Talkeetna is where all serious climbers begin their ascents of Denali (formerly named Mt. McKinley). The town is generally filled with climbers coming down, going up, or waiting for the weather to clear. There are several raucous bars, a half dozen fun restaurants, and lots of shops selling everything from sourdough biscuits to fully stuffed moose.
The town is named after the major river at its forefront. The Talkeetna ultimately flows into the Gulf of Alaska, 80 miles away, and at this point is wide, often deep and with a very strong current. It is one of the main salmon breeding conduits in the state and a large enough glacial river to host a number of adventure activities like rafting and jetboating.