Activities and Attractions
Fishing, Hiking, Climbing, Air Tours, Scenery
Denali Overlook Inn
TIPS AND TRICKS
We recently flew a DA62 from Long Beach to Tokyo and back. Why? That is explained in another story. One amazing thing about a flight that included Canada, Alaska, Eastern Siberia and Japan is that arguably the most dramatic scenery was in the United States, Alaska in particular, a place we can fly to with out the bureaucracy associated with more exotic travel.
Talkeetna (PATK) is an airport approximately 70 miles north of Anchorage and a great destination. The airport is a hub for air tours of the area around Denali while also a base for planes to take climbers and hikers and drop them on the glaciers and snowfields further up Denali from where then can begin their ascent of this magnificent mountain. For this reason the airport is a hive of activity with all sorts of interesting aircraft scurrying about – bring your camera! Another great feature of the airport is its accessibility to the town of Talkeetna. It is an easy 10-15 minute walk from you airplane to a plethora of shops, cafe’s, bars and restaurants. Once you have taken in the sights and atmosphere of the little town you should take the opportunity of flying around the magnificent scenery. A good option is to visit one of the tour operator offices and receive a briefing on some of the routes to fly around Denali. We took the DA62 up one of the Glaciers, over a ridge and down another giving a flight experience second to none.
These types of trips are not be be taken lightly (though it does help if the plane is light) since mountain flying experience, a thorough briefing and diligent preparation are a must. Rapidly rising terrain, changing winds, turbulence and high density altitudes all provide challenges that must be approached with diligence and professionalism. The rising terrain can easily outperform your aircraft and the canyons and valleys can narrow leaving no escape route. Since this is an area popular with tour operators, talking on common traffic frequencies and following acknowledged traffic flow patterns is also a must.There are many spectacular places to fly in the world, Talkeetna and the area around it is certainly near the top of the list.
Talkeetna Airport (PATK)
12.5 hours (with departure from KLGB)
62.32 N 150.09 W
Weekend, Long Weekend