Talkeetna is eclectic even by Alaska standards. It seems to be equal parts tourist trap, Alaska bush town and mountaineering jump off point. On a summer day Main Street is literally jammed with tourists. Mixed in with the tourists you will also see some folks walking around in latest Mountain Hardware gear and you will see quads coming in from the roadless bush with dad, mom, junior and a mountain of dirty cloths, heading for the laundry.
If you are climbing Mt. McKinley or camping on Ruth Glacier or heading into any other mountaineering destinations in or around Denali, this is the most likely and most popular departure point.
Talkeetna has a tiny population of 772 but by car is a few hours from Anchorage, the largest city in Alaska.
Walk the entire two blocks to the end of main street and you come to River Park another 100 yards and you are at the river, if its clear, you will see why mountaineers are drawn to Talkeetna, it's proximity to Denali National Park and Mt. McKinley.
||The view of Denali from the end of Main St
By Road 2.5 hours from Anchorage.
Take the Glenn Highway to the Parks Highway to the Talkeetna Spur Road at about mile 99.
: 800-544-0552. Denali Star - one northbound and one southbound per day mid-May through mid-September. Northbound leaves Anchorage at 8 am arrives Talkeetna around 11:30 am. Southbound departs Talkeetna 4:30 pm and arrives Anchorage around 8:30 pm. Cab fare in Anchorage between the airport and the depot is about $20. There is no taxi in Talkeetna, so if you'll be needing a ride from the Talkeetna depot to your lodging you'll be walking. Being the small town that it is, I bet if you asked the first few people you met, you and your gear could get a ride to where ever you want to go for the price of telling your story. Train ride is beautiful & relaxing, runs about $80.
Shuttles are available to get you from Anchorage to Talkeetna
(Tom): 800-651-5221, based in Talkeetna, not on a fixed schedule, priced by number of people ($75 per person with 4 person min, or charter rate)
The Shuttle Man (Steve): 907-677-8537, custom runs, priced by number of people
The Purple Shuttle
(Gary): 907-644-8098 or 907-240-7980, custom runs, priced by number of people ($85 per person for 2 or more passengers), maybe 877-477-6250
Alaska-Yukon Trails: 800-770-7275, based in Fairbanks, partial schedule in winter (rates in summer are very reasonable), travels to downtown Talkeetna only with advance notice and paid reservation.
Alaska Bus Guy
(Ron): 907-677-9612, runs on waste veggie oil, schedule is posted on his website (leaves Anchorage early in the a.m.), travels to downtown Talkeetna only with advance notice.
: 800-208-0200, Mid-May to mid-Sept., Talkeetna Alaskan Lodge is their "depot" in Talkeetna, which is about a mile out of town. $65, nice, comfortable. Has been a popular choice.
Alaska Mountaineering School has a mounataineering gear store
Alaska Mountaineering and Hiking
Fly in to a glacier base camp (or at least take a flightseeing ride)
From Talkeetna you could do as the pioneers did and walk into the mountains but the reality is that everyone flies in their load of gear to a glacier to set up base camp
Hudson Air 907-733-2321,
K2 Aviation 907-733-2291,
Talkeetna Aero Services 800-660-2688
Talkeetna Air Taxi
|Talkeetna Air Taxi
||Fair weather flying
|Unloading gear at Broken Tooth camp
Guides Alaska Mountaineering School
907-733-1016. I went out for a week with these guys. I had a great experience. They are a first class outfit that delivers what they promise.
PO Box 566, 3rd Street
Talkeetna, AK 99676
American Alpine Institute
Camp in the shadow of Broken Tooth. The ridge line on the left is Broken Tooth, just right of the ridge is Bear's Tooth peaking out and then just right of center is Mooses Tooth
There's not much in the way of grocery stores or super markets. So buy the what you need in Anchorage. Nagley's store is on Main Street, you can get ice cream, canned goods and beer.
Places to stay
Lots of choices here, I stayed at Pat's "House of Seven Trees", right on Main street. 25 bucks for a bunk and a clean hot shower, towels provided, and by throwing in an extra buck I got 4 farm fresh eggs and cooked myself a nice breakfast in the large hostel style kitchen. Rooms also available.
House of Seven Trees
101 Main St
The Road House
This website maintains a list of places to stay, in and around Talkeetna
The Road House, see the comment from Liba who stayed here
There is a campground right at the end of Main Street, about 10 sites for 10 bucks a night. I will try to get some contact info for this.
Heading into Denali National Park? Check into the Talkeetna Ranger Station
B Street, don't worry about the address you wont need it. 907-733-2231
links and resources
Denali National Park Talkeetna office
Alaska Department of Natural Resources
list of parks near Talkeetna
Talkeetna Chamber of Commerce