Talkeetna

Population: 876.

Located at the end of 14-mile-long Talkeetna Spur Road, which junctions with the Parks Highway at Milepost A 98.7 Parks Highway. The Spur Road deadends at Talkeetna’s Main Street. Talkeetna is situated at the confluence of the Talkeetna, Susitna and Chulitna rivers.

Visitor Information:
Stop by the Talkeetna Historical Society Museum, which acts as an unofficial visitor center. The Historical Society has created a free downtown walking tour app, available on Android or iTunes. Look for “Talkeetna Historic Downtown Walking Tour” and download the free app then download the tour.

Learn fascinating mountaineering history and information at Walter Harper Talkeetna Ranger Station, on B Street.

Talkeetna began as a trading post in 1896, and grew as a riverboat supply base following the Susitna River gold rush in 1910. The population boomed during construction of the Alaska Railroad, but declined following completion of the project. Talkeetna is the jumping-off point for most climbing expeditions to Mount McKinley (Denali) and local air services also offer flightseeing trips to the mountain. Jet boat trips to Devil’s Canyon are also an attraction here. Talkeetna is known for its highly creative citizenry (they officially elected a cat as mayor of the town), imaginative shops and businesses.

Lodging & Services

For such a small community, Talkeetna offers some wonderful dining and accommodations. It has 4 motels/hotels, hostels, many bed and breakfasts, gorgeous log cabins, and rooms at the roadhouse; see ads this section. Talkeetna restaurants include family style at the Talkeetna Roadhouse, gourmet pizza and Italian tinged options at the Mountain High Pizza Pie, fantastic breakfasts and gluten free/fresh baking at Flying Squirrel Bakery and Cafe and so many other choices, including dining at the Swiss Alaska Inn. Gas is available at Mile 10.4 on the Spur Road. Bike rentals available at south edge of town. The general store carries groceries, deli items, beer and wine and other items. There are a number of locally owned and operated gift shops and galleries.

Tent camping is available at Talkeetna River park downtown or tent and RV camping at the public boat launch. The Talkeetna Camper Park is a full service RV park a short walk from downtown.

Attractions:

  • Flightsee Denali: Several airlines such as K2 AviationTalkeetna Air Taxi, and Sheldon Air Service offer flightseeing tours of Denali and surrounding area.
  • Special events include the winter festival includes the charity fundraising bachelor auction and wilderness woman contest.
  • Historical and regional displays include an impressive 12-foot-by-12 foot scale model of Denali (formerly Mount McKinley) with Bradford Washburn photographs, early buildings, exhibits on railroad construction, homesteading and prospecting and a mountaineering display (at Talkeetna Historical Society Museum).
  • Take the Alaska Railroad’s flag-stop train, “The Hurricane Turn,” out to the backcountry and back.
  • Take a riverboat tours up Talkeetna Canyon, Devils Canyon, Chulitna River and Talkeetna River with Mahay’s Jet Boats Adventures tour company.
  • Go fishing with Phantom Tri-River Charters.