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Talkeetna lies at the end of a spur road near Mile 99 of the Parks Highway. The town maintains a Wild West vibe with a small, unpaved downtown area surrounding a central green. Lucky is the traveler who gets a few sunny days—Denali looms over the town, begging to be photographed. Mountaineers congregate here to begin their assaults on Mt. McKinley in Denali National Park; those just off
the mountain are recognizable by their tanned faces with sunglasses lines. The Denali mountain rangers have their climbing headquarters here, as do most glacier pilots who fly climbing parties to the mountain. A carved pole at the town cemetery honors deceased mountaineers.
This community of a few more than 500 residents is the gateway to Wrangell–St. Elias National Park and Preserve. It's 124 miles from Glennallen...