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A few topics regarding the drive from Anchorage to Denali.

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It sounds like from reading the posts that the train trip from Anchorage to Denali is quite a bit longer and that your lodging choices are more limited so will rent a car in Anchorage. How far from the airport are the off premises car rental locations located, and can you take a shuttle or taxi to get from the airport to these locations?
Are there any particular stops or sights that you might recommend on the drive from Anchorage to Denali?
Either up to Denali or on the way back I plan to stop at Talkeetna for a flightseeing tour of Mt. Mckinely and possibly the glacier stop. Do you have any recommendations on specific fligthseeing companies, and do these tour companies fly in all weather conditions?

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    How far from the airport are the off premises car rental locations located

    There's a Budget outlet near the corner of W. International Airport Road and Spenard Road, maybe half-mile from the terminals.

    can you take a shuttle or taxi to get from the airport to these locations?

    What we always did was stay first night at a hotel on Spenard close to the airport (there are maybe 10-12 hotels there in a wide range of prices) so we could take a free shuttle to the hotel, then next day we would either walk a short distance to Budget for the car or, the times it was somehow cheaper, take the shuttle back to the airport to get the car. This saves one day's payment on the rental.

    You could take a taxi if you are renting further away from the airport. I think some of the far off-site places offer free airport pick-up but don't know the details since we always either rented on Spenard or at the airport.

    Are there any particular stops or sights that you might recommend on the drive from Anchorage to Denali?

    We always stopped in Wasila for 'provisions' -- bottled water, sodas, snacks for the Denali bus rides, etc -- there's a Wal-Mart on your left and a short distance further a Fred Meyer on your right. Easier to stop in Wasila than to find the Wal-Mart in Anchorage and it breaks the trip up a little bit.

    There are a couple of pull-outs on your left in the State Park after you've passed Wasila with great views of McKinley from the south that you shouldn't miss, if the mountain is 'out'.

    do these (Talkeetna flight) tour companies fly in all weather conditions?

    No, they are small planes flying by sight rules so if it's cloudy they won't go up. We've tried to fly out of Talkeetna three times and never gotten off the ground.

    Even if you can't fly a visit to Talkeetna is worthwhile though.

    Either up to Denali or on the way back I plan to stop at Talkeetna for a flightseeing tour of Mt. Mckinely

    My advice is the first clear day you get do the flight, whether on the way up or while you are up there (we did ours from Kantishna and they are also offered from the entrance) or on the way back. Often the mountain is socked in for days so don't put off the flight-seeing on a clear day thinking you'll do it later.

    Most short-time visitors don't actually see the mountain (I've heard just 1 in 3 chance) because of the weather.

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