Reviews and Accolades


Over the past 15 years, McCarthy Lodge & the Ma Johnson’s Hotel has built amazing guest experiuences that have resulted in international and national recognition from multiple publications (original hard copies available on request). Digital copies will be uploaded to the site soon. Each year, there are several world renowned publications that feature our properties.

  • Michelin Guide’s Must Sees Alaska – McCarthy Lodge and the Ma Johnson’s Hotel are one of only 6 properties recommended by the Michelin Guide
  • James beard Foundation – McCarthy Lodge Dinner
  • National Geographic “109 Hotels we Love to Stay At”
  • Outside Magazine – #2 Kicked Back Town in America
  • Backpackers Magazine
  • USA Today
  • Sunset Magazine
  • Bon Appetit
  • Food & Wine
  • US World & News Report
  • New York Times

The Michelin Guide Alaska Must Sees:

McCarthy Lodge and the Ma Johnson’s Hotel are the only accommodations and the only restaurant recommended by Michelin Guide for the McCarthy-Kennicott area. This exclusive Michelin Guide only includes their highest rated recommendations. “A gravel road reaches from the Richardson Highway 59 mi to McCarthy the small town from which most park exploration launches.” “McCarthy Lodge and neighboring Ma Johnson’s Hotel offer comfortable accommodations and renowned Alaska cuisine and expert information about nearby activities”

We are proud to be the first (and only) establishments in Wrangell St Elias ever included in a Michelin Guide. Michelin rates Wrangell St. Elias National Park 2 (out of 3) stars.

Stay with us, have dinner in one of Alaska’s great dining establishments – but mostly stay with friendly locals to celebrate your vacation in a real Alaska “Must See” place. Don’t forget to order a Michelin Alaska Must Sees guide to help you discover the best Alaska has to offer>>

Bon Appètit: The Great-Tasting Outdoors: 6 Fantastic Restaurants in National Parks. For this story, one of our favorite food-focused publications picked 6 of their favorite restaurants inside National Parks.

Our chef, Jim Nyholm, life-long Alaskan was the featured recipe for this story (out of the 6 amazing restaurants selected) – “Since 2012, the kitchen has been ruled by a lifelong Alaskan, Jim Nyholm, who turns out elegant dishes with a focus on local seafood–no matter how it’s prepared, the Copper River red salmon will likely ruin you for salmon back home…” Original copy available on request.

“The hotels on our Stay List don’t just reflect their surroundings—they help define them. What they all have in common is a transcendent vision that goes beyond traditional hotel-keeping. This mindset is what gives these hotels their special sense of place. Make no mistake: You’ll sense the vibe at once. Maybe it’s the regional architecture that speaks to you. Or a guest room resonating with history. Or local food that not only tastes great but tells a story to boot. After your stay, you’ll leave with the kind of insight only soulful places can provide.”

National Geographic’s Traveler Magazine’s Stay List of “129 Hotels We Love To Stay At” picked McCarthy Lodge & The Ma Johnson’s Hotel, because we exemplify “Authentic, Sustainable, Memorable” as well as giving back to the community.

National Geographic Traveler picked just 4 properties from Alaska, and McCarthy Lodge & The Ma Johnson’s Hotel is proud to be featured as a National Geographic recommended place to stay. Original copy available on request.

“From a Hamptons beach hotel to an Alaskan mountain lodge, these American inns are the summer’s top new travel destinations.” Read about Food & Wine Magazine’s Top Destinations >>

National Geographic’s new book: Secret Journeys of a Lifetime 500 of the World’s Best Hidden Travel Gems

USA Today picks their favorite 10 great places to explore the world’s best-kept secrets from this new National Geographic book, and has this to say about the largest national park in America, and our World Heritage Site:

“Head north to explore one of the world’s largest protected areas, the combined lands of Wrangell-St. Elias National Park and Canada’s Kluane National Park. Taken together, they reach from the Gulf of Alaska to northern boreal forests and cover about 20 million acres. “It’s some of the most spectacular wildlife viewing I’ve had anywhere in North America”

Note that National Geographic chose McCarthy Lodge & The Ma Johnson’s Hotel as their choice to stay in Wrangell St Elias! Original copy available on request.

