Are you thinking of making a stop in Talkeetna Alaska? Looking for all the things to do in Talkeetna? As you create your Alaska itinerary and are headed to/from Denali National Park, Talkeetna AK is a great detour.
In this post, we will plan a perfect day in Talkeetna. We will explore why visiting Talkeetna is worth it and all the fun things to do in Talkeetna. It is such a great stop!
Let’s learn a little more about Talkeetna Alaska and all the fun things to do in Talkeetna!
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Where is Talkeenta Alaska?
Talkeetna Alaska is a halfway point if you are traveling from Anchorage to Denali. It takes about 2 hours to drive from Anchorage to Talkeetna. If you are headed from Talkeetna to Denali it is about 2 and a half hours.
Off the Beaten Path
Talkeetna, AK is off the beaten path from the main highway. It takes about 15-20 minutes to get to downtown Talkeetna.
What is Talkeetna Known For?
Talkeetna is referred to as the gateway to Denali. Most people who wish to climb Denali congregate in Talkneeta before ascending to the top to the mountain. It is also a great stop before or after exploring Denali National and State Parks.
Is Talkeetna Worth Visiting?
Yes, Talkeetna is worth the extra 30 minutes to/from the main highway. Why? you ask. Well, if you want to fly over Denali this is where you can find the best flightseeing tours in the area. (we will talk more about the tour later)
If a white water rafting trip is on your Alaska bucket list, Talkeetna’s prices are much lower than those companies located closer to Denali National Park. (I will tell you why in a second.)
Talkeetna, AK is what I imagined what Alaska would be like (think 90’s show Northern Exposure) It is a little town with cute shops and fun activities. It is a great place to eat and have fun!
Fun Facts About Talkeetna
The name Talkeetna means “where the rivers meet”. This town is older than Anchorage or Wasilla. It was established as a mining town in 1896.
Another cool thing about Talkeetna is many movies and shows such as The Amazing Race have been filmed in Talkeetna Alaska.
How Many Days Do I Need in Talkeetna?
1-2 days is a good amount of time. We spent one day in Talkeetna.
If you booked a few activities such as a flight to Denali, a river rafting trip, and a fishing trip, two days is the perfect amount of time.
Talkeetna Alaska is small but you could easily keep yourself busy with all of the outdoor recreation activities available in this area.
Accommodations in Talkeetna Alaska
The majority of lodging in this area is cabins. There are also lodging options above the local stores. We decided not to spend the night in Talkeetna and planned a day trip to Talkeetna. There are some great cabin options in and around Talkeetna, AK.
Things to Do in Talkeetna
Talkeetna Alaska is the perfect place to do some outdoor recreation. The beautiful Susitna River is centrally located in downtown Talkeetna. There are also many great things to do in Talkeetna. The most popular activities in Talkeetna are:
Shop in Talkeetna Alaska
We went to Talkeetna in the summertime. The weather was perfect around 70 degrees. There are so many fun stores to shop at in downtown Talkeetna. The vibe here is laid back and welcoming.
Honestly, if you love antique shopping or souvenir shopping this is the place. Each of these locally-owned stores has cute merchandise. You could spend a few hours exploring the fun shops in downtown Talkeetna AK!
Enjoy Talkeetna Riverfront Park
After you have shopped around downtown head over to Talkeetna Riverfront Park. This is one of the best things to do in Talkeetna. This is an area where you can take in the beauty of Alaska. Some people like to fish or just walk along the park.
View of Denali
The view of Denali is unbelievable. There is a Denali viewing trail you will follow. You literally walk down Mainstreet downtown and end at the Riverfront Park. The panoramic few is amazing. The best time to visit is early morning or late afternoon. This will give you prime photo opportunities.
Denali Flightseeing in Talkeetna Alaska
I 100% recommend going on a flightseeing tour in the summer. It is incredible!
Talkeetna Alaska Airport
There is a small airport in Talkeetna that offers Denali flightseeing tours. These tours are typically an hour to two hours. You can even upgrade to land on a glacier. It is an experience you will not forget and honestly if you are on a once-in-a-lifetime trip to Alaska……Why not!
I would recommend booking this ahead of time because these flights do sell out.
