Talkeetna On The Map
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.
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
South of Talkeetna
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
- 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.
- Mile 17 Hatcher Pass Road, off Fish Hook Road. Independence Mine State Historical 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