The quirky town of Talkeetna is one of Alaska’s most alluring cities. Ideal for adrenaline junkies, outdoor enthusiasts, and culture aficionados, Talkeetna has plenty of activities to keep even the pickiest of travelers occupied. Talkeetna is easily one of the best places in Alaska to visit. It has become one of our favorite spots in Alaska.
Whether you’re hiking up Mount McKinley or shopping for antiques downtown, you’re guaranteed to enjoy the blissful surroundings and attractions Talkeetna is famously known for. Here are some of the best things to do in Talkeetna.
Where is Talkeetna?
Located in Southwestern Alaska, Talkeetna is approximately 115 miles north of Anchorage. This charming town sits at the foothills of Alaska’s tallest mountain peak, Denali, and at the confluence of the Susitna, Chulitna, and Talkeetna rivers.
The closest international airport is the Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport, while domestic flights can arrive at the Minchumina Airport and the Nikolai Airport.
Due to its proximity to Fairbanks, Anchorage, and the Denali National Park and Preserve, Talkeetna is the perfect destination for a road trip stopover or a relaxing weekend away.
This little town quickly became one of, if not our favorite stop on our Alaska Roadtrip.
1. Take a Scenic Flight Glacier Landing Tour
Admire the snow-capped peaks and flowing glaciers with a glacier landing tour of Denali National Park. This scenic flight tour takes you over the majestic landscape around the Alaska Range and Susitna Valley, before making a quick pit stop at one of the glaciers.
After disembarking from the plane, you’ll have some time to explore the icy area on foot. As one of the most unique things to do in Talkeetna, you won’t want to skip this memorable outdoor adventure! Click here to view all scenic flight options in Talkeetna.
2. Visit Nagley’s General Store
Nagley’s General Store has been an iconic landmark in Talkeetna for almost 100 years. It was originally built to serve gold miners and fur trappers in the early 1900s. The building was constructed from logs and other local materials, but a fire in 1997 burned the store to the ground.
However, Nagley’s General Store was rebuilt in just four months thanks to the help of local volunteers. Stop by for a cup of Kaladi Brothers coffee, hand-made ice cream, or other sweet and savory treats.
3. Sled Dog Tours
Dog mushing isn’t just for competitive athletes. In Talkeetna, you can race a pack of huskies through the wilderness on a sled dog tour. Experience the thrill of gliding through the forests and snow-capped hills on the back of a sled with your professional guide dogs leading the way.
If you travel to Alaska during the summer, you can still participate in dog mushing by cruising along in the dryland race rigs. Best of all, most companies end their tours with a playdate with several Husky pups!
4. Byers Lake
With the spectacular 20,000-foot Denali looming in the background, the tranquil Byers Lake is a must-see during your trip to Talkeetna. Despite its relatively small size, Byers Lake is the perfect location for an afternoon of water sports.
Spend the day kayaking or canoeing (motorized boats are strictly prohibited), or try your hand at trout or burbot fishing. If you’re hoping to spend a few extra days hanging around the lake, there are campsites and cabins available for overnight stays.
5. Sport and River Fishing
The three rivers that flow through the center of Talkeetna are teeming with a variety of marine life, making it an ideal destination for fishing. If you’re in Alaska between May and October, you can join a fishing charter tour, where you’ll have access to over 100-miles of open water to drop your line into.
Fish for sockeye salmon, river trout, arctic grayling, and dozens of other species. Although some fish are for catch and release only, a day out on the water is a great way to experience an authentic Alaskan activity.
6. Talkeetna Riverfront Park
For panoramic views over the Chulitna, Susitna, and Talkeetna Rivers, go for a relaxing stroll along the picturesque Talkeetna Riverfront Park. During the summer months, you’ll see rafters and boaters cruising along the waves.
In winter, the riverfront park also becomes a popular destination for dog mushing and snowshoeing. No matter what season you visit, you’ll be rewarded with striking views of the Denali, Hunter, and Foraker peaks in the foreground.
7. Denali Brewing Company and Tasting Room
After an exhilarating day out in nature, stop by the Denali Brewing Company and Tasting Room for a freshly-poured pint of beer. With over 20 taps on rotation each day, you’ll have no problem finding a brew that delights your tastebuds. Chuli Stout, Mother Blonde Ale, and Twister Creek IPA are just a few favorites you won’t want to miss out on.
8. Talkeetna Historical Society Museum
Learn more about Talkeetna’s extensive history and colorful culture with a visit to the Talkeetna Historical Society Museum. The on-site exhibits and galleries showcase the fascinating history of aviators, gold miners, fur-trappers, and other influential careers and businesses in Alaska. There’s also information on Denali and other peaks in the Alaska Range, as well as an exhibit on mountaineering and winter sports.
The building of the museum is also worth noting; it’s a historic school building used in the mid-1930s. Don’t forget to stop by the museum store to pick up Alaska Railroad memorabilia or other Talkeetna souvenirs to take back home.
9. Jet Boat Adventure
Explore the depths of the Sustina, Chulitna, or Talkeetna River with a thrilling jet boat adventure. Hop aboard an Alaskan jet boat and speed down the river while admiring the scenic landscape around you. Take pictures of the iconic Denali peak, travel through the Chulitna River Gorge, or spot wildlife like grizzly bears and eagles from the comfort of your enclosed ride.
Some tours even include a nature walk or trek, where you’ll be able to see native settlers and authentic cabins. With dozens of jet boat tours to choose from, you can customize your itinerary to make sure you see everything the picturesque surroundings of Talkeetna have to offer!
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