“Alaska is one gigantic field seminar and the Wrangell Mountains Center has 13 million acres for its classroom. As much as I’ve tried to be attentive to my landscape, to its flora and fauna, I realize how much I don’t know. Thanks to programs at the WMC, artists, writers, and citizen-naturalists continue to be awed and inspired”
— Kathleen Tarr

Friday, April 24 - Spring Break Up Celebration and Fundraiser in Anchorage: 6:30 pm at 11101 Magnolia Street in Anchorage. Join us to kick off the season with food, drink, music by the Pilot Cracker Playboys, and a silent auction. $15 suggested donation.

Saturday, May 23 Memorial Day Weekend Community Work Party: The Wrangell Mountains Center invites neighbors, alumni, and other volunteers to join us anytime during our facility and garden workparty. Open to anyone and everyone looking for a good time at the Old Hardware Store and Porphyry Place! Swing by for a few minutes or a few hours between 12 am and 6 pm. There will be plenty of opportunities for some laughs, meals, and old fashioned manual labor directed toward a good cause.

Saturday, May 23 Classical Guitar Concert with Jurgen Ogrodnik: 7 pm at Porphyry Place

Saturday, May 30 - Spring Migrations, Bird Habits, and Habitats Walk with Mark Vail: Meet at 7 am in front of the Old Hardware Store. Coffee, tea, and coffeecake will be served. Free to members, $5 suggested donation for non-members

June 17-20 - Natural History Field Sketching with Kristin Link: This course combines science and art in a unique approach to learning about the natural world. Participants will explore the environment surrounding McCarthy, Alaska within Wrangell-St. Elias National Park while experimenting with different field sketching techniques. By learning new ways to study their surroundings, and sharing and building on working methods, workshop participants will come away better equipped to appreciate and experience natural environments.

June 24-26 - Revealing the Mesozoic World (the Age of the Dinosaurs) with Patrick Druckenmiller:  Step back into time all the way before the Wrangell Volcanoes were created—back when dinosaurs walked through polar forests! Through investigations of fossils, rocks, and landforms, we’ll learn how to interpret ancient environments and reveal the fascinating animals that lived during this time. 

July 3 - Kids Making History with Maria Shell: Meet at 1 pm at the McCarthy-Kennicott Historical Museum. For the fifth year running, The WMC will partner with the McCarthy-Kennicott Historical Museum for this afternoon event. We’ll start at the Museum for a look at what kids did back when McCarthy was an active mining town. From there, a guest historian  Patt Garrett will lead the group on a walking tour of downtown with an emphasis on what it was like to be a kid in McCarthy years ago. Back at the WMC, the group will then document their own stories. This information will be archived at the museum--helping to create a living document oftoday’s Kennecott Kids.  All ages of children are welcome to join us in learning about McCarthy while also documenting their own moments in history! $5 per participant. Learn more about youth programs.

July 8-9 - Capitol Tree Ornaments with Maria Shell and Kristin Link

It may be the middle of the summer but we have the exciting opportunity to create artistic ornaments for the holiday tree that will be in Washington D.C. this winter. Join local ornament artists Maria Shell and Kristin Link to create two different ornaments. The Capitol Tree Project is a collaboration with Alaska Geographic, The Chugach National Forest, and Alaska State Council on the Arts. Come by Porphyry Place between 1 and 5 pm either day. Expect to spend a couple of hours making an ornament. All materials will be provided and all ages are welcome.

July 16-19 - Family Music Camp with Mary Schallert, Brian DeMarcus, Ian Wahl, and Jason Norris: Summer camp is not just for kids. At the McCarthy Family Music Camp, all family members get to enjoy learning and playing music with others, accompanied by the melodies of some of Alaska’s biggest glaciers and most inspiring mountain scenery. During our tune-filled, action-packed folk music camp, families will engage in multiple instructor-led group sessions and classes. Family members will have opportunities to play together, as well as with individualized peer sessions. Craft activities for youth and exploration of the Wrangells environs will round out the fun.

July 17 - Family Music Camp Barn Dance: Join us for this family friendly, fun event, open to the public. $5 suggested donation to support the Family Music Camp. 7:30 pm on the front deck of McCarthy Center, meet at the Old Hardware Store in case of rain.

July 18 - Family Music Camp Open Jam Night: Community members and visitors are invited to join the instructors and participants of the 2nd Annual Family Music Camp for this fun evening of sharing music. 7:30 pm at the Old Hardware Store.

