Includes all costs from departure Anchorage to return Anchorage including van transportation to and from Meekins Air Service in Matanuska Valley.
The Talkeetnas are not inside some famous park that draws big crowds of hikers looking to check a destination off their bucket list. It's a sweet spot in Alaska with fantastic hiking possibilities where almost nobody goes. And you don't have to drive half way across the state of Alaska to get there. We start our first day by departing Anchorage for a van ride of a little under two hours. Then it's out of the van and into a bush plane. We'll be eating lunch in the high and lonesome backcountry of the Talkeetnas!
Don't have a lot of vacation days to burn? Perfect. This trip starts and ends on a weekend so you only need 5 vacation days to pull it off.
We will run this trip as a loop style trip which means we get dropped off at our high country airstrip then do a looping route ending up back where we started. One of the advantages of this approach is that we have unlimited flexibility with our route. We can take off backpacking and then if we find an area we want to explore we'll set camp for a few days and hike with lighter day loads. Your guide works with the group to custom tailor a route that suits the interests and abilities of the whole group.
A great introduction to Alaskan wilderness backpacking and travel.
The Adventure at a Glance
5 days/4 nights trekking in the Talkeetna Mountains
Type: Loop/base camp
Duration: 5 day wilderness trek, 5 days total including travel time
Custom Trips: Custom trips can be scheduled mid June to early Sept.
|Day 0||Arrive in Anchorage by late afternoon and get checked in to your hotel (not included). The group will meet up with the guide for a gear review and distribution of food and group gear. We'll continue the meeting over a relaxing dinner where we all get to know each other a bit and go over some logistics.|
|Day 1||The van will pick you up at your hotel for an early morning start. But this is not one of those 'sit in a van all day' sort of trips. In around 90 minutes we arrive at Meekins Air Service and transfer into a single engine bush plane equipped with tundra tires. A short but dramatic flight takes us deep into the Talkeetna mountains where our pilot lands on a tundra strip.The plane disappears over the ridge leaving us in quiet solitude. Hard to believe that we were in Anchorage only a few hours earlier. Breakfast in the city - lunch in the wilderness!After lunch we will probably shoulder our packs and set out in search of our first camp in this beautiful corner of Alaska.|
|Day 2-4||Over the next several days we explore the Talkeetna Mountains around us. We make up the itinerary as we go with the guide presenting options and the group working out a plan. Some days we may leave camp set up and go exploring and others we will pack up and seek out a new place to settle for a day or two. In general we will make a loop ending up back at our drop off point.|
|Day 5||Mike Meekins picks us up once again and ferries the group back to the valley where the van awaits. We are back in Anchorage by late afternoon with plenty of time to get cleaned up for a final celebratory dinner.|
How Do We Get to the Talkeetnas?
A shuttle service provides van transportation between Anchorage and Meekins Air Service in the Matanuska Valley. The shuttle departs Anchorage at 8:00 am arriving around 10:00 am at Meekins.
Round Trip: US $190.00
The van service is operated by Wrangell-St. Elias Tours. Once you have a hotel reservation in Anchorage you will need to let them, as well as me, know where you will be staying. Also give them your cell phone number if you will have one with you.
Wrangell-St. Elias Tours
Contact: Jennifer Titus
Where Do We Meet?
You'll meet your hiking guide and the rest of the group in Anchorage for an orientation meeting around 6:00 p.m. the evening before the trip begins. On the detailed itinerary this is listed as Day 0. If you are unable to book a flight that arrives in Anchorage by late afternoon of Day 0, it would be advisable to arrive a day earlier. You will be in contacted several weeks before your trip and we will specify the exact location of the orientation meeting at that point.
Your safety is our top priority. Our treks are led by professional hiking guides, all of whom are certified wilderness first responders with years of wilderness experience. On most treks the guide carries a satellite phone. If you have any further questions about safety, please contact us at 9074.554.1088 for more information.
Your tour will be led by a trained, experienced professional with a solid guiding background, years of personal wilderness and hiking experience, medical certifications, and a passion for leading people into breathtaking landscapes. Check out our Meet Our Team page for staff bios.
We prefer to run small groups and our clients like it that way too. The standard group size on backpacking trips is 5 guests and 1 guide. Larger groups are possible for private trips. If you have more questions about group size, please give us a call at 907.554.1088 and we'll answer all your questions.
Weather in the Talkeetnas
Alaska is pretty far north and like any mountain evirronment we are prone to sudden temperature and weather shifts. To be fully prepared, please follow the recommended clothing list closely (this list comes as part of your trip packet when you register). See below for average summer temperatures in area. July is especialy variable and we have had temps hit the low 80s some summers. Mid August is when things start to cool down a bit but still great hikng weather.
|Average Temperatures (Fahrenheit)|
What's Not Included
: See the Gear List for detailed information on what clothes and gear to bring on your trek.
Meals: What To Expect
All of our hiking and backpacking tours include a diversity of tasty meals packed full of critical carbohydrates, proteins and fats. We carry foods that travel well in the backcountry – rice, pastas, lentils, beans, packaged meats, nuts, breads, oatmeal, granola, and more.
For optimal taste and energy, we supplement all our meals with spices, herbs, oils, cheeses, butter, sugar, and fruits and vegetables. In addition, we provide you with with an assortment of trail mix, snacks, and dried fruits to eat at your own discretion.
We regularly accommodate vegan, vegetarian and non-gluten diets and will make adjustments for food allergies. These and other special dietary requests may require an additional fee.