The conference will be held at the Sheldon Community Arts Hangar in downtown Talkeetna—115 miles north of Anchorage and 275 miles south of Fairbanks. Talkeetna is a gateway community to the wilderness of Alaska and the location where 95% of all climbers fly into Denali National Park and Preserve. This central location is within walking distance to many of the lodgings and eating establishments. The refurbished, historic
Sheldon Hanger, which is now the town's performing arts center, has a seating capacity of 150, including the balcony. The famous bush pilot, Don Sheldon, who pioneered glacier landings on Denali, built the hanger in
the 1950's. Many climbers in the 60's and early 70's set up their first basecamp in his hanger while they waited for the weather to fly.
"The historic village of Talkeetna is nestled at the base of North America's tallest peak, Denali (Mt. McKinley). Talkeetna has an outstanding panoramic view of the Alaska Range that can be enjoyed and photographed from several places as you wander through our town, and discover what this unique location has to offer. Flightseeing, fishing, riverboat tours, hiking, nordic skiing, mushing, mountain climbing, unique lodging, great people"
Talkeetna has numerous motels, inns, B & B's and one major lodge. For a complete listing, go to the Talkeetna Chamber of Commerce web site. As of September 2011, the Talkeetna Alaska Lodge is offering a conference special for 30 rooms. These rooms must be booked 30 days ahead of time.
There is camping available at several locations including no cost camping at the Alaska Mountaineering School's yard across from the Talkeetna Ranger Station, and there are several low-cost hostels to choose from.
Food options are plentiful, including a basic store, espresso stands, assorted shops offering daily baked goods, simple quick eateries/pizza, and numerous restaurants, from down-home to high-end. All the food services are local (NO chain restaurants or fast food joints). Talkeetna also has its own local brewery and many of the establishments serve alcohol.
Talkeetna is a very small community with walking access to just about everything. If you are staying within this one-mile radius area, you will probably not need a rental car.
We will be chartering a 50-passenger bus with a rate of $40 per person to go from Anchorage to Talkeetna on September 8 and return September 13 after the field trip to the National Park. The bus will depart Anchorage on September 8 at 1 p.m. and leave from Talkeetna at 2 p.m. on September 13 (locations to be determined). This bus will be available for speakers and international attendees at no charge.
Alaska Railroad runs daily from Anchorage to Fairbanks with a stop in Talkeetna. The one-way late-season rate is approximately $70 (2012 rate). This four hour train ride is a relaxing way to take in Alaska's breathtaking scenery.Here's some suggested travel information from the Park Service:
|Alaska/Yukon Trails||Alaska Railroad Corporation||Alaska transportation Group|
|Denali Overland Transportation Co||Go Purple Shuttle Service||Park Connection|
Things to Do
Visit the Talkeetna Ranger Station:
Climbers register for their climbs at the Talkeetna Ranger Station, located two blocks from the Sheldon Hangar. Ranger staff will be giving a special program for conference guests over the lunch hour each day. For Denali Mountaineering information, go to: <http://www.nps.gov/dena/planyourvisit/mountaineering.htm>
Talkeetna has spectacular scenic flights into the Alaska Range, numerous river and fishing excursions, local hiking trails and a zip line. The day after the conference, September 12th, we will be offering two field trip options.
By the time of the conference, we will be in full fall colors with the potential for frost at night. Plan for rain, clouds and/or brilliant clear weather. Northern lights (aurora borealis) may be visible on clear nights. Day time temperatures could reach 60's Fahrenheit, though the average is in the 40's and 50's.