Alaska Backpacking in the Talkeetna Mountains

A backpacking expedition through the rugged terrain of the Talkeetna Mountains

Alaska Backpacking in the Talkeetna Mountains

$2750 per person

Backpacking through Alaska’s best kept secret, the Talkeetna Mountains.

Our Backpacking the Talkeetna Mountains trip travels through the traditional and current lands of the Ahtna people.

Be warned: if you join this trip, you can expect to say a lot of “wow”, “oh my gosh it’s beautiful” and “I can’t believe this isn’t a National Park”. The Talkeetna Mountains might just be one of Alaska’s best kept secrets. Skip to crowds and popular itineraries of the National Parks and explore these spectacular mountains us in 2023!


This trip is a quintessential Alaskan backpacking trip, following an a-to-b route in the central Talkeetna Mountains. The route begins at an airstrip, near the glacial headwaters of the Talkeetna River and in the shadow of the tallest peak in the range, Sovereign Mountain, and travels south to reach the Glenn Highway, 50+ miles away. We’ll travel through predominantly trail-less rolling tundra and mountainous terrain, cross mountain streams, camp in stunning valleys and maybe even go for a (skinny) dip in small, alpine lakes. Along the way we’ll hope to cross paths with the many species of wildlife that call this unique place home, including caribou, sheep, moose, wolves, marmots, bears, wolverines and many species birds. Our trip concludes at the Glenn Highway, followed by a 2.5 hour drive to Anchorage.


We will spend each day on foot, traversing this unique country with all of our necessities in our backpacks. We’ll spend our evenings and mornings beneath the cook tarp enjoying the camaraderie of backcountry travel. Be prepared for your backpack to weigh 35-45 pounds. We’ll travel 5-8 hours per day over trail-less terrain. The anticipated daily mileage will range from 8-12 miles with elevation gain/loss between 1000′-4000′ per day.

Because this trip utilizes only one short flight to access the backcountry, it is a significantly lower-carbon – and lower cost – adventure than many comparable backcountry trips in Alaska. We still offset all of our carbon for short flight and the drive to and from Anchorage. These offsets are included in the price of the trip.

Non-Profit Partner: Alaska Wildlife Alliance

Alaska Wildlife Alliance works to protect Alaska’s wild creatures and the habitats they call home. A significant monetary donation will be make to the Alaska Wildlife Alliance in honor of this trip. Learn more about our non-profit partner program on our Why Us page.

Is this the trip for you? Fill out our Trip Interest Form. Not sure yet? Explore the Tour Plan, Gallery and Location tabs above.

9 Days
14 years+ Age
  • Departure
  • Dress Code
  • Included
    Food While In The Wilderness
    Lodging on Night One of Your Trip (Location Varies by Trip)
    Professional Guide Service
    Roundtrip Transportation from Your Trip's Departure City (Typically Anchorage or Fairbanks)
    Safety & Repair Gear
    Stoves, Cooking & Eating Utensils
    Water Filter
  • Not Included
    Additional Food or Meals (beyond those described in the itinerary)
    Additonal Hotel Nights (beyond any described in the itinerary)
    Alcoholic Beverages
    Guide Gratuities
    Personal Clothing & Equipment
Day 1 - Arrive in Anchorage, Group Orientation
Arrive in Anchorage any time before 4pm this day. Check into our hotel - details will be in your pre-trip information email. We'll meet at 4pm as a group to get to know one another, go over your equipment, distribute personal and group gear that you will be carrying and review our route. We will plan to wrap up by 7pm to ensure plenty of time for you to enjoy a tasty dinner in Anchorage, grab any last minute items you may have forgotten (Anchorage does have a great local gear shop AMH and an REI), and get a good night's rest before we depart for the backcountry.
Meals included: none; Accommodations: Hotel in Anchorage
Day 2-8 - Saturday, July 29th - Backcountry Travel
We'll depart Anchorage early on the morning of July 23rd. We'll drive roughly 2.5 hours to the small community of Glacier View, stopping for bathroom breaks and photos along the way. Once in Glacier View we'll board our flight* with Meekin's Air (truly legendary Alaskan bush pilots) for our brief flight into the backcountry. Once we're dropped in the backcountry, we'll spend our days traveling south through the Talkeetna Mountains. We'll hike across tundra, climb steep mountain passes, and ford alpine streams. We'll learn how to travel through Alaska’s unique terrain and look for the animals that call this place home. Our final few days we'll utilize multi-use trails as we descend towards the Glenn Highway. Our days will be spent on foot, moving for up to 8 hours per day. Our evenings and mornings will be spent beneath the cook tarp getting to know one another and enjoying the camaraderie of backcountry travel.
Meals included: all; Accommodations: backcountry camping   *Note: bush flights are notoriously unpredictable. Be prepared for delays due to weather.
Day 9 - Exit the Backcountry, Return to Anchorage
This morning we'll utilize a network of local, multi-use trails to descend from the alpine tundra to the Glenn Highway. There we will catch our awaiting shuttle. After celebrating the completion of our route, we'll begin heading back to Anchorage. Again, our drive will take roughly 2.5 hours, depending on the road conditions. If returning home this day, please schedule flights for after 10pm to allow for any unexpected delays. Better yet, if your schedule allows, give yourself a couple of days to explore Anchorage and beyond to see a little more of what Alaska has to offer.
Meals included: breakfast and lunch; Accommodations: none

About the Talkeetna Mountains

The Talkeetna Mountains are the historic and current lands of the Ahtna and Dena'ina people of Alaska. The Talkeetna Mountains are bound by the Matanuska River to the south and the Susitna River to the West and North. The range gradually descends to the lowlands and lake-studded terrain to the east. The majority of the range is currently owned by the State of Alaska and is home to is home to many large mammals including grizzly/brown bears, black bears, moose, caribou, wolves, wolverines, and Dall's Sheep. The highest point in the range, Sovereign Mountain is found near the glaciated center of the range. 

Ready to Join this Trip?

  1. Fill out the Trip Interest Form.
  2. We will get in touch with you to discuss the trip.
  3. Confirm your participation with a trip deposit.
    • What if the trip has not yet met the minimum number of two guests? Pay your deposit per usual. If the trip does not meet it's minimum by 30 days prior to departure, you have three options:
      1. Pay a premium for a private and/or below-minimum trip
      2. Transfer your deposit to another Tundra Travels trip
      3. Receive a full refund of your deposit
  4. Prepare by downloading the Personal Equipment Checklist, commit to a physical training plan if necessary and stock up on some books and podcasts from our recommended list to get stoked!
  5. Book your flights and pre- and post-trip accommodations.
  6. Stay in touch with any questions that come to mind!