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Kenny Lake RV Park secluded campsites, May 12, 2007
In traditional Alaska, you set your own pace.
There are few paved roads left in Alaska where you can drive for miles without seeing another car. Kenny Lake (pop. 410) is on the Alaskan road less travelled.
Where is Kenny Lake, Alaska? Kenny Lake is not only considered by many to include the Richardson Hwy between Copper Center and Tonsina. It's also claimed that it includes a long, quiet stretch of road called the Edgerton Hwy # 10. The community could possibly extend from the Richardson Hwy for 33 miles down into the remote town of Chitina on the Copper River. Nobody knows for sure.
The only northwestern Wrangell St. Elias Park and McCarthy Road Access The eastern Glenn Hwy, the Richardson Hwy, Glenallen and Copper Center are the western road lookouts toward the Wrangell-St. Elias National Park. Great views of the Wrangells, the Alaska, and the Chugach Mountains are seen from every angle around the Copper River Basin. To actually get in or out of the Wrangell mountains from the west, unless you fly, walk, mush, or come by river, you have to drive through Kenny Lake.
Kenny Lake is a 100 year old base camp Kenny Lake originated in 1910 as an Alaska Road Commission (ARC) Roadhouse for the newly built Valdez-Fairbanks-Chitina Military Road. Re-named in honor of its' U.S. Army Engineer, the Old and New Edgerton Highways are still home to many rest-stops and overnight accomodations. Today this western road entrance serves the needs of mainly Alaskans and scattered travelers on their way to the Wrangell Mtns, Lower Tonsina, the Copper River, dip-netting, Chitina, the Village, Silver Lake, McCarthy, and Kennicott. (For a more in-depth look at our local area history, go to www.kennylake.com/kennylakeak.html.)
Tourist Accomodations and Activities in Kenny Lake The area also has a lot to offer visitors from outside Alaska. Many locals provide tourist activities and accomodations (some are made of the finest local woods and really exquisitely built). The Merc is a pick-up point for Backcountry Connections whose vans will take you where your tires don't want to go. Kenny Lake has miles of paved bicycle paths and rugged off-road 4x4, dogsled, and xx backwoods trails to the bluffs overlooking the Copper River. The whole region has seasoned Alaskan guides (recommended) and equipment available for Alaskan visitors who want to "do it all." (For a look at some available possiblities, go to www.kennylake.com/summeractivities.html and www.kennylake.com/shoppingmall.html)
Wildlife viewing and fishing in Kenny Lake Kenny Lake was built on a lake that over the last century dwindled into a pond, but the inclusive community boasts of lakes and river fishing spots for trout, grayling, and red salmon runs. (When fishing be very careful on the banks!) Wildlife is ocassionally found on both the new and old road; it's regularly seen from the rivers, the backroads and trails. The roster includes: geese, eagles, hawks, owls, magpies, ravens, many smaller avian species, black, brown, and grizzly bear, fox, lynx, beaver, martin, ermine, caribou, buffalo, moose, and snowshoe rabbits. Seasonal fishing openers vary year-to-year. Hunting season opens Aug 10 (this is a protected subsistence area; many residents live off the land).
Trails and backwoods around Kenny Lake Across the Copper Basin, old copper, gold, and silver mines sit deserted. Backwoods hikers will find edible plants and artifacts are everywhere (and the Merc carries lots of bug dope). Pickable Diamond willow grows in wild abundance. Explorers might find anything from gold flakes to abandoned classic cars to giant mastedon thighbones. We are centrally located in the Copper River Basin. Like Governor Edgerton of the Panama Canal Zone during WWII knew, we make an excellent base camp. Leave your big rigs here while you go traveling, hunting, fishing, working, or exploring the rest of our old-fashioned neighborhood. We'll keep our eye on it for you. The Merc sits on 35 acres of mostly wooded acreage, right "downtown" Kenny Lake. Air pollution, overpopulation, wall-to-wall fishing spots, paved hiking trails and long lines of busses and RVs have yet to arrive in our little neck of the woods. There's still plenty of room to roam here for everybody.
This is rural Alaska, untouched by big development, undiscovered by the crowds.
Kenny Lake Hotel & Diner, Mt. Wrangell 2/24/07
Kenny Lake Mercantile, Mt. Wrangell 2/24/07
The Wrangell-St. Elias National Park is home to 9 of North America's highest mountains. Four of these mountains can be seen from the Mercantile parking lot.