River Rafting in Talkeetna Alaska
Talkeetna is the point where three rivers meet: Susitna, Talkeetna, and the Chulitna. The Talkeetna River Guides have a store located downtown. You can walk in and make an apt. but I recommend calling and booking ahead of time. There are shorter 2-hour trips as well as extensive 3-day trips available.
Rapid Class Levels
There are all types of class levels of rapids. The shorter excursions are less expensive compared to those closer to Denali because the class level of rapids is not as intense. This is perfect for families with children.
Talkeetna River Guides do have class 3 and 4 rapid tours available with river guides. River rafting is at the top of the list of things to do in Talkeetna.
Things to Do in Talkeetna - Jet Boat Tour
A jet boat excursion is a fun thing to do in Talkeetna. There are a few different options. If you want to make a day of it there is a 5-hour Devil Canyon Tour through Mayah’s They also have 2-hour excursions.
We didn’t get to go on one of these tours but loved watching them zoom up and down the river.
Things to Do in Talkeetna - Fishing
The perfect time to fish in Talkeetna Alaska is mid-July. There are Trophy Rainbow Trout and Chum Salmon.
Places to Fish in Talkeetna Alaska
There are lots of different fishing locations near Talkeetna. If you have your own supplies head to Cache Creek, Larsen Creek, Prairie Creek, or Clear Creek. You could also hire a local fishing guide to take you to some of these amazing locations.
Things to Do in Talkeetna - Dog Sled Tour
Alaska is known for mushing and breeding these incredible Huskies. If you are a dog lover or have a desire to learn more about dog sledding and mushing. There are both summer tours and winter tours available.
These tours are so fascinating and have fantastic reviews. We did not do this in Talkeetna. But we did stop at the Iditarod Museum in Wasilla and went on a dog sled ride. It was incredible! Such a fun experience to do in Alaska!
Things to Do in Talkeetna - Zip Lining
The best zipline tour near Denali National Park is located in Talkeetna. This 3-hour tour has 9 ziplines and 2 suspension bridges. It is hands down one of the best things to do in Talkeetna!
Alaska is so beautiful and zip lining in this area will not disappoint!
Visit the Talkeetna Railroad Bridge
If you have a little extra time and want to explore outside of the downtown area. Head to the Talkeetna Railroad Bridge. This is a great area to take photos, watch speed boats, and just throw rocks in the water!
You can also hike in this area. We hiked along the Railroad Bridge Trail. It was a short hike that is great for kids!
This is a fun family activity in Talkeetna Alaska. Our kids spent a few hours hiking around this area and playing in the rocks and dirt. We loved watching the speedboats cruise by and make big waves. It is a great place for a picnic!
Playgrounds in Talkeetna Alaska
Once you have explored the railroad bridge take your kids over to the Wild Woods Park! It is a fabulous place for kids to play.
23151 Talkeetna Spur Rd.
Our trip to Alaska was a family trip and this stop was a highlight for the younger kids. They loved getting energy out and playing. It is close to the Talkeetna airport, so if you are waiting for some of your families members to get back from a flightseeing tour this is the perfect place to hang out. (This is what we did.)
Things to Eat in Talkeetna
Of all the things to do in Talkeetna, eating at the cute local restaurants is a must! There are so many fun restaurants on the main street of town.
We didn’t have time to try too many places but some of the restaurants that caught my eye were:
- Shirleys Northern Lights Handmade Gourmet Ice Cream
- Conscious – Breakfast All Day Long
- Spinach Bread
- Denali Brew Pub
- The Enchanted Bowl
Help the local economy and grab a meal or snack in Talkeetna Alaska!
Things to Do in Talkeetna Alaska
Are you ready to visit Talkeetna Alaska? There really are so many things to do in Talkeetna. It is a great stop to explore! Did I convince you to go?
Comment below if you know of any other hidden gems in the area!
More Adventures in Alaska
We planned an amazing Alaska itinerary. We started with all the fun things to do in Fairbanks, including a Riverboat tour, and a trip to the North Pole to visit Santa. Then headed to Denali National Park. We stopped in Talkeetna and took a flightseeing tour that actually landed on Mt. Denali. We also spent some time in Anchorage. We took a road trip from Anchorage to Seward. We enjoyed all the things to do in Seward. It was incredible and we loved visiting. We love Alaska and highly recommend planning a trip! If you need help packing for Alaska, I have you covered there as well.
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