McGrath, Alaska, is a tiny town established in 1904 along the banks of the Kuskokwim River. No roads lead to McGrath, which is only accessible by airplane, boat or snow machine. Despite the town's small population of approximately 400 people, it is an economic center for the area. The Iditarod Trail runs nearby and the town serves as an important check-point in the famous sled dog race. Because of the town's small size, there are only two lodging options in the town.
Hotel McGrath is a family owned and operated bed and breakfast. Located in the downtown area, the property is within easy walking distance of several restaurants and grocery store. Each room is decorated in a country European style. Room amenities include free wireless Internet access, cable TV, private bathrooms and individual heat control. In the morning guests can dine on the free continental breakfast. The property features a guest laundry service, 24-hour business center, lounge and coffee shop.
Takusko House is a 15-bedroom lodge that boasts a bed and breakfast-like atmosphere. In business since 1983, all rooms and features are found in the 7,000 square-foot building. Five of the 15 rooms have private bathrooms, with the remaining ten sharing one. Guests of the lodge have access to high-speed Internet access and satellite television.
Activities in McGrath, AK
Visitors to McGrath have the opportunities to participate in a wide range of activities centered on the wilderness environment of the area. The Innoko National Wildlife Refuge is just to the west of the town and focuses on conservation of animals such as peregrine falcons, moose, salmon and bears. Opportunities for gold panning, hiking, mountain biking, hunting and rafting exist within the immediate area around McGrath depending upon the time of year of your visit. In addition to the Iditarod Sled Dog race, the town also serves as a checkpoint for the Iron Dog Snow Machine Race.
History of McGrath, Alaska
The original town of McGrath, Alaska sits across the Kuskokwim River from its present location. Old town McGrath was established as a trading post in 1904, named after a local United States Marshal, Peter McGrath. Shortly after, gold was discovered in the area. After 1925, gold mining significantly declined along with traffic through the town. In 1933, a major flood caused a number of residents to move across the river to the present location. By 1940, an airport and school were opened. McGrath continued on its path to becoming a regional hub for the area that it is today.