake River Raft
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US$ 125.00*
and up
Private Root Glacier Hike
Ranked #2 of 7 things to do in McCarthy
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Owner description: Offering guided day and multi-day raft trips and outfitting for private raft trips in McCarthy Alaska, located in Wrangell St. Elias National Park & Preserve. From 4 hour glacier lake and raft adventures, to multi day adventure raft trips, we offer the best trips in the Wrangells. Come with us and discover some of North America's best undiscovered rivers!
Reviewed 14 July 2017

This tour is for people who want to get up close and personal with a glacier and icebergs. There are other rivers in Alaska to raft if you are thrill seeking. The rapids on the tour are class 2-3 but alot of fun. It's only a five mile stretch and goes super fast but frankly the water is freezing so we were ready to warm up when it was over. The appeal of this tour is getting to see the lake and surrounding mountains. We stood on the glacier and actually watched as pieces slowly broke off as it was melting. Jumping off an iceberg into freezing glacial waters was a fun new experience. It was not too physically demanding and the 60 mile drive to get to mccarthy was worth it! Sam was a wonderful guide and the people we had the pleasure to raft with Cassie and Livi only added to our enjoyment. The staff were all really friendly and helpful. As long as you know what to expect (more interesting and fun than hard core thrills) it's a glorious trip.

Thank yocheved g
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviews (133)
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23 - 27 of 136 reviews

Reviewed 12 July 2017

We did a six night/seven day raft trip down the Copper River and two additional days in McCarthy before the trip. If you really want to have a true Alaskan experience this trip is a must. From the first day in McCarthy to eating fish tacos in Cordova it was spectacular. While in McCarthy, Maggy loaned us some crampons for a glacier walk and the tour of the mine was incredible. On the river we saw almost 400 bald eagles (my wife counted) and icebergs as big as houses from the Miles Glacier floating in the lake. We enjoyed taking a walk on the bridge to nowhere and especially saying "Hey Bear" to the grizzly bear that walked through our camp. Every day brought memories of a lifetime. We saw a total of 2 groups of 4 people each in the seven days on the river. They were from the forest service tasked with counting fish and we actually talked to one of the groups at their counting station. That is all the contact you have to the outside world.

The guides Tim, Nick and Sam were knowledgeable, professional, friendly and by the end seemed almost like family. Sam was particularly good at picking camp and Groover locations and I have a picture from each one. Tim and Nick guitar playing by the camp fire was wonderful. The food was good but you are in the wilderness so you eat what can be brought on the raft. Expect a hot breakfast, sandwiches for lunch and a hearty meal for dinner.

The main reason we picked this guide service was the dry suit and I would not recommend any that did not provide one for this type of trip. The water is cold but not scary. Class 2 is about all you will see in two places. Multiple layers are essential and although space is not unlimited you don't have to worry about carrying everything on your back. Highly recommend a thermos to warm you up on the river in the morning.

Thank martyandpeggy1040
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 10 July 2017 via mobile

What a blast! Ethan and Cassie were wonderful guides, just the right mix of wilderness knowledge, thirst for adventure and safety wisdom. Thank you for an unforgettable day, y'all!

Thank Heather H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
NikMerlino, Owner at McCarthy River Tours & Outfitters - Day Tours, responded to this reviewResponded 11 July 2017

Hi Heather, Thanks for the great review! We take pride in our guides and believe they are our biggest asset! It is always rewarding to hear from our guests about the great time they had and the quality job our folks are doing. Hope to see you again in McCarthy!

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Reviewed 8 July 2017

It was just my mom and I on the hike with Ethan (our guide), and it was great! My mom was pretty nervous about hiking and going on the glacier, but Ethan was really patient and supportive. We had a lot of fun! Ethan showed my mom how to walk in the crampons and was a great guide who told us a bunch of neat facts about the glaciers. If I can ever get back to McCarthy and Kennecott (I hope to) I'll definitely use McCarthy River Tours and Outfitters again for another trip.

Thank denvero1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
NikMerlino, Owner at McCarthy River Tours & Outfitters - Day Tours, responded to this reviewResponded 11 July 2017

Thanks for taking the time to review your experience with us! We offer a wide range of start times for our glacier hikes and all of them are offered as private hikes. This allows us to specialize our trip to your ability/comfort/experience level so everyone gets a unique trip! The root glacier is a pretty incredible experience isn't it? We love getting people of all ages and experiences out there to see it, if you do make it back our way, we look forward to adventuring with you again!

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Reviewed 5 July 2017

My son and I booked the raft trip. Ethan was our guide. He was awesome! Super fun guy, upbeat and outgoing. His southern Georgia accent in the middle of Alaska... priceless! Ethan prompted an interesting discussion on the glacier formations, gave an excellent safety briefing and proper equipment instruction - all top notch! Ethan went out of his way to make sure everyone had a fantastic experience. Ethan gets 5 stars! The whole crew was great - Maggie and Sam - exceptional group of dedicated staff working as a team. Sam even loaned me a pair of warm wool socks! I'm a happy customer! Only thing I'd change is less time on the lake and more time on the river.

Thank Laura G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
NikMerlino, Owner at McCarthy River Tours & Outfitters - Day Tours, responded to this reviewResponded 11 July 2017

Hi Laura, thanks for taking the time to review us, we appreciate your thoughts very much! We are glad that you had such a great time on the water with us. The glacier lake is a pretty amazing place, having only formed in the last 20 years, paddling among and jumping off of icebergs adds a bit of the surreal to the serene part of our trip. Sometimes we wish we could extend the river time as well on our trips, the only problem is that after our particular take out, the only access to the river is by bush plane, more than tripling the cost of the trip! We are proud to be the only raft outfitter to offer an economical day trip in Wrangell St Elias National Park, for those wanting more river time, we suggest folks inquire about custom day trips (Lakina Fly-Out) or our overnight Kennicott and Nizina raft with a scenic flight back to McCarthy on day 2. Thanks again for rafting with us, we hope to see you again in the future!

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