“Though the resort’s secluded locale can make getting there a daunting task, Thomas Keller–trained chef Joshua Slaughter has created a famed dining destination that is well worth the journey.” McCarthy Lodge sponsored a “Rugged Alaskan Luxury” Dinner. The event was held in New York City at the James Beard Foundation, Oct 29, 2010. Read about our Rugged Alaskan Luxury on the JBF website >>

New York Magazine’s Grubstreet: “As the Michelin Guide is fond of saying, every one of these stops is worth a special journey.” Even though the town’s population is 42, it’s still home to a fine-dining restaurant with a pedigreed chef, Joshua Slaughter, who’s done time in the kitchens at NY’s wd~50 and Thomas Keller’s Bouchon. Read Article >>

AAA’s Via Magazine: Gourmet dining around the bend from vast glaciers and tumbling icefalls? Sure, if you’re at McCarthy Lodge near Wrangell–St. Elias National Park. Read full article >>

The Father Of Haute-Alaskan Cooking
Joshua Slaughter brings serious food to the tundra: “Some people are born into their career. Take Joshua Slaughter: With that name, could he have become anything but a butcher or a chef? Embracing his moniker, Slaughter has carved out a profession as one of America’s most innovative chefs, having made a name for himself at Bouchon Bakery and wd~50. But to sample Slaughter’s forward-thinking, locally rooted cookery — Alaskan salmon funnel cake with apricot chutney; pork raised by a neighbor, partnered with candied fennel — you’ll either have to catch him at NYC’s James Beard House or book a flight to the Great White North.” >> Read full Article

MCCARTHY, Alaska – If there is a prettier — and hipper — town in Alaska than McCarthy, I’d like to see it. What’s so cool about McCarthy? Well,… Original copy available on request.

Above the banks of Alaska’s mighty Copper River, past the old railroad town of Chitina, the pavement of the Edgerton Highway ends next to a sign that reads “McCarthy: 60 miles.” This, believe it or not, marks the entrance to North America’s largest and wildest national park. …Amazingly, in the 63 years since, little has changed Original copy available on request.

Lattitude Adjustment: Top 10 Wilderness Destinations, McCarthy and McCarthy Lodge & The Ma Johnson’s Hotel are named The #3 Wilderness Destination in America! GIANT MOUNTAIN FUN MCCARTHY, ALASKA – Original copy available on request.

Outside Magazine named McCarthy, Alaska the #2 Kickback town in America!

Wine maker Dinner at the McCarthy Lodge: THE UNLIKELIEST MEAL: With 2 dusty streets, incredible mountain vistas, and about 30 residents who actually reside here all year long it’s hard to imagine as the venue for one of the great wine and food experience I’ve had – but experiences are all the more special for their implausibility. Original copy available on request.

National Geographic photographer Franz Lanting stayed at Ma Johnson’s for the last part of the Summer season while shooting a remarkable aerial photo essay on Wrangell St. Elias National Park. Read full article >>

Share Today, Global Connection Event Planning: A Ghost Town As Setting For Your Next Event: We were asked to write a story on our ghost town as a setting for your groups’ events. We love events that take over the town, and you can read about it inside this edition of Share Today: Original copy available on request.

Untouched America. Untouched America, a stunning HD 4-part series that showcased America’s most pristine Wilderness Areas. Part 4, Alaska & Hawaii, features Wrangell St. Elias and our historic towns. Produced by Barrett Productions. Original Air date: The Travel Channel. Episode 4: Alaska & Hawaii. Original copy available on request.

Author Pete McCarthy spent a few weeks at McCarthy Lodge and wrote about our town in his international #1 best selling book, The Road To McCarthy. He writes about the town’s characters, and clearly loves everything about the town. Pete says this about Ma Johnson’s: “I realize that if I ever tell anybody how nice it is here they’ll all want to come…” It is a very funny book that has the McCarthy Lodge on the cover in the international edition. The USA cover is different. Original copy available on request.

McCarthy Lodge & The Ma Johnson’s Hotel are in the 1000 Places To See In The USA & Canada Before You Die. Original copy available on request.