July 22-27 - The Wrangell Mountains Writing Workshop presents RiverSong with Frank Soos, Michelle McAfee, Robin Child, David Grimes, and Nancy Cook:  The Wrangell Mountains Writing Workshop is pleased to partner with McCarthy River Tours & Outfitters to host a six-day, five-night adventure in the fabulous Wrangell-St. Elias National Park. This year’s workshop will feature poet and essayist, Frank Soos, who is currently serving as Alaska’s writer laureate, joined by accomplished singer-songwriter Michelle McAfee, backcountry banjo-diva Robin Child, and workshop director Nancy Cook. Together we will explore the ways wilderness can help inspire songs, stories, poems, and essays. Activities include an opening reading/performance and craft sessions in the comfort of the Wrangell Mountains Center’s facility in McCarthy, followed by three nights and four days of creative inquiry along the Kennicott, Nizina, Chitina, and Copper Rivers. Space is limited to eight student writers/ songwriters.

July 24, 25 & 26  - Sew Fun with Maria Shell: Any and all sewing projects are welcome. Make new curtains for your cabin, learn how to make pillows or pajama bottoms, or learn the basics of quilting making by using patterns or creating your own designs. If it involves thread, cloth, and stitch it will be a great project for this workshop. You pick the project, and Maria will help you make it a reality. Sign up is by the day - come for one or all three. A sewing machine and basic sewing skills and tools are recommended but not required. A small materials fee for use of sewing machines, tools, and fabric will be applied to those who use them.

July 31-August 2 - Exploring Handmade Books with Susan Joy Share: Join us for this fun introduction to bookbinding techniques, tools and materials. We will learn a variety of folding, gluing and sewing methods while exploring book content and structure. Book forms include the codex, accordion books, and pop-ups. We will also paint decorative papers, make, and keep a sketchbook. Experimentation and personal direction will be encouraged as we draw inspiration from the unique natural setting of the Wrangell Mountain Center. All levels of experience are welcome. 

Thursdays, August 6 and 13 - Jams and Jellies, Pickles and Relishes: 2 Workshops on Putting Up the Productive Garden with Mark Vail. 6-8 pm at Porphyry Place, $12/class, bring home a jar from class as well as recipes for the things we make.

August 7-9 - Ice Mysteries and Stories with Joanna Young and Aurora Roth: Join us for two days of exploring and learning about the dynamic forces of glacier ice. We'll spend one day investigating the surface of the Root Glacier, and learning about the amazing dynamic force that has shaped so much of Alaska's landscape.  On the second day, we'll imagine what it might look like underneath a glacier, and see what happens when a glacier retreats.  What will Alaska's glaciated regions look like decades from now?  Our instructors, Joanna Young and Aurora Roth, team up with an experienced mountaineering guide to offer two days of unforgettable learning and adventure.  

August 14-16 - Introduction to Mushroom Identification with Dr. Gary Laursen: Explore the natural environment in the Wrangell-St. Elias from this unique perspective with mycologist Dr. Gary Laursen. We will collect, identify, prepare and/or preserve wild mushrooms of the Wrangells, covering information on Interior Alaskan wild and/or edible mushrooms, their eco-physiological roles and associated laboratory activities directed toward their identification. Participants will gain experience using field guides and learn how making spore prints assists in mushroom identification. Participants will learn about myriad roles mushrooms play in Wrangell's vastly different environments and gain an appreciation for wild mushrooms and how they influence our lives. 

Saturday, August 29 - Tall Tales Storytelling Contest and Silent Auction, at the New Golden SaloonBring your best story (or most compelling lies) and join us for this entertaining evening showcasing the creativity of local residents and visitors. This delightful and sometimes raucous annual summer fundraiser is co-sponsored by the McCarthy Lodge and features a silent and live auction. $20 entry fee for storytellers. Winner receives a $500 cash prize, courtesy of the McCarthy Lodge. 14 story tellers max, sign ups on site at 7:30 pm, event starts at 8 pm.

Friday, September 4 - Need For Seed: Native seed collection with the National Park Service

Saturday, September 5 - McCarthy Half Marathon and 5 Mile Runs: Race starts at 2 pm at Glacier View Campground (Mile 59 of the McCarthy Road). Followed by Spaghetti dinner and awards ceremony at the Old Hardware Store at 6 pm. $30 per person registration; $15 under 16. Proceeds benefit the WMC. Register online or at the starting line from 12-1:45 pm. 


June & July - Mountain Arts and Sciences for Youth programs invite youth (and enthusiastic parents or caregivers) to join artists, naturalists, and scientists for a series of  workshops for kids designed to connect them with the natural world around them. Program Director Lara Applebaum.

June-August Summer Arts & Lectures Series promotes the arts and sciences as integral and necessary components of an educated and enlightened existence. This program is organized to inspire personal discovery, creativity, and intellectual inquiry and to sustain an inclusive community by presenting relevant, unique, entertaining, and diverse events including performances, films, and lectures in the Kennicott Valley. Most of our lectures and arts presentations are free to members and highlight the incredible talent housed in or drawn to this small mountain community. This series is sponsored in part by the National Park Service. Many of the events are held in the Kennecott Recreation Hall and others occur at our McCarthy campus. Please check back for an expanding list of specific dates and times. FREE to current members. $5 suggested donation for non-members unless noted otherwise.