Amazing Alaska winter tours package to experience the start of the 2016 Iditarod.
Iditarod Start Tour highlights: 2016 Iditarod Mushers Banquet, 2016 Iditarod Start and Re-start, Rainy Pass Checkpoint fly-in, Mushing experience, Glacier adventure by snowmobile, and Northern Lights viewing (weather permitting)!
2016 Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race Start Tour Package details
- 2016 Tour Dates: Wednesday, March 2, 2016, through Tuesday, March 8, 2016
- 7 days / 6 nights · From Anchorage
- $2,950 per person, double occupancy, all inclusive (all accommodations, meals,transportation, activities) $400 single supplement
“I’ve come to realize that what I most appreciated of your guiding was how you let each of us “discover” the Iditarod in our own way, but without any of the usual burdens of researching and planning. You provided that perfect blend of freedom and support for each member of the group. From your website, I knew that we would be traveling with a world-class photo journalist. I now know that you are a world-class guide, too. We were so fortunate to have found you!”
– Susan Yamada, Hawaii –
What you can expect from Wild Alaska Travel’s 2016 Iditarod Start Tour Package?
- Attend the 2016 Iditarod Musher’s Start banquet
- Experience and photograph the start of the 2016 Iditarod Sled Dog Race in Anchorage
- Experience and photograph the re-start of the 2016 Iditarod Sled Dog Race in Willow
- Fly to the scenic Iditarod checkpoint of Rainy Pass
- Kennel Visit and Dog Mushing Experience
- Snowmobile adventure to experience an Alaska glacier up close and personal
- Northern Lights viewing (weather permitting)
- And much more!
“Thanks for an adventure of a lifetime! I’m so glad I picked your Iditarod Start Tour. It was the perfect combination of activities and the accommodations were excellent. You were a great host! It was wonderful to not have to worry about anything but getting caught up in the excitement of the dogs.” - Kellee Ash, Texas –
2016 Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race Start Tour Package Itinerary
Day 1 – Welcome To Alaska And The Iditarod!
You will arrive during the day at Anchorage International Airport, where we will pick you up and take you to a wonderful Bed and Breakfast located in downtown Anchorage.
This will be your home for the next week and the base for our Iditarod Start Tour. Your first contact with the Iditarod will be at the Iditarod Race Headquarters, where you will get a feel for the excitement prior to the start of the race. We will also check out the snow sculpting competition that is part of the Anchorage Spring Carnival, the Fur Rendezvous. In the evening, you will have the Welcome dinner in one of Anchorage’s best restaurants in the heart of the city. Weather permitting, you will be able to catch your first glimpse of the northern lights. If the aurora forecast is good, we will make every effort during the tour to take you to the best place near Anchorage with no light pollution from where you can fully experience the magical northern lights.
Day 2 – Alaska Dog Mushing Experience & Iditarod Musher Banquet
After a hearty breakfast, you will head north to Willow to go dog mushing. This experience provides you with an excellent opportunity to learn about the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race race and mushing basics combined with the exhilaration of a sled dog ride and driving a team of sled dogs. You will definitely gain an appreciation why dog mushing is Alaska’s state sport. In the afternoon, you will head back to Anchorage to attend the musher’s banquet, where you will enjoy dinner while watching the Iditarod entrants draw for their starting bib number. This is a great opportunity to meet your favorite musher and get autographs and free Iditarod posters.
Day 3 – Alaska Snowmobile Glacier Adventure
This morning we drive from Anchorage along scenic Turnagain Arm and Chugach State Park to the town of Girdwood for an amazing snowmobile adventure. On this tour, you will access a glacier, icebergs, and incredible ice caves in the Chugach Mountains. Once at the glacier, time will be spent taking amazing photos that will last a lifetime. Have you ever been inside a glacier? These glacial fed valleys are the only ones in North America that are accessible by snowmobiles. In the afternoon, you will have a chance to visit the Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center, where you will be able see grizzly bears, moose, caribou, and many other Alaska animals. We will have dinner in the quaint ski town of Girdwood, before driving back to Anchorage.
Day 4 – Iditarod Ceremonial Start In Downtown Anchorage
This morning is the Ceremonial Start of the 1,000-mile Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race in downtown Anchorage. You will mingle with hundreds of dogs, dozens mushers at this jovial celebratory kickoff of the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race in Anchorage. All the mushers and their teams of 16 dogs each inundate Alaska’s largest city for the annual ceremonial start of the race in a fan-friendly atmosphere. The real race starts tomorrow, 50 miles north of Anchorage. Musher’s trucks line city streets and you will have the opportunity to spend several hours meandering from musher to musher, stopping to chat or pet dogs. Later in the morning, mushers leave the starting gate two minutes apart in the staggered launch to the race. The mushers take a leisurely 11-mile jaunt on urban trails within the city of Anchorage. In the afternoon, we take in some more of the excitement of the Fur Rendezvous, and have the option to participate in Alaska’s wackiest race, the ‘Running of the Reindeer’. Participants have their choice of five different “herds” in a mad dash down the streets of Anchorage in an effort to outrun reindeer. We will also make a stop at the Alaska Native Heritage Center and explore the Coastal Trail for photographic opportunities of Anchorage, Cook Inlet and the Chugach Mountains. You will eat dinner again in a nice restaurant in downtown Anchorage.
Day 5 – Iditarod Re-Start in Willow
Today we head to Willow, 50 miles north of Anchorage, for the Iditarod re-start and a full day of race action. The ceremonial start took place amid a party-like atmosphere. But the restart’s mood is charged with tension as mushers switch to the business of racing. The race begins in earnest now, as the competitors are now on-the-clock. We will spend most of the day on Willow Lake in the company of hundreds of race fans, and watch all the participants embark on their long journey to Nome. This is your chance to high-five mushers as they leave the starting chute! After the last musher leaves Willow Lake, we will drive to Settler’s Bay Lodge for dinner, before heading back to Anchorage. This is often a great location to see the northern lights.
Day 6 - Fly-In To Rainy Pass Iditarod Checkpoint
Today is the one of the highlights of the Iditarod Start Tour, as we hop on a skiplane at Lake Hood and fly along the Iditarod Trail to the scenic Iditarod checkpoint of Rainy Pass in the heart of the Alaska Range. You will have a window seat and your pilot will pick up the trail near the Skwentna checkpoint and follow it as it climbs to Finger Lake, then up the Happy River Steps to the Rainy Pass Check Point at Puntilla Lake. View the spectacular and rugged scenery and spot teams making their way up the trail to the checkpoint. Once you land at Puntilla Lake, you will be in the middle of the action as mushers and their teams arrive, feed their dogs, rest or prepare to cross the Alaska Range through Rainy Pass then exit down through the treacherous Dalzell Gorge. You will have all day to fully immerse yourself in the race action. For lunch, enjoy a home style meal at Rainy Pass Lodge. We will fly back to Anchorage in the late afternoon. During the Farewell dinner at one of Anchorage’s best restaurants, we will recount stories from the Iditarod Start Tour and reflect on what was an amazing week.
Day 7 – Farewell To Alaska
You will say goodbye to Alaska today, and take your great memories and photos home with you. After breakfast, you will have time to do some last-minute shopping. Later in the morning, we will take you to the airport, where you will board your plane home.
If you are interested in experiencing the Finish of the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race in Nome, please check out our exciting Iditarod Finish & Northern Lights Tour package!
“Thanks for introducing us to the Iditarod world. You were a fantastic leader, very knowledgeable, responsive, accommodating, interactive and inclusive. Great traits for a great guide!” - Susan Eichor, Hawaii –