THINGS TO DO IN TALKEETNA, AK
A popular stop on the Alaska Railroad, and the final stop before climbing Denali, Talkeetna has attracted a flow of visitors from all over the World for decades, creating a fun-loving, artistic, and open-minded community. Not planning on climbing North America’s largest peak, no worries, there’s plenty to do in beautiful Talkeetna!
Denali flight-seeing tours, dog sled rides, ATV tours, zip-lining, and plenty of river activities (fishing, rafting, jet-boat tours) complement Talkeetna’s quaint shops, museums, restaurants, and pubs to make it a MUST VISIT for anyone on their dream Alaskan vacation.
There’s plenty to do during the Summer and Winter too!
Click below to view a few of our favorite activities:
Talkeetna Inn has partnered with several different shops and tourism operations to provide guests with discounts, and is available to assist you in booking whatever activities you’re interested in.
As guests of the Talkeetna Inn, you’re eligible for discounts at these local tour operators/shops:
K2 Aviation- $25 OFF (Promo Code: TALKEETNA INN)- www.flyk2.com
Talkeetna Air Taxi- $25 OFF (Discount Cards at Hotel)- www.talkeetnaair.com
Mahay’s Jet Boat Adventures- 10% off- www.mahaysriverboat.com
Mountain High Pizza- Free dessert with pizza purchase- www.pizzapietalkeetna.com
High Expedition- 10% off- www.thehighexpedition.com
North Shore Cyclery- 20% off- https://www.northshorecyclery.bike/
Creations By Abe, local artist- 10% off- https://www.facebook.com/Alaskan-creations-by-abe-1975479605866821/
Uncle Leroy’s Coffee Bus- 10% off coffee- http://www.uncleleroyscoffee.com/coffeebar
Some of our personal favorite Summer activities are:
Flightseeing Tour with Glacier Landing
Many people that do this tour claim it was the highlight of their trip to Alaska. No other place on Earth has the scale and vertical relief of the Alaska Range. Denali and its sister peaks dominate the scene as you soar amongst the mountain peaks, glaciers, and ridgelines. We normally recommend Talkeetna Air Taxi, as they conduct more glacier landings than any other company in the world.
Mahay’s Jet Boat Adventure
With tours ranging from 2 hours to 5 hours, you should definitely plan to fit a jet boat trip into your itinerary. The captains offer a very historic and insightful look into the history of the area and the people have lived it, and still currently are. The tour includes a simple hike through the forest with a naturalist, who will explain the local flora and fauna, as well as a visit to a reproduction Athabascan camp and a trapper’s cabin to learn how they lived their lives.
You can couple your journey with a ride down the Alaska Railroad’s Hurricane Turn train, which is America’s last, and one of the oldest, flag stop lines. The ride leads you past homesteaders roughing in the woods, then on a tour of Curry, a very popular resort town in the 1900’s which burned to the ground. It’s often called the Alaska Railroad’s best kept secret. After, you will take a jet boat tour all the way back to Talkeetna.
The Devil’s Canyon tour is an incredible experience that will lead you up through class 5 rapids and offer views of nearly vertical walls of class 6 rapids.
Denali Zipline Tour
What better for the thrill seekers out there than zipping through the canopies in a boreal forest? In between each line you ride down, there’s viewing platforms as well as suspension bridges that offer stunning views of the Alaskan Range. The certified guides here are very knowledgeable, friendly, and informative of the geographical, natural, and local history, sharing stories of gold miners, bush pilots, and quirky locals.
North Shore Cyclery
Talkeetna still very much thrives in the winter. Aside from being a hub for snow machine adventures, or other standard Alaskan winter activities like cross country skiing, dog sled runs, or gazing at the northern lights, Talkeetna has many other events going on throughout the Winter.
Here’s a list of some our favorite events that make the Winter’s here special.
Talkeetna Bachelor Auction, Wilderness Woman Contest, and the Talkeetna Parade of Lights (Dec 6th &7th , 2019)
It all started off as a ploy to get more women into the Fairview Inn in the 1980’s and now has grown into over $20,000 being raised in a single night for charity. 30-40 men are auctioned off at the Community Arts Hangar filled with screaming women. The purchase of a bachelor will get you a drink and a dance at the Bachelor Ball that immediately follows the auction. Many of the bachelors will have additional items, excursions or certificates up on the block with them. These men come from all walks of life, including mechanics, firemen, loggers, pilots, miners, guides, businessmen, carpenters, geologists, teachers and more. Bachelors range in age from 21 to 70. Although the bachelors themselves are not married, all ladies are encouraged to attend, no matter their relationship status!
The weekend kicks off with the Wilderness Woman Contest. In 1986, Pam Rannals created the Wilderness Woman Contest in order to allow women to show off their uniquely Alaskan skill sets. The events include hauling water down Main St, making a sandwich and delivering it with a beer to a bachelor in waiting and followed by sawing and hauling wood. The last round is full of adventure! Fishing, snowshoeing, shooting “ptarmigan”, ringing the dinner bell and shooting a moose!
Once night falls, the locals come out and party down Main St with the Parade of Lights. Local businesses, groups, and societies all band together, build floats and put on a show. It’s certainly not to be missed.
Taste of Talkeetna (Dec. 14th, 2019)
On the second Saturday of the December Taste of Talkeetna takes place. An annual event featuring Talkeetna’s restaurants and watering holes! Participants travel door to door trying special menu items and beverages from local establishments. You visit each of the seven restaurants between 4 p.m. and 8 p.m. Then, you make your way back to the Fairview Inn, where your ticket becomes your entry for several prize packages being given away, including flightseeing trips, jetboat trips, overnight packages and much more.
Iditarod Restart (March 8th, 2020)
On the first Sunday of March, the Iditarod Restart happens. While the Iditarod does not actually restart in Talkeetna, many people choose to stay here because Willow is only an hour away and has very limited accommodations. Many mushers live in Talkeetna as well, including 3 time champion Dallas Seavey.
Fat Tire Bike Race (March 14th, 2020)
On the second Saturday of March fat tire cyclist come in from all over Alaska to compete in this exciting race. The course features beautiful and challenging rolling terrain with approximately 1200′ of climbing per lap and each lap goes through downtown Talkeetna. Start and Finish will be at Denali Brewing Company.
Oosik Classic (March 21st, 2020)
On the third Saturday of March, around 750 people take to the tracks for this funky ski race. People often dress up in costumes and it’s followed by a party at the Community Arts Hangar. The race is held on the 3rd Saturday of March every year. The race course varies from year to year. Oosik distances are approximate but are generally a 25km and 50km race. The 50km is a single loop added to the 25K.