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Where to Stay in Talkeetna: 5 Charming Hotels for ‘Northern Exposure’

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Alaska is full of small communities with lots of character, but there’s none quite like Talkeetna. In fact, Talkeetna is so distinctly Alaskan that it has long been rumored as the inspiration for the small town of Cicely, AK which was the setting for Northern Exposure – a show my mom loved watching while I was growing up in Alaska, because it captures that quirky sense of living off the map in Alaska.

Today, Talkeetna has become a major stop on most Alaskan itineraries, despite being home to just about 1,200 people. Independent travelers take a night or two here, and cruise-tour guests often stop off for a time to enjoy the small historic district that dates back to the earliest days of Talkeetna over a century ago.

Where to Stay in Talkeetna Hero

Whether you fall into the bucket as one of those two types of travelers or are doing something completely different, I recommend spending at least a day – and night – in Talkeetna to experience all town has to offer, from fascinating things to do to incredible places to eat. Thus, you’ll need to know where to stay in Talkeetna if you’re spending a night or two here. That’s where this post will help.

It may be a small town, but there are some great places to stay in Talkeetna; in this post, I’m sharing my top five recommendations. Given the popularity of staying in Talkeetna, I recommend booking early to ensure you get a room at one of these places. There are other accommodations in and near Talkeetna, but these are the five I’d start with. Ready to see the list? Here are the places I recommend for where to stay in Talkeetna.

In this post, I promote travel to a destination that is the traditional lands of the Dena’ina Ełnena peoples. With respect, I make a formal land acknowledgment, extending my appreciation and respect to the past and present people of these lands. To learn more about the peoples who call these lands home, I invite you to explore Native Land.

Talkeetna Alaskan Lodge

As I said, Talkeetna is tiny compared to most of the communities that travelers visit during their Alaska itineraries; this means that your options for where to stay in Talkeetna are limited – but not as much as you might think.

The Talkeetna Alaskan Lodge is the crown jewel of hotels in Talkeetna; it’s even perched high on a hill looking toward town, the Susitna River, and the Alaska Range. This means it has one of the best views in Talkeetna; it’s worth visiting the stunning lobby, taking a stroll around the property, and having a meal at the Talkeetna Alaskan Lodge even if you’re not staying here

If you do decide to stay here, make sure you book a mountain view room. Half of the hotel faces the Alaskan Range with great opportunities to see Denali on a clear day; the other half faces the parking lot, and while it’s a really nice-looking parking lot – it’s still not what you stay at this property for. I’ve stayed here twice recently (once in August 2021 and again in August 2022). The first time, I had a mountain view room, and the second looked at the parking lot… Trust me: it’s worth the price of the mountain view rooms.

Rooms at the Talkeetna Alaskan Lodge start from $139/night in the winter and $209/night in the summer; book on Hotels.com or directly on their website.

Talkeetna Roadhouse

If you’re looking for a historic spot to stay right in the heart of Talkeetna’s historic district, you can’t do better than the Talkeetna Roadhouse. This building – which includes a restaurant as well as varied lodging options – dates back to 1917; the owners undertook a massive renovation and improvement project in the winter of 2022-2023 to keep this old gal steady for years to come.

In terms of accommodation, they have several types: bunks (for those traveling on a budget), an upstairs suite of three rooms, two downstairs smaller rooms, and a detached small historic cabin that can sleep up to 5. While all of the options are appropriately rustic in line with Talkeetna style, they’re also the nicest option you can find close to town.

Prices are currently unavailable for the Talkeetna Roadhouse, but I’ll come back to update this once they are. Book on Booking.com or join their waitlist for 2023.

Rocky’s Cabin

If you are looking for where to stay in Talkeetna that is about as local as it can be – Rocky’s Cabin is your best bet. I spotted this little log cabin during my visit in 2021, and – while I haven’t stayed there –, it has become one of my favorite spots to recommend.

This single log cabin is located on a shared property with a long-time Talkeetna resident who’s happy to provide you truly local suggestions on what to do and where to eat. As you might expect, being a single room option, it tends to sell out – except that they have no website and you have to make your reservation by phone, so you actually have different odds than for other properties that offer booking online.

In any case, Rocky’s is right in the historic core and easy walking distance to all of the restaurants, sights, and tour pick-up points. Inside, it’s a real and really cool log cabin accommodation that will certainly stick out in your Alaska trip memories.

Rocky’s Cabin starts from $152 per night for two guests; call (907)229-6053 to inquire about availability.

Trapper John’s Cabins & Cottages

Owned by the same folks who run the Talkeetna Roadhouse, Trapper John’s Cabins & Cottages is a backup option – or maybe the perfect option for you if you want to stay a little way out of town and have an authentic cabin stay during your Alaska trip; it’s a short walk or drive into the historic part of town, but not right on the main street like the Roadhouse.

Trapper John’s Cabins & Cottages consists of four options: Trapper John’s Cabin, the Garden Cottage, Hugo’s Cabin, and the Yellow Cottage. Both cabins are over 80 years old and have all of the character you’d expect from homestead cabins in the Last Frontier.

Cabins start from $165 per night during the summer; book on Booking.com or directly with Trapper John’s on their website.

Susitna Riverside Lodging

Like the Talkeetna Alaskan Lodge and Trapper John’s Cabins, Susitna Riverside Lodging is outside of the historic core of Talkeetna – but it’s walkable for those in good shape (and a very short drive if you’re willing to try and find parking).

This property has a variety of accommodations – like most places, it has accumulated different options over time. You can choose from the Lodge Suites (located in the main building), their recently built Backwoods Cabins, and the Riverside Cabins (which is what I’d go for if they are available). The Riverside Cabins are where the property lives up to its name, and the windows face out over the Susitna River, offering views of Denali and/or the northern lights depending on when you visit.

Cabins and suites at Susitna Riverside Lodging start from $119 per night; book on Booking.com or Hotels.com (suites or river cabins).

Have any questions about where to stay in Talkeetna – at these places, or somewhere else? Let me know in the comments and I’ll do my best to help!

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I was born on the East Coast and currently live in the Midwest – but my heart will always be out West. I lived for 15 years in Alaska, as well as four years each in California and Washington. I share travel resources and stories based on my personal experience and knowledge.

3 Comments

  • Anita Ellsworth

    Hello Valerie,

    I’ve lived in this community for 24 years. I think that most if not all the residents here would agree that Nagley’s no longer represents our town. The owners are not local, nor do they like or hire the local residents. Please do not use promote them by publishing pictures of their store. They do not represent the spirit of our town.

    Thank you

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      Valerie

      Thanks for your feedback, Anita. I’m sad to hear that the ownership isn’t as Alaskan-friendly as it used to be, but Nagleys is one of the iconic spots in Talkeetna, so I’ll continue to use my photos to help people understand what they can see when they visit.

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