Talkeetna is one of the gateways to Denali National Park and known as the staging area for climbers to begin their ascent of mighty Mt. McKinley. Once you arrive, a myriad of recreational opportunities beckon. Talkeetna serves as headquarters for climbing expeditions to Denali (Mt. McKinley), which, at 20,320 feet (6,194 meters), is the tallest mountain in North America. The mountains, rivers, glaciers, and meadows in the area provide superb sight seeing, especially by air. There is no way to describe the experience of a flight over Denali, the most amazing journey I have ever been on.
Talkeetna has been said to be the model for Cicely, Alaska—the quirky little town featured in the TV show "Northern Exposure." If that's not true, it could have been.
The Talkeetna and Chulitna Rivers join the Susitna River at Talkeetna, an Indian word meaning "where the rivers join." Originally the site of a Tanaina Indian village, Talkeetna began as a mining town and trading post in 1896, before either Wasilla or Anchorage existed. A gold rush to the Susitna River brought prospectors to the area, and by 1910, Talkeetna became a riverboat steamer station bringing in supplies to miners and trappers. In 1915, Talkeetna was chosen as the site for the Alaska Engineering Commission, who would build the Alaska Railroad, and the community peaked near 1,000. World War I and completion of the railroad in 1919 dramatically decreased the population. Several of its old log buildings are historical landmarks, and Talkeetna was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in April 1993.
Current History… time to make your own “Talkeetna memories”
- Stay awhile – Talkeetna is the perfect location to set up your “base camp” for your Alaska adventures. You will find many of the “must do” adventures are based out of the Talkeetna area. Whether you come to enjoy the many outdoor activities or simply to bask in the atmosphere of a small outpost in the Alaskan wilderness, you'll love your visit to "Beautiful Downtown Talkeetna."
- View Denali
Surprise, sometimes the best view of Denali is in Talkeetna. This is because the southern side of Denali is often more visible than the northern side. Air tours are available from both ends of the mountain, and while the biggest thrill may be the close-up sight of Denali (Mt McKinley) itself, these tours are packed with topographical drama from start to finish. From the sky, stunning glaciers -- rivers of ice -- are dramatically visible.
Talkeetna Air Taxi
Talkeetna is the access point for many beautiful trails. Take a peaceful walk and look for Alaskan plants and wildlife.
Alaska Nature Guides
- Local Entertainment
Take time to enjoy the people. In summer you will find music most nights of the week. Enjoy the fun in July at the 4th of July Parade featuring the Moose on Parade.
- Winter in Talkeetna is amazing
December we watch the skies for snow for Winterfest, with contests, music and fun.including the Mountain Woman Contest, Talkeetna Bachelor Auction. March brings the Iditarod, and the Oosik Classic Ski Race. Xcountry skiers enjoy numerous groomed trails, skiing on rivers with views of the Mtn. Snowmachiners have many trails to choose including a quick river access to the Petersville Road and on to Denali. Enjoy our great snow conditions by day, and Talkeetna entertainment at night.
- Talkeetna hosts a great talented artist community, be sure to see if there is entertainment scheduled presented by the Denali Arts Council.
- Live at 5 - is a great weekly summer event. Every Friday beginning at 5pm a local musician will entertain you while you can enjoy our small town atmosphere. This event brings the young and old alike together to enjoy a summer evening.
Instruction / Classes - art and more
- Our local community is artist haven, the local artist share their passion in selling their work at local galleries and shops but in addition offer classes through our newly founded ALASKA FOLK SCHOOL - Northern Susitna Institute (NSI) offers a number of classes that change regularly. Bring friends, sign up for a class and spend some time in Talkeetna. Be sure to check the website often, or better yet get on the email list so you won't miss any news.
- Have you considered: Flight Lessons, Mountaineering Classes, Pie Making Class, Drama Classes, Music Classes. Talkeetna businesses and organizations offer these and more. Contact Kathy for more information.
Take a tour of Talkeetna's two museums, the Museum of Northern Adventure and the Little Red Schoolhouse Museum. - Be sure to visit the Forest Service office and view the movie clip on climbing Denali. Another must do is The Don Sheldon Story which plays daily at 3:30 to 4:15 at the Hanger, its the next best thing to climbing the mountain. Talkeetna Historical Society
- Water Water Everywhere
Three glacier-fed rivers meet at Talkeetna- the Susitna, Chulitna and the Talkeetna. This offers a variety of water adventures: Float Trips, Jet boat tours, fishing, wilderness canoeing and kayaking. See spawning salmon, beaver dams, bald eagles and their nests, and ferns draping the rivers banks. The Talkeetna River is a glacially fed stream, with cold, swift water. Weather permitting views of Mt. McKinley (Denali) while on the rivers.
- Experience premier sportfishing in Talkeetna.
Your fishing guide will take you to the best fishing spots around. Expert and novice anglers will enjoy fishing for five species of salmon, Rainbow Trout, Dolly Varden, and Grayling.
Talkeetna Fishing Guides
Phantom Salmon / Tri River Fishing Guides
- Sled Dog Kennel Tour and Cart Ride
Don't miss this opportunity to visit a kennel with working sled dogs. Upon arrival at the kennel guests will meet several Alaskan huskies. Guests then have the opportunity to take a cart ride with an Iditarod team in training. The sled dogs are hooked up to the front of the cart, much like they are to the front of the sled, and off you go. The cart ride is approximately 4 miles in length along tree-lined trails. Upon returning to the kennel, guests will hear from an Iditarod competitor about the winter gear used for both the mushers and their dogs, not to mention strategy for the last great race. The tour concludes with a visit from the newest additions to the kennel the puppies!