Located on at the end of 14-mile-long Talkeetna Spur Road, which junction with the Parks Highway at Milepost A 98.7 Parks Highway then deadends at Talkeetna’s Main Street. Talkeetna is situated at the confluence of the Talkeetna, Susitna and Chulitna rivers.
Visitor Information: Talkeetna/Denali Visitor’s Center on Main Street adjacent Nagley’s General Store. Or contact Talkeetna Chamber of Commerce, ( email), P.O. Box 334, Talkeetna, AK 99676. Talkeetna Ranger Station, P.O. Box 588, Talkeetna, AK 99676; phone (907) 733-2231.
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 and the mystique of its mountaineering community.
Lodging & Services There are several local options for accommodationsand dining, but only one small trading post with groceries and sundries (Nagley’s General Store). Gas is available at Mile 10.4 on the Spur Road. There are a number of locally owned and operated gift shopsand galleries. Tent camping is available at Talkeetna River park downtown or at the public boat launch in East Talkeetna. There is one RV park on the Spur road. Several airlines such as K2 Aviation, Talkeetna Air Taxi, Sheldon Air Serviceand Fly Alaskaoffer flightseeing tours of Mount McKinley and surrounding area. Additional touring options include D & S Alaskan Trail Ridesand Mahay’s Jetboat Adventures.
- Flightsee Mount McKinley (Denali) with local air services in Talkeetna that specialize in the glacier landings necessary to ferry climbers and their equipment to and from the mountain.
- Experience a dog sledding kennel at Huskytown Kennel. Summertime tours without appointment.
- Special events include the Annual Moose Droppings Festival in July and Winterfest, in December. The winter festival includes a bachelor auction and wilderness woman contest.
- Historical and regional displays include an impressive 12-foot-by-12 foot scale model of Mount McKinley with Bradford Washburn photographs, early buildings, and a mountaineering display (at Talkeetna Historical Society Museum); a film on bush pilot Don Sheldon (at Sheldon Community Arts Hangar); exhibits on railroad construction, homesteading and prospecting (at Museum of Northern Adventure).
- Take the Alaska Railroad’sflag-stop train, “The Hurricane Turn,” out to the bush and back.
- Take a riverboat tours up Talkeetna Canyon, Devils Canyon, Chulitna River and Talkeetna River with a local tour company.