Talkeetna | Mat-Su
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 the 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 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.
Is Talkeetna Worth Visiting?
Absolutely! For a small town, there is a surprising number of activities for visitors. flightseeing tours of Denali are the most popular, but there are also jetboat tours with Mahay’s, river rafting, zipline tours and even a number of small museums. I can’t think of another small town that has more to offer.
How far is Talkeetna Alaska from Anchorage?
Talkeetna is 113 mile from Anchorage. 99 miles on the Parks Highway and 14 miles on the Talkeetna Spur Road.
Can you see Denali from Talkeetna?
Yes! There are a number of excellent places to see Denali from Talkeetna. The first recommended viewpoint is at mile 13 of the Talkeetna Spur Road, just before you reach town. You can also get a clear view of Denali from Talkeetna Riverfront Park at the west end of town. Or, if you want to enjoy a view of Denali with a drink in your hand, check out the deck of the Talkeetna Alaskan Lodge.