Talkeetna Alaska is a small town with a lot to offer. This is the staging area for most climbing expeditions to Denali but also the most popular town in Alaska to take a flightseeing tour of Denali and the Alaska Range. Visitors can enjoy rafting or jet boat tours of the local rivers or just wander the historic streets of this charming Alaska town.
Talkeetna was established as a mining town and trading post even before Wasilla or Anchorage existed. The Talkeetna and Chulitna Rivers join the Susitna River at the end of Main Street and the town takes its name from an Indian word K’Dalkitnu, meaning, “rivers of plenty.” Talkeetna is at the end of a 14 mile spur road off the Parks Highway. Turn off the Parks highway at mile 99 to reach Talkeetna.
Legends, lore and history abound in Talkeetna. It is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and several of its buildings are historical landmarks. Discover fascinating stories of Talkeetna’s past, Denali climbers, and frontier living as you stroll through the Downtown Historic District. Perhaps stopping in at the Fairview Inn to whet your whistle, where President Harding did as much when he paid the town a visit in 1923. Many artisans, crafters and musicians make this their home.
Summer events include ‘Moose on Parade’, which has local residents decorate moose cut outs and place them around Talkeetna. Pick up a map marking locations of the moose from one of the stores in town or at the Chamber’s info kiosk. The event ends with a ‘Moose Art’ parade on the 4th of July followed by an auction.
Mountain climbers from all over the world come to Talkeetna to challenge Denali (Formerly called Mt. McKinley), adding an international flavor to the town. Scenic flights are offered by local air services, giving visitors the opportunity to see North America’s tallest mountain up close or even make a Glacier Landing. There are more Denali flightseeing tour companies based out of Talkeetna than Denali National Park, due to the larger airport facility. Visitors can explore the Talkeetna Historical Society Museum, which includes a relief model of Denali, showing the different climbing routes used by the many mountaineers who chose to climb this challenging mountain.
The Alaska Railroad stops in Talkeetna, which is a popular stop on the way from Anchorage to Denali National Park. The train ride is 3 hours from Anchorage and 4.5 hours to Denali from Talkeetna.