There's only one way you can get to McCarthy by land: the bumpy, unpaved McCarthy Rd. This dirt route is a rump-shaker, but even a regular car can make it if you go slow (35mph max) and stay in the center to avoid running over old rail spikes – contact Ma Johnson’s Hotel in McCarthy about car-rental companies that will let you take their vehicles on the road.
Much of the route traces the abandoned Copper River and Northwest Railroad bed that was used to transport copper from the mines to Cordova. The first few miles offer spectacular views of the Chugach Mountains, the east–west range that separates the Chitina Valley lowlands from the Gulf of Alaska. Peaks average 7000ft to 8000ft. Below is the mighty Copper River, one of the world’s great waterways for king and red salmon.