Talkeetna's geographic location makes it an ideal basecamp to stay and venture out for day excursions: north to Denali State Park and Denali National Park, or south into the Matanuska Valley.
Trips North of Talkeetna
The section of the Parks Highway between the Talkeetna/Sunshine "Y" at Mile 99 and Denali National Park and Preserve entrance offers some of the best views in the state. It's truly a Scenic Byway. The landscape is scattered with small ponds and lakes, lined by mountain ridges covered by glaciers. Bridges over wild rivers and deep gorges make this drive unforgettable.
Several paved pullouts along the way offer picnic facilities and short trails to hike; most notable are South Denali Viewpoint, Milepost 134.
Lower Troublesome Creek, Milepost 137
Byers Lake Campground and The Alaska Veterans/POW-MIA Memorial, Milepost 147
North Denali Viewpoint, Milepost 162.4
Denali State Park
Byers Lake offers day-use picnic areas and, if you arrive early enough in the day, a hiking trail around the lake (guided or unguided). You can also spend a couple of hours or the whole day on the lake in a rental kayak or canoe (guided or unguided). From the lake and on some areas of the hiking trail, you have up-close views of Mount McKinley's peak.
Denali National Park and Preserve
The Denali Park entrance is at Milepost 237.3. Once inside the park stop at the Wilderness Access Visitor Center to arrange bus transportation into the park. The Murie Science Center and Park Visitor Center offer exhibits and serves as a hub for educational activities (including 1-day courses). Park entrance fees are collected at the visitor center. Private cars are only allowed for the first fifteen miles into the park; buses must be taken to access the rest of the park.
South of TAlkeetna into "the Valley"
On your journey south of Talkeetna you will pass many salmon streams, which contain kings, silvers, graylings and rainbows. Make sure you have a valid Alaska fishing license and know the fishing regulations. It's always best to hire a guide.
Mile 96.3, Montana Creek
Mile 86, Sheep Creek
Mile 57, the Little Susitna River has June King Salmon fishing and Silvers in late July and August
At Mile 71, Parks Highway. A highly recommended summer road trip to scenic alpine country and the historic Independence Mine. This 49 mile-long partially paved road loops over Hatcher Pass (elevation 3,886 feet) between the Glenn Highway and the Parks Highway.
Independence Mine State Historical Park
Mile 17 Hatcher Pass Road, off Fish Hook Road. Park is open 24 hours a day from early June to Labor Day. Visitors Center is open 11 am to 7 pm. $5 parking fee. 907-745-3975 or 907-745-2827. www.dnr.state.ak.us
Access at Mile 70 Park Highway to Willow Creek, Little Willow Creek and Deshka Landing.
Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race Headquarters
Mile 2.2 Knick Road. 8 am to 7 pm daily. Rides available 9 am to 5 pm, mid May to mid September. Winter hours: 8 am to 5 pm, Monday through Friday. Free admission. $10 for dog sled ride. 907-376-5155, ext. 108. www.iditarod.com
Dorothy Page Museum and Historic Town Site
323 Main Street. 9 am to 5 pm, Mondays through Saturdays, May through September 30. Wednesdays through Friday in the winter, $3.00 adults, $2.50 seniors, $2.00 military, 12 yeand under free. 907-373-9071. www.cityofwasilla.com/museum
Museum of Alaska Transportation and Industry
3800 West Museum Dr., off the Parks Hwy, May 1st to September 30th, 10am to 5pm, $8.00 adults, $5.00 children, seniors & military, 907-376-1211, www.museumofalaska.org
Held at the old Wasilla Town Site every Wednesday during the summer from 11am to 6pm.
Musk Ox Farm
Open 10 am to 6 pm, June 1 - September 30. September through May by appointment only. Milepost 50.1 Glenn Highway. $8.00 adults, $7.00 seniors, $6 children. 907-745-4151. www.muskoxfarm.org
Colony House Museum
316 E. Elmwood Avenue. 10 am to 4 pm Tuesdays through Saturdays, May 1 through September 30. Winter tours by appointment. $2.00 adults, $1.00 children 12 years and under. 907-745-1935. www.palmerhistoricalsociety.org
Alaska State Fairgrounds in Palmer. Last week of August. 907-745-4827. www.alaskastatefair.org
Palmer Picnic Pavilion. 11 am to 6 pm, May 16 through August 15. 907-745-2880. www.palmerchamber.org
West Coast /Alaska Tsunami Warning Center
910 S. Felton Street. Tours at 1 pm, 2 pm and 3 pm Fridays. 907-745-4212. www.wcatwc.arh/noaa.gov
Palmer Colony Days
Downtown Palmer. Mid June. 907-745-288. www.palmerchamber.org