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The Mat-Su Valley refers to an area northeast of Anchorage and south of the Alaska Range of mountains. However it includes the northern section of the Chugach Mountains which are rugged and dramatic. It also has a large concentration of aspen forests which are beautiful in the fall. The Matanuska River flowing from the Matanuska Glacier is the centerpiece, but there are interesting sites throughout including the Independence Mine, near Hatcher Pass, one of the last gold mines to operate commercially in the US.

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