What a true delight on a busy scheduled trip to stop at such a small quaint Alaskan town. Talkeetna Alaska is probably one of our family favorites along the Parks Highway. Just turning off the Parks Highway and beginning your journey along the Talkeetna Spur Road you just hope that your one of the lucky whom get to see Mt. McKinley. There are several opportunities to see the Alaska Range from the 12 miles you drive to get to the lodge. The Talkeetna Alaskan Lodge is very well kept up and its presentation at the entrance entices you to think of an expensive summer resort destination located in the hearty woods of Alaska. I recommend staying in one of their mountain-view rooms since they are located facing the Alaska Range. Even if the weather is not the best it is still a nice view overlooking the Talkeetna valley. My youngest son (age 12) also liked the mountain-view room since he can watch all of the small bush planes flying around during various flight-seeing tours offered in Talkeetna. The front desk staff is friendly and before we know it the luggage crew is offering to assist with our bags. The rooms are spacious and I like the subtle touch of having the small vanity with fresh cotton balls or q-tips on the counter. It just adds to the somewhat personal touch you can feel among the lodge.
Throughout the lodge you will find little nooks with oversized chairs that have game tables and books to read. We spent time in a few during our stay and met some really nice folks. It was also a good time spent with just our family as well. The lodge also has a nice area to catch up on emails while out of town with two computer stations. One of our favorite areas was the main lodge area where you are greeted with a huge rock faced fireplace that is constantly stoked with a nice warm fire. Again they have those overstuffed chairs to sit back and look out the large glass windows. If the weather is nice they also have a huge deck in front of the lodge where you can sit and just stare at the wonderful scenery and Mt. McKinley.
A few great family activities we discovered while staying here is the geo-cache hunt located around the 35 acres surrounding the lodge and the rock hunt located out in front of the lodge. The geo-cache was fun to hike around the property and find particular coordinates where you will find little treasures and hints to continue on. It was a good way to run off some of that bottled up energy with my son after traveling and having a structured schedule for a few days. You can ask any of the staff for the GPS (deposit required) and hint map. The other fun activity was the tall pillar rocks located at the front of the main lodge. There are a few designs located on the six small pillars and four larger ones. Can you find the starfish, snowshoe-hare, grizzly bear’s left paw print, turtle and cross in them? Hint- the front desk can help you if you are having trouble finding these. Talkeetna is a small Alaskan town and I encourage you to visit to take advantage of the fishing, flight-seeing, or other activities available in this area but if your looking for a nice place to stay the Talkeetna Alaskan Lodge is the perfect lodging choice.