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Talkeetna - A Home Base for Denali Adventures

Talkeetna, AK, United States
8 Kudos
We stayed at a beautiful airbnb for two nights in talkeetna and loved it. We stayed near sunshine lake and I can’t wait to go back. Talkeetna is a small and friendly town that I’d like to spend more time in.
The drive to Denali was just over 2 hours from talkeetna.
About a mile north of the Denali entrance is a strip of shops and cafes that is a good place to stop to stock up on water and food for the day trip into Denali. The Black Bear has amazing food, baked goods, and coffee. And they also sell premade sandwiches to take into Denali. If you have a refillable water bottle they have free water fill stations at the Denali bus depot.
I suggest taking the green bus to Eielson once you are in the park. It’s an 8 hour round trip bus, but you get the best views of the mountain from Eielson.
You don’t need to pre book the bus but you can if you want to. However if you plan on buying them when you arrive, keep in mind that they won’t sell you a ticket within 15 mins of departure. We learned this the hard way when we walked up at 1:47 and tried to purchase for the 2pm bus...and we had to wait until the 3pm bus.
Story Details

Points of interest

Polychrome Mountain
Polychrome Mountain
Beautiful mountains within Denali National Park. One of my favorite Denali stops
So much wildlife on the drive between talkeetna and Denali!
A nice town about halfway between anchorage and Denali. Lots of great scenery.


Subway Restaurants
Easy place to stop and get a sandwich to take in for your Denali trip
The Black Bear
Delicious food and coffee. The burger was amazing and so was the chocolate cupcake and coconut bread

Special activities

Wilderness Access Center
Come to the Denali bus depot to catch your bus into Denali. They also have a gift shop, bathrooms, snacks, and free water bottle refill station.

On The Map