Review: The Talkeetna Hostel

talkeetna hostel

If you’re traveling to Denali National Park in Alaska, you should really stop off in Talkeetna, the kooky town between Anchorage and Denali. It’s only 14 miles off the main road, and it’s worth the drive. The town doesn’t have a ton of lodging options, but perhaps the most affordable and fun is the Talkeetna Hostel, which presents a quirky vibe that matches the spirit of the city.

talkeetna hostel common room

This is generally how I view hostels: If you cannot accurately describe the place as “funky,” then it’s no good. Hostels are supposed to be charming and full of personality, and the Talkeetna Hostel is just that.

Bunks currently start at $22/night, while private rooms cost a little more. What’s cool about this hostel is that it offers several unique sleeping options. For instance, you can sleep outside in an old VW van that has been converted to a room. The thought of spending the night in a van brings back a lot of memories for me!

van talkeetna hostel

If you’re on an even tighter budget, you can camp in your tent in the backyard for only $10 per person. You won’t find more affordable lodging than that.

Each room adds to the atmosphere, with posters and decorations that show off Alaska and its mountains. The rooms each have their own nicknames, like “Little Switzerland.” Don’t be surprised to find Sesame Street bedsheets on your bunk.

hostel room review

The hostel is located within walking distance of the downtown shopping area, the railroad stop and the local airport. Laundry is available, and the showers are clean and free. That’s worth noting because I found that many other hostels and campgrounds throughout Alaska actually charge up to 50 cents a minute for showers!

Overall, the place is friendly, bright and a good value. If you’re looking for budget accommodations in Alaska on your way to Denali, the Talkeetna Hostel is a great choice. Find the hostel on Facebook and on their own website.

Talkeetna Hostel
22159 South I Street
Talkeetna, AK 99676
(907) 733-4678

Note: I was a guest of the Talkeetna Hostel during my Alaska visit. As always, all thoughts and opinions are my own.

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About Scott Shetler

Scott is a Seattle-based journalist and blogger who puts a quirky spin on travel adventures around the world. He has been featured in Travel + Leisure, Connect Magazine, Matador Travel, and the Washington Post.

4 comments on “Review: The Talkeetna Hostel

  1. This place does sound fun. Also, for some reason, I was sure all hostels in Alaska charge $40 a night for a bed in a dorm room, so I’m glad to read I was wrong. However, I can’t get over what you wrote about showers. Are there seriously places that count the minutes it takes you to shower!?

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