Talkeetna lies on a 14-mile spur road that branches from the Parks Highway 99 miles north of Anchorage and 138 miles south of the park entrance. The Alaska Railroad (tel. 800/544-0552; www.alaskarailroad.com) serves Talkeetna daily on its runs to Denali National Park during the summer and weekly in the winter. The summer fare from Anchorage to Talkeetna is $89 one-way for adults, half price for children ages 2 to 11, for basic service.
It's possible to stay in Talkeetna but do the Denali National Park shuttle-bus ride and other park activities by flying there for the day. McKinley Flight Services, also known as Talkeetna Aero Services (tel. 888/733-2899 or 907/733-2899; www.talkeetnaaero.com), offers daily round-trips for this purpose during the summer, with a flightseeing tour circling Mount McKinley en route. They charge $495 as a package with ground transfers, a bus tour, and a box lunch.
Built to serve people aiming to climb Mount McKinley, the Denali National Park Talkeetna Ranger Station, at 1st and B streets (P.O. Box 588), Talkeetna, AK 99676 (tel. 907/733-2231; www.nps.gov/dena), makes a fascinating stop for anyone curious about mountaineering. Inside the handsome structure, a large sitting room contains a river-rock fireplace, climbing books, and pictures of the mountain -- it's like an old-fashioned explorers' club. Fascinating records open for inspection cover the history of McKinley climbs. Rangers are on hand to answer questions, too. It's open May through Labor Day daily from 8am to 5:30pm, winter Monday through Friday from 8am to 4:30pm.
The Talkeetna/Denali Visitor Center, located in a tiny cabin at the intersection of the Parks Highway and Talkeetna Spur Road and on Main Street (P.O. Box 688), Talkeetna, AK 99676 (tel. 800/660-2688 or 907/733-2641; www.talkeetnadenali.com), is a commercial center belonging to a local flight service and providing brochures, information, and advice while earning commissions from bookings. It's the handiest commercial information stop in the region. The center is open daily from 8am to 8pm in summer, and they respond to inquiries year-round with free trip-planning help.
Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.