Cantwell, Alaska

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Cantwell was a railway flag stop at the junction with the Denali Highway. The original town is off the Parks Highway. It is a census-designated place (CDP) in Denali Borough, Alaska, United States. As of the 2000 census, the population of the CDP is 222.

Cantwell is the western terminus of the Denali Highway.



Cantwell is named after Jim Cantwell, a worker on The Alaska Railroad. Prior to the settlement, the only inhabitants of the Cantwell area were nomadic Athabascan Native Alaskans who hunted and fished. In their language they named Cantwell Yede'teni'na. The town began as a flag stop on the Alaska Railroad. Oley Nicklie, a Native Alaskan, sought work with the railroad after fur prices dropped. He and his two brothers then founded the settlement.[1] Cantwell is 20 miles away from a giant abandoned igloo hotel.[2]

Cantwell served as a filming location for the 2007 movie Into The Wild.


Cantwell is located at 63°23′17″N 148°54′1″W / 63.38806°N 148.90028°W / 63.38806; -148.90028 (63.388000, -148.900204)[3].

According to the United States Census Bureau, the CDP has a total area of 118.7 square miles (307.5 km²), of which, 118.3 square miles (306.3 km²) of it is land and 0.5 square miles (1.2 km²) of it (0.40%) is water.


As of the census[4] of 2000, there are 222 people, 102 households, and 59 families residing in the CDP. The population density is 1.9 people per square mile (0.7/km²). There are 178 housing units at an average density of 1.5/sq mi (0.6/km²). The racial makeup of the CDP is 65.32% White, 0.45% Black or African American, 22.52% Native American, 1.80% Asian, 0.90% from other races, and 9.01% from two or more races. 1.35% of the population are Hispanic or Latino of any race.

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