Talkeetna, Alaska

Talkeetna, Alaska
Talkeetna, Alaska
—  CDP  —
Location of Talkeetna, Alaska
Coordinates: 62°18′41″N 150°5′13″W / 62.31139°N 150.08694°W / 62.31139; -150.08694Coordinates: 62°18′41″N 150°5′13″W / 62.31139°N 150.08694°W / 62.31139; -150.08694
Country United States
State Alaska
Borough Matanuska-Susitna
 – Total 42.9 sq mi (111.2 km2)
 – Land 41.6 sq mi (107.7 km2)
 – Water 1.4 sq mi (3.6 km2)
Elevation 348 ft (106 m)
Population (2000)
 – Total 772
 – Density 18.6/sq mi (7.2/km2)
Time zone Alaska (AKST) (UTC-9)
 – Summer (DST) AKDT (UTC-8)
ZIP code 99676
Area code(s) 907
FIPS code 02-74830
GNIS feature ID 1410591

Talkeetna is a census-designated place (CDP) in Matanuska-Susitna Borough, Alaska, United States. It is part of the Anchorage, Alaska Metropolitan Statistical Area. At the 2000 census the population was 772.



Talkeetna is located at 62°18′41″N 150°5′13″W / 62.31139°N 150.08694°W / 62.31139; -150.08694 (62.311397, -150.087053)[1] at the confluence of three rivers, the Susitna, Chulitna and Talkeetna. The Talkeetna townsite was established in 1919 when the railroad surveyed and auctioned 80 lots. The average price at the sale was $14.25.[2] Flightseeing, rafting, mountain biking, hiking, camping, fishing and hunting make up a large portion of the local economy. Talkeetna is a 2.5 hour drive from Anchorage, the largest city in Alaska. The core downtown area is classified as a National Historic Site, with buildings dating from the early 1900s including Nagley's General Store,[3] Fairview Inn and the Talkeetna Roadhouse.[4]

According to the United States Census Bureau, the CDP has a total area of 42.9 square miles (111 km2), of which, 41.6 square miles (108 km2) of it is land and 1.4 square miles (3.6 km2) of it (3.19%) is water.


As of the census[5] of 2000, there were 772 people, 358 households, and 181 families residing in the CDP. The population density was 18.6 people per square mile (7.2/km²). There were 528 housing units at an average density of 12.7 per square mile (4.9/km²). The racial makeup of the CDP was 87.95% White, 3.76% Native American, 0.13% Asian, 1.30% from other races, and 6.87% from two or more races. 1.04% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.

There were 358 households out of which 28.2% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 38.0% were married couples living together, 7.3% had a female householder with no husband present, and 49.4% were non-families. 38.0% of all households were made up of individuals and 6.7% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.16 and the average family size was 2.92.

In the CDP the population was spread out with 23.3% under the age of 18, 5.8% from 18 to 24, 35.4% from 25 to 44, 29.4% from 45 to 64, and 6.1% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 39 years. For every 100 females there were 113.3 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 114.5 males.

The median income for a household in the CDP was $38,289, and the median income for a family was $46,818. Males had a median income of $34,732 versus $26,250 for females. The per capita income for the CDP was $23,695. About 7.2% of families and 10.8% of the population were below the poverty line, including 8.8% of those under age 18 and none of those age 65 or over.


Nagley's Store. The Nagley family are pioneer residents of Talkeetna. They were also partners in the Westward Hotel in Anchorage, a predecessor to today's Hilton Anchorage Hotel.
Fairview Inn

Talkeetna is close to world-class salmon fishing and Denali (also known as Mt. McKinley). Tourists travel to Talkeetna each summer to fish, raft and go flightseeing.[6] Products from local artists, musicians and craftspeople are available in area stores. A 37-year history of The Moose Dropping Festival, a two-day celebration held over two days each July, came to an end for at least a year with the announcement on Aug. 21, 2009 by the Talkeetna Historical Society that the festival has been canceled.[7] The event was named after a lottery where participants bet on numbered, varnished pieces of moose feces, or "moose droppings" dropped from a helicopter onto a target. A softball tournament historically has been held on the same weekend as the Moose Dropping Festival but is not part of the festival itself. Other events that typically have been held on Moose Dropping Festival weekend include a five-kilometre walk-run—also not a part of the official festival, a Mountain Mother contest, and a parade. In December, the Wilderness Woman and Bachelor Auction & Ball takes place.[8]

Talkeetna's largest celebration of the winter, called Winterfest, takes place during the entire month of December, and features a motorized Parade of Lights, a lighted tree in the Village Park, a Taste of Talkeetna, and numerous special events hosted by local businesses and special events at Talkeetna Public Library.

