I would be astounded to learn that any tours are operating at that time out of Talkeetna. The NATC does have a daily leaving from Fairbanks...as long as they have the minimum number of passengers.
Just snag a rental car and make the trek up to Fairbanks. Hundreds of vehicles do it every day, if you take the Parks Hwy route, and many dozens, if you go the slightly longer but more scenic Glenn & Richardson Hwy route. Once in Fairbanks, you can play it by your weather ear and fatigue factor to determine if you wish to head even further north up to the Arctic Circle which, by the way, is just a quasi-imaginary spot on a bleak road....as there really is not much in the way of beauty up there at that time of year, and many, many hours of darkness (not so fun to drive in). So if you DO drive beyond Fairbanks in your own car, do leave before dawn (about 7:30-8am) so that most of your trip, particularly the return, will be in daylight.
From Fairbanks, you can decide whether or not to retrace your route or make the r/t by completing the loop along the road you didn't take for the trip up.
Only a VERY small fraction of the accommodations facilities along these roads are open in winter, and if you're traveling on a weekend, expect bed competition from weekend warriors out of Anchorage and Palmer/Wasilla and Fairbanks who come to these places for snowmachining, etc., so it's a good idea not to totally wing it. Let us know if you're headed up or down the Richardson -
Audubon L. Bakewell IV
Denali HIghhway Cabins
Edited: 1:20 pm, October 21, 2012