Our 2017 Iditarod Finish & Northern Lights Tour is the most comprehensive guided 2017 Iditarod Tours Package to experience the finish of Alaska’s #1 winter event, the epic 1,000-mile Iditarod Sled Trail Sled Dog Race in Nome and to see the northern lights.
Fully immerse yourself in an authentic, uniquely Alaskan winter experience. Witness the finish of the Iditarod, fly to the Elim Iditarod checkpoint to follow the race action, drive a snowmobile to the last Iditarod checkpoint in Safety and attend the Finisher’s banquet. Go dog mushing with your own dog team, play golf on the frozen Bering Sea, and much more.
Day 1 – Welcome to Nome! Situated at the tip of Seward Peninsula and overlooking the Bering Sea, Nome may well be Alaska’s most exiting winter destination. This unique Alaskan town is rich in colorful Gold Rush history, and is the finish of the annual 1,049-mile Iditarod Sled Dog Race. You will arrive on a scheduled Alaska Airlines flight from Anchorage. You will be picked up at the airport, transfer to the Dredge No. 7 Inn, Nome’s best accommodation.
You will have an orientation of the week ahead during lunch, and in the afternoon you will have a chance to familiarize yourself with Nome, visit the Iditarod headquarters and go for a walk on the frozen Bering Sea.
Every night during your stay in Nome, you will head out of town to photograph the Northern Lights, weather permitting. Just watching the aurora borealis is an amazing sight. Imagine yourself standing there, mesmerized by the movement of the lights through the northern sky.
Day 2 – This morning, local guide Richard Beneville will take you on a city tour. A former Broadway showman, he’s a man with a catch phrase (“Hello, Central!”) and a TV show, but his real performances are on his tours. He artfully employs his dramatic talents and in-depth knowledge of the area’s cultures and history, weaving the “short” 106-year history of Nome within the framework of 10,000 years of Eskimo culture. Richard’s passion for the Far North—his home for the past two decades—will rub off on you. Seeing Nome with him is a truly authentic local experience!
In the afternoon, you will ride a snowmobile into the backcountry to see and photograph muskoxen and possibly reindeer. The original muskoxen in Alaska died out in the 1800s, but a program to reestablish muskoxen on the Seward Peninsula has so far been extremely successful. The latest count of muskoxen on the Seward Peninsula shows their numbers approaching 3,000. We will also try to spot some of the 25,000 reindeer that roam the Seward Peninsula.
Day 3 – Today’s schedule will revolve around the Finish of the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race. You will head for Front Street to witness the Iditarod Finish & crowning of the 2016 Iditarod champion. Watch as the excitement builds and the city of Nome prepares to greet the musher who is the first to cross the finish line, after mushing across 1000 miles of North America’s wildest terrain in conditions best described as extreme.
Day 4 – Today, you will fly with Bering Air to the Iditarod checkpoint of Elim. You will fly along the coastline of Norton Sound, and have opportunities to see spectacular sea ice formations. You will spend most of the day at the Elim checkpoint, observing mushers and their teams as they arrive, rest and leave the checkpoint. In addition, you will get a feel for what it means to live in a remote village in Alaska. Experiencing life in a small Alaska Native village may offer you one of the most memorable and eye-opening travel experiences you’ll have in your life. One reason a visit is so special is that these Alaska villages see very few visitors. In fact, if they see a few organized tours each year, it’s a lot. And the Inpuiat Eskimos of this region are among the state’s most welcoming native peoples. You will return in the evening with Bering Air back to Nome.
Day 5 – Today you will ride by snowmobile to Safety, the last checkpoint along the Iditarod Trail. You will drive your snowmobile 22 miles along the Iditarod Trail and get a feel for what the trail conditions faced for almost 1,000 miles. You will be able to have lunch and a warm or cold drink at the bar at Safety Roadhouse. Weather permitting, you will drive further down the trail to the ‘Last Train to Nowhere’, an abandoned train from the gold rush era that sits on the tundra.
Day 6 –In the morning, you will start the day by hiking out on the sea ice to capture the beauty of the frozen Bering Sea and explore some of the stunning ice formations. We will continue to keep an eye on the race action between Safety and Nome, and watch more Iditarod teams arrive under the ‘Burled Arch’. You will also have a chance to enjoy some of the unique events of ‘Iditarod Week’ in Nome.
In the afternoon, you will explore the road system around Nome. You will head out the Teller Road, Kougarok, and Council Roads. What you’ll find is some of Alaska’s most captivating landscapes—a wilderness that draws you in quickly and holds your attention. Up here, less than 150 miles from the Arctic Circle, there are no trees, so you can see forever. We will look for old gold dredges and wildlife and experience some of the unique scenery around Nome.
Day 7 – In the morning, you will play golf at the famous Bering Sea Ice Golf Classic. Played on a six-hole, par-41 course laid out on the frozen Bering Sea, you will get shotgun shells to use as tees and “snake bite remedies” — small bottles of liquor — to ward off the chill.