Talkeetna is served by Talkeetna Airport, which is home to several air taxi companies that provide flight seeing trips and support for mountain climbers. Many of the air taxi companies were started to ferry climbers from Talkeetna to Denali, as Talkeetna has the easiest access to the south side of the mountain where the main base camp is located. Legendary bush pilots such as Don Sheldon and Cliff Hudson, both based out of Talkeetna, pioneered glacier flying on Mt. McKinley. Their companies, Talkeetna Air Taxi and Hudson Air Service, respectively, are still in operation.[citation needed]

Talkeetna has a community radio station, 88.9 KTNA, with locally hosted shows and NPR programming. Talkeetna has a local newspaper. the Good Times, which has a distribution of 7,500 year-round and serves the communities of Talkeetna, Trapper Creek, Willow, Houston and Big Lake, with additional distribution along the Parks Highway as far north as Nenana during the summer months. The Good Times is currently published every other week in print.[9] Publishers of the Good Times also publish a local area phone book and an annual visitors guide. Another newspaper, The Alaska Pioneer Press, which was under different ownership and was published monthly, ceased publication in January, 2011, after its owners moved out of the area. Whole Wheat Radio, an independent webcast and wiki, ceased broadcasting late in 2010.

A new Susitna Valley Junior-Senior High School opened in January 2010, replacing the one that burned to the ground in June 2007 while repairs were being made to the roof.[10] In the interim, classes were held in portables on the grounds of the Upper Susitna Senior Center.

The town of Talkeetna is also mentioned in Travel Channel's Man vs Food. In season 2 episode 16, the host travels to the Roadhouse, a restaurant in Talkeetna to sample their one of a kind breakfast dishes. Also featured is West Rib Pub & Cafe.

Although the town of Cicely from the television series Northern Exposure is widely thought to be patterned after Talkeetna,[11][12] filming actually took place in Roslyn, Washington.[13]


  1. ^ "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990". United States Census Bureau. 2011-02-12. Retrieved 2011-04-23. 
  2. ^ "Talkeetna history". Talkeetna Chamber of Commerce. Retrieved June 15, 2009. 
  3. ^ "Nagley's Store history". Retrieved 2009-06-19. 
  4. ^ "Talkeetna Roadhouse history". Retrieved 2009-06-19. 
  5. ^ "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 
  6. ^ "Denali Flightseeing". The Anchorage Daily News. Retrieved 2009-06-19. 
  7. ^ "Talkeetna Moose Dropping Festival". Talkeetna Historical Society. Retrieved 2009-06-19. 
  8. ^ "Talkeetna Bachelors are back on the market". Talkeetna Bachelor Society. Retrieved 2009-06-19.  Talkeetna's biggest annual winter celebration, known as Winterfest, takes place throughout the entire month of December.
  9. ^ [1]
  10. ^ Moses, John (June 7, 2007). "Su Valley Jr./Sr. High burns; Talkeetna school a total loss". Mat-Su Valley Frontiersman. Retrieved 2009-06-19. 
  11. ^ Woodmancy, Don (Ja nuary 16, 2003). "Talkeetna, Alaska". Roadtrip America. Retrieved 2009-06-19. 
  12. ^ Flinn, John (September 30, 2007). "Fictional places we love: Cicely, Alaska, on 'Northern Exposure'". The San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved 2009-06-19. 
  13. ^ "A Town Goes Alaskan for 'Northern Exposure'". New York Times. 1991-06-17. Retrieved 2009-06-19. 

External links

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