NBC Anchorage, KTUU (Channel 2), came to McCarthy to film a series of short documentaries. TALES FROM MCCARTHY: See the videos here >>

PARTY IN MCCARTHY: One of the earliest grand Alaska adventures I engaged in was a trip to McCarthy and Kennecott within the Wrangell-St. Elias National Park. The trip took me north to Glenallen-which is a long and relatively boring section of the trip-then curving to the right and slowly pointing south toward Valdez through Copper Center, the trip got more interesting when I turned left toward Chitna.” Original copy available on request.

But even as McCarthy and Kennicott slowly open to the outside world, they remain among the more isolated towns in the United States. For those who want to eat well, that’s a challenge. New York Times, Dining feature story. Read the full article >>

The founder of Lonely Planet, Tony Wheeler, stayed at McCarthy Lodge & The Ma Johnson’s Hotel in McCarthy. “I’m in Alaska travelling with an LPTV film crew making a program for the forthcoming Roads Less Travelled series with National Geographic. Here is a link to Tony Wheeler’s blog about McCarthy on Lonely Planet’s website. Original copy available on request.

U.S. News & World Report, Cover Story AMERICA’S BEST VACATIONS! – 20 Really Great Escapes. McCarthy and Wrangell St Elias National Park made this special short list.

“Wrangell St Elias is among the least visited parks… …It encompasses North America’s greatest collection of peaks above 16,000 feet, including 18,000 Mount St Elias…”

“McCarthy, summer population perhaps 100, has a scattering of charmingly dilapidated buildings along a dirt main street.” “On the front porch of the McCarthy Lodge that evening, a park service interpreter mentioned that a black bear had strolled down Kennecott’s main street at 5p.m. Flatbed Larry explained that he’d gotten his name because there were just too many Larrys in McCarthy. Barmaid Rebecca Bard brought out another round of Alaskan Amber…” These and all our other press that is not linked on line are available by contacting us at

Original copy available on request.

Kids These Days

KIDS THESE DAYS: (Award winning family blog): Honestly, I’m still in shock that my kids dined with us at a restaurant listed in Food & Wine Magazine as one of 5 Top New Summer Destinations for 2011 and New York Grub Street as the #1 place in Alaska to dine >>Original copy available on request.

It is easy to find award winning chefs in big urban cities—but for travelers who have an appetite for untamed exploration, it’s a special treat to find one at the end of a dirt road in America’s largest national park. On any given night “you might be sitting next to a neighbor who grew your dinner”. Original copy available on request.


Over the past few years, there has been so many books, magazine articles, newspaper articles as well as radio & television programs that have been published, that we include those that are most topical, have higher circulation or specific interest. We will rotate articles through the press section, but if you would like copies to more press (older publications, non-internet posted stories, international language stories), simply email us at

Mens’ Journal, April, 2006, cover story on Healthiest places to Live, included a special section on “Hideouts: Secluded spots when you need to dodge the daily grind.”

Discovery Channel: Several Alaskan Travel shows that include McCarthy (&/or Wrangell-St Elias) are on regular rotation on the Discovery Channel. Barrett Productions (No relation to the founding fathers of McCarthy) has done several TV shows for the Discovery Channel and The Travel Channel. The team from Barrett Productions chooses our little town and hotel as the base camp when shooting in America’s largest protected wilderness, Wrangell St Elias.

We have numerous stories published in international newspapers from Europe, Australia, Taiwan, etc. Via (AAA member’s magazine), Conde’ Naste Traveler, more National Geographic stories, several Backpacker Magazine and Outside Magazine features, industry publications, (would anyone but the owner want to read a feature about us in “Wallpaper Magazine” about restoration, not vacations?), and, well you get the idea. So we will continue to feature on-line linkable publications, and we will throw in a few hard copy stories from the past. But don’t hesitate to email for more info or copies of our press. We are discovered, but just the right kind of people will go out of their way to see a place like McCarthy. We are not for everyone, and we are not trying to be.

Pamela Throop

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Please don’t hesitate to contact Pamela with any questions regarding this property or to make arrangements to see it in person.