Talkeetna, population 876, makes for an convenient stop on the way from Anchorage to Denali.
  • Talkeetna, population 876, makes for an convenient stop on the way from Anchorage to Denali.
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A short jaunt north of Anchorage, Alaska, is the quaint town of Talkeetna, considered the jumping-off point for climbers looking to tackle Mt. McKinley.

Talkeetna suddenly swells in size starting in April through July. That's when the mountain climbers flock to the frontier to get ready to conquer the 12,320-foot Mt. McKinley. A trip to Denali State Park is also an option, as it’s only 45 miles from Talkeetna. Denali National Park is roughly three hours up the road.

There’s so much to do here! I enjoyed the 16-site historic town walking tour, where visitors can experience how the miners and trappers lived. Talkeetna's core downtown area is classified as a National Historic Site; buildings including Nagley's General Store (pictured), Fairview Inn and the Talkeetna Roadhouse date from the early 1900s. "Downtown" Talkeetna offers tasty restaurants, gift shops and cozy lodging.

Because the town is located at the confluence of three rivers, water activities predominate in the warmer months. Fishing excursions, float trips down the river, jet boat safaris and canoe or kayaking tours all offer scenic adventure. Many visitors choose to take a flight-seeing trip.

No matter what you do, you’re bound to be charmed by the town. As the local saying goes, Talkeetna "helps visitors fall in love with Alaska."

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