Are you planning a road trip to Alaska? The chances are high you’ll be making your way from Anchorage to Talkeetna – a cute, quirky town on the way to Denali National Park.
Just a two-hour drive from Anchorage, you’ll get an authentic pioneer vibe and explore a town filled with history, flightseeing, fishing and the staging ground for climbing expeditions. This makes Talkeetna a great day-trip excursion.
6 Best Stops From Anchorage to Talkeetna
While Talkeetna is the destination, the journey is where the real adventure starts. On your drive from Anchorage to Talkeetna, there are scenic stops and activities you won’t want to miss!
1. Eagle River Nature Center
Your first stop from Anchorage to Talkeetna is the Eagle River Nature Center.
Only 40 minutes from downtown Anchorage and it’s a great stop if you want to take in the scenic landscape. There are 4 different nature trails to walk along and each one is set to impress and wow you!
Parking is $5 per vehicle, building access is open October 2021 – April 2022, Friday – Sunday, 10am-5pm and the trails are accessible 24/7.
2. Thunderbird Falls Trails
A popular choice for tourists and locals alike is to hike the Thunderbird Falls Trails – for good reason. At the end of your 1-mile hike, you will be rewarded with a 200-foot waterfall.
The trail is accessible for all ages and makes it a great detour on the way to Talkeetna for singles, couples or families (even dogs are welcome on this trail).
Whether you visit in the summer or the winter, the Thunderbird Falls Trail hike is still worth it. In the winter the falls tend to freeze up making it look like a beautiful wonderland while in the summer you get to feel the spray of the falls on your face.
If you aren’t a big hiker, this easy, walkable trail is for you.
3. Eklutna Lake
Eklutna Lake is a must-see on your journey from Anchorage to Talkeetna. Stop here and admire the beautiful lake, walk around the ground and find teepees.
You’re welcome to be like a local and swim in the lake (it’s freezing). We enjoyed walking around the lake, taking some photos and seeing nature all around us.
This is a quick detour from the drive and can help you get your stretch in.
Google Maps Listing: https://goo.gl/maps/nLt7RTs2ouxsCcAM9
4. The Iditarod Museum
You’ve probably heard of the Iditarod race in Alaska – one of the most famous races in the world. If you want to learn more about the ‘last great race’, you’ll want to make a stop at The Iditarod Museum on the drive to Talkeetna from Anchorage.
Learn about the history of how the race started, how the event works and gaze at the dog memorabilia. And if you’re feeling it – they even have dog cart rides for you to experience yourself.
Open Mon-Fri from 9am-5pm; 2100 S Knik-Goose Bay Rd, Wasilla, AK 99654.
5. Museum of Alaska Transportation and Industry
Alaska has a wide range of transportation vehicles and an interesting industry. If vintage trains, cars, planes or just old-school transport interest you – this is the stop for you.
In the Museum of Alaska Transportation and Industry, you will learn a lot about the history of transport in Alaska, the memorabilia of old school automobiles, planes and trains plus you can view native crafts.
Open Fri-Mon from 11am-3pm; 3800 W Museum Dr, Wasilla, AK 99654
6. Nancy Lake Restoration Center
The Nancy Lake Restoration Center is a unique national park because of its flat, lake-studded landscape. There are plenty of places to do water activities like canoeing, kayaking or paddle-boarding. If you simply want to hike a little bit, there are a few trails to do as well with views of the lakes surrounding you.
This spot is also a great place to go fishing or camping for the whole family. This is worth the visit on your drive from Anchorage to Talkeetna especially if you love tranquil landscapes.
Heading to Seward? Check out our favorite spots on the drive from Anchorage to Seward!
You’ve arrived from Anchorage to Talkeetna. Now what?
You’ve finally reached the quaint town of Talkeetna! This small town has a lot of charm and quirk to keep you interested for the whole day.
You can explore this town by driving around, biking around or simply walking around. We parked our car and walked the entire town from there.
Here are a few things to do in Talkeetna, Alaska:
- Activities: Talkeetna Riverfront Park
- Coffee: Conscious Coffee
- Eat: Denali Brewpub
- Drink: The Fairview Inn
With all the 6 stops along the way from Anchorage to Talkeetna – you’re in store for some fun times and memories. You can choose to do all 6 stops or decide what suits you and go from there. Either way, you will enjoy the beautiful, quirky town that is Talkeetna, Alaska!
Don’t Feel Like Driving? Here Are Your Transport Options:
If you don’t want to drive from Anchorage to Talkeetna – don’t fret! There are several transport options you can take instead. Each of them is a great way to see Alaska.
Aboard The Train
You can take the Denali Star train from Anchorage to Talkeetna and it will take around 3 hours. For the summer, the train departs from Anchorage at 8:15am and it arrives in Talkeetna around 11:20am. This gives you enough time to explore the town!
Hop-On The Bus
An early morning departing at 6:30am daily to travel to Talkeetna. The Park Connection Motorcoach is a more cost-effective option for you. The bus also takes just under 3 hours and drops you off near the downtown area. You might want to consider staying overnight if you choose this option. You can always choose to travel back by the train stated above.
Rent A Car And Drive
Your best option is still to drive. If you are looking to do an Alaska road trip – renting a car will make your life so much easier! If you want to comfortably get from Anchorage to Talkeetna and make your own stops – rent a car. Here’s a link to a rental car site or you can download the car-share app called ‘Turo’.