Alaska Railroad & Talkeetna

Welcome to the second installment of the Bucket List: Alaska series. If you missed the first post, about our introduction to Alaska in Anchorage, you can go back and read that here.

After a fun day in Anchorage, we were up early to start our land tour adventure and catch the Alaska Railroad’s Wilderness Express train to Talkeetna. It was an overcast day, but that could not dampen our excitement to leave the big city and enter wild Alaska!



Above clockwise from left: Getting ready to board the Wilderness Express, really nice glass-topped cars provide a wonderful view, friends Pam & Eric McGee, Jerry, and yours truly, settling in for the ride to Talkeetna.

And the scenery did NOT disappoint! Some of these shots are through the glass dome, please excuse any reflections or rain on the images. We passed through a few towns and saw a few remote communities of homes, but for the most part, we were immersed in nature. I don’t know if it was due to the noise of the train, but wildlife was scarce on this journey.


Mist hangs over the thick forest


Raindrops accent the raging river below


A glassy lake reflects the incredible beauty!


Clouds shrouding the distant mountains


Fall color astounds from the observation platform


Observation platform selfie…it was COLD!


Homes on a lake near Wasilla…”I can see Russia from my house”!

The train dropped us off near the tiny village of Talkeetna, but far enough away that we had to take a bus to the village. The weather was threatening, and we were starving since the train restaurant had a technical issue and could not serve breakfast, so we headed straight for lunch at the Denali Brewpub.  We enjoyed a variety of tasty menu offerings, and a super Irish Red Ale called Single Engine Red, a nod to the ever-present aircraft in Alaska. Yum!


Awesome wooden moose at Denali Brewpub

Following lunch, we wandered down to the river bank and explored a little. The weather was holding…at least for now.


Interesting store with log-end construction


Looking NW across the Talkeetna River, mountains hidden in the clouds


Another view of the river, with some mountains visible


A message of love and the circle of life on the beach ❤


Jerry, Pam, and Eric at the confluence of the Susitna and Talkeetna rivers


Art is everywhere 🙂

The weather took over at this point and we ran for shelter as the rain pounded down. I understand there is a neat historic cemetery in Talkeetna, and cool jet boat adventures; unfortunately, we weren’t able to experience those. Instead, we headed off to our accommodations for the night at Trapper Creek, at the McKinley Princess Wilderness Lodge, which is the subject of the next post. Please join me there!

14 thoughts on “Alaska Railroad & Talkeetna

    • Lol, Richard, I wish I had gotten travel tips from you before we went! We enjoyed the brewpub and honestly, there were plenty of characters in there too. We really enjoyed the locals and their unique perspective on life and living in Alaska! 🙂


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