In the afternoon, you will have a chance to drive your own team of sled dogs on a beautiful trail across the frozen tundra outside of Nome and feel the thrill of standing on the runners and being pulled by some of the most amazing canine athletes in the world. This experience provides an excellent opportunity to learn more about mushing basics combined with the exhilaration of competing in a race and driving your own team.
Day 8 – In the morning, you will have a chance to explore Nome on your own, visit with mushers at the dog yard, and do some last minute shopping at the Arts and Craft Fair. We will still keep an eye on mushers arriving under the ‘Burled Arch’.
In the afternoon, you will join the festivities of the 2016 Iditarod Finishers’ and Awards Banquet, which honors numerous mushers for a variety of accomplishments, including those related to speed, sportsmanship, and care for their dogs. It’s another great opportunity to get up close and personal with the mushers of “The Last Great Race.”
Day 9 – This morning you bid farewell to Nome and ‘Iditarod Week’. You return home with a wealth of images and stories and new friendships for your 2016 Iditarod Finish and Northern Lights Tour. And you will have gained a better appreciation why people say ‘There’s no place like Nome!’
“I enjoyed everything more than words can ever describe. Because of you, I had one of the best experiences I've ever had in my life!”
Sherry Hale, Tennessee
“WOW, wow, wow. It was THE trip of a lifetime, no exaggeration. I could tell from Laurent's video on his website it was going to be fantastic. But I had no idea how great it would really be until we spent the week with him. It's a nonstop adventure, he goes to all lengths to make sure you're experiencing everything there is to experience. It was absolutely incredible. Honestly, we left wanting for nothing when it was over, except maybe to become mushers ourselves. Thank you Laurent for giving us the experience you did - we will definitely be back!!!”
Jodi Woolard, Washington
“This is a trip I will never forget. Words can hardly describe it. I’ve learned so much and have a new appreciation for another corner of our big beautiful world. You made that possible. Thanks for everything! “
Linda Bauer, Wisconsin
“Thank you so much for an incredible adventure in Nome and for making our first to Alaska so much fun. We loved having the opportunity to explore with you.”
Sara & Thomas McElroy, Washington
“What an awesome week with so many fun adventures – I can’t imagine a better Iditarod trip!”
Diane Beck, Alaska
“Thanks for an awesome trip! I enjoyed every minute of it. I learned a lot and experienced a lot of firsts… snow machining, dog mushing, native village life, and standing on the frozen Bering Sea. How great is that?”
Janet Hart, Tennessee
“Thank you for all you did throughout our stay to make it one of our most memorable trips. It was fantastic!”
Bill & Linda Bauer, Wisconsin
“We had a wonderful time and experienced the real Alaska.”
Diane Collins, Australia
“Thank you so much for the incredible adventure for the Iditarod in Nome! Everything was perfect!”
Geoff Palcher, Maryland
“Thank you for a great week! I had so many new adventures that will stay with me forever!”
Teresa Garza, Texas
“This adventure (not vacation) was the most thrilling I ever experienced.”
“Visiting Nome with Laurent was one of the best vacations we ever took.”
Kathy Modesitt, South Carolina
“We had a great time in Nome! It was a really fun. We would definitely book another trip with Wild Alaska Travel.”
Bill & Dian Taylor, Australia
“Going to Nome to see the finish of the Iditarod with Wild Alaska Travel was the best time of my life."
Dawn Olweck-Bourgignon, New York
“Laurent, you are an excellent guide. You made all the right decisions to make things happen. I had a fantastic time!”
Larry Feeney, Massachusetts
“Where do I begin? The trip to Nome for the Iditarod was so much more than I expected. Riding snow machines to see muskoxen was awesome. Going to the different Iditarod checkpoints and interacting with the mushers was fantastic. The viewing of the northern lights was great. Mushing a dog team was a first for me. Just experiencing the life style in a bush village where everyone was so accepting was priceless!”
Christine Sotack Kotouch, Alaska
“The Iditarod Finish & Northern Lights Tour was indeed a once in a lifetime experience for me. Laurent is extremely knowledgeable about traveling in remote and off the beaten track places in Alaska. I would recommend anyone interested in getting exposed to true Alaskan wilderness to travel with Wild Alaska Travel and Laurent as a guide. Most of the things one will see or learn through these tours are unique and it is unlikely those will be available through generic Alaskan tours.”
Prasun Choudhury, California
Thank you for a truly wonderful Alaskan experience. My friend and I will be talking about this trip for a long time! You were an awesome host & guide and a terrific cook. I am looking forward to booking another tour with Wild Alaska Travel.
Holly Mantooth, Tennessee
|Price (all inclusive)||From||Group size||Tour dates|
|$4,450||Nome , Alaska||max. 10||
March 11 - 19, 2018
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