- Class I-IV
- River Length
- 80 miles
- 1/2 day-5 days
- May to September
The Talkeetna River is fed by the Talkeetna Mountains, flowing for over 80 miles before joining with the Susitna and Chulitna Rivers. A trip down the Talkeetna River is a genuine wilderness adventure, with less visitor traffic than nearby river drainages and pristine banks lined with high alpine forest and tundra.
The Talkeetna River begins as a scenic waterway with braided channels winding through high alpine forest. Views of high peaks in the Talkeetna Range abound from the banks of the Talkeetna River and the pristine waters gain in strength with the addition of each side tributary. Upon entering Talkeetna Canyon, the Talkeetna River changes personality entirely. Continuous advanced intermediate whitewater dominate this stretch of water as the entire volume of the Talkeetna River squeezes through a tight canyon that is only 30 feet wide! Big holes, giant waves and big hydraulics abound for almost 10 miles straight.
Talkeetna Canyon eases its grip upon the Talkeetna River and the river again becomes a serene scenic float, widening through the Susitna Valley. Views of Mt. McKinley (20,320 feet) and the Alaska Range dominate the skyline and wildlife is plentiful. Moose, Caribou, Eagle, Wolf, Black Bear, and Grizzly Bear sightings are very common along the Talkeetna River. In addition, the fishing opportunity on the Talkeetna is world class for a variety of sport fish and salmon!
The Talkeetna River is best enjoyed as a 3-5 day multi-day trip. For visitors with limited time, a ½ day scenic on the Talkeetna River is available. Trips on the Talkeetna River leave from the small town of Talkeetna, a very small but well apportioned Alaskan town due to its notoriety as the location of the airport most mountaineering expeditions utilize to reach the Alaska Range. The headwaters of the Talkeetna are accessed by bush-plane from the town of Talkeetna and the take-out is right in town. The lower reaches of the Talkeetna River are also a popular Jet Boating area.