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IDIA04 Iditarod Race & Alaska Winter Adventure

  • end: Fairbanks
  • map/image selection: Map
  • Code: IDIA04

IDIA04 Iditarod Race & Alaska Winter Adventure in 2025

This 10 day adventure tour combines the highlights of the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race, a scenic trip on board the Alaska Railroad via Talkeetna to Fairbanks. Talkeetna retained much of the turn-of-the 20th-century gold mining flavor and offers many outdoor winteradventures, such as cross-country skiing, snow machining, and sled dog rides. Your tour startsin Anchorage where you’ll witness the Iditarod ceremonial race start on the snow covered Anchorage’s 4th Avenue, the restart activities in Willow and the extremely scenic checkpoint flight to Rainy Pass within the magnificent Alaska Mountain Range. Fly up the Iditarod Trail to the 4th checkpoint at Rainy Pass Lodge. Experience the race action as the mushers and their dog teams arrive at the checkpoint and take care of their huskies. View the Alaska Aurora Borealis in all its glory as you gaze upon the Northern Lights  at Chena Hot Springs Resort. Relax in natural outdoor hot springs pool, visit the ice museum, join a sled dog ride and enjoy the many winter festivities Fairbanks has to offer.

  • Itinerary

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Anchorage (Mushers Banquet) ( Overnight: Anchorage )

Welcome to Anchorage! Check in to your hotel in downtown Anchorage.  At 4:00 PM doors open for the Musher Meet & Greet at the Dena'ina Center. The program and Mushers banquet dinner begins at 6:00 PM. Main part is the annual banquet fundraiser and drawing for the official start order. The banquet celebrates the mushers who are about to take part in the race. Attendees can help raise funds for the Iditarod via a robust live and silent auction while enjoying a 3-course meal and watching the mushers take the stage to draw for their official start order. This is a must for anyone interested to observe "The Last Great Race on Earth" for the first time. Participants have plenty of photo opportunities, good chances to meet and talk with the Iditarod Musher personally and collect autographs. 

Anchorage (City Sightseeing Tour) ( Overnight: Anchorage )

Your 3 hr Anchorage sightseeing tour starts at historic Ship Creek, where Anchorage was born as a tent city. This is also the location of the rail terminal for the historic Alaska Railroad. Check out this year’s snow sculptures and vote for your favorite. Next we’ll travel through Bootleggers Cove, stopping for a walk in Earthquake Park where you’ll see signs of the 1964 earthquake. Then, we’ll take a drive around Lake Hood, home to the world's busiest seaplane base! Following this stop, you'll visit the incomparable Turnagain Arm and Beluga Point. Take in the majestic scenery and scout for Beluga whales and Dall sheep. Your journey continues into Potter's Marsh, the Anchorage Coastal Wildlife Refuge, a visit to Chugach State Park and the stunning vistas of Flattop Mountain.

Anchorage (Iditarod Ceremonial Race Start) ( Overnight: Anchorage )

The legendary Iditarod Race starts at 10 AM on 4th. Avenue in Anchorage. Observe the start preparations, take close up pictures from about 50 Mushers, over 1000 Sled Dogs and enjoy the bustling and exciting race atmosphere before the teams are leaving from the starting line for the "1050 mile race to Nome". Anchorage parks and green belts are providing also a great alternative to observe the race activities. The Balto Statue marks the ceremonial starting point of the Iditarod. Balto was the final lead sled dog in a relay of dogsleds that brought vaccine from Anchorage to Nome just in time to stop a diphtheria epidemic in 1925. The story of the sled dog relay is a classic tale of adventure and sacrifice, as mushers risked their lives in brutal conditions to save their fellow citizens.

Anchorage (Iditarod Race Start Willow) ( Overnight: Anchorage )

After breakfast board the motorcoach for a guided tour to the official Iditarod Race Start in Willow. Leave at 9:30 AM and enjoy the drive along the scenic Glenn Highway with a brief stopover in Wasilla. Continue to Willow where the Iditarod restart ceremony begins at 2:00 PM. Enjoy the busy and bustling Iditarod race atmosphere and the mushers final preparation. For mushers, thousands of cheering fans at the official race restart -- following Saturday's ceremonial start in Anchorage -- now give way to remote Alaska wilderness and the promise of a finish line in Nome some 1,000 miles away, but not before crossing a trail that may prove perilous for both mushers and dogs. Return to Anchorage approximately 7:00 PM.

Anchorage (Rainy Pass Checkpoint Day Tour) ( Overnight: Anchorage )

Morning ski-plane fly-out for a breathtaking flightseeing trip along the Alaska Mountain Range to Rainy Pass Checkpoint along the Iditarod Trail. The gateway to the interior offers truly the most spectacular scenery of the entire Iditarod Trail. Many teams are taking their mandatory 24 hour layover here before venturing via the treacherous Farewell Burn area and into the flat lands of the interior. You'll spend the whole day within the incredible wilderness area along the trail observing various dog-mushing activities and teams arriving and departing. A delicious lunch is served at Rainy Pass Lodge. Return flight to Anchorage in the late afternoon. 

Anchorage – Talkeetna | by Alaska Railroad ( Overnight: Talkeetna )

Depart Anchorage at 8:30 AM for a scenic rail tour to Talkeetna on board the Alaska Railroad. Passengers may enjoy the winter wonderland of Alaska’s backcountry from the comfort of a warm railcar, complete with comfortable seats, large picture windows and onboard dining. On a clear day, a spectacular view of Denali rises into view above the Susitna River. And anywhere along the tracks, a watchful eye may be rewarded with the sight of a moose in the wild. Arrive in Talkeetna and transfer to a beautiful mountain lodge with breathtaking views of Mt. Denali. Watch the Aurora Borealis at night dancing on the northern sky.

Talkeetna ( Overnight: Talkeetna )

As turn-of-the-20th-century gold-mining center, Talkeetna has retained much of its early Alaska flavor. Log cabins, a roadhouse and clapboard storefronts line the dirt streets. Talkeetna is a small little hamlet, which bustles in the summer with lots of tourists, outdoor activities and mountain climbers. Although in the winter it is much quieter, there are many outdoor adventures available, such as cross-country skiing, snow machining, and sled dog rides. You might even choose to take a sightseeing plane ride to see Mt. Denali up close and personal. With the colder temperatures and dark skies, you can see the Northern Lights up-close and personal right above your lodge and atop the Alaska Range. We’ll even give you a wake-up call during the night, so you don’t miss the spectacular views!

Talkeetna - Fairbanks | by Alaska Railroad ( Overnight: Fairbanks )

Board the Alaska Railroad at 11:15 AM and enjoy the scenic ride via Denali National Park to Fairbanks. Have your camera ready as the train crosses Hurricane Gulch Bridge, 300 feet above the creek. You'll get fantastic views of the snow covered Alaska Mountain Range and a glimpse of Denali National Park before arriving in Fairbanks at 8:00 PM. Transfer to your hotel near the banks of the beautiful Chena River. Known as the Golden Heart City of Alaska, Fairbanks is tucked into miles of unexplored wilderness only 120 miles from the Arctic Circle. Fairbanks offers many winter activities; from the Open North Sled Dog Race Championship to the World Ice Art Championship - Ice Alaska.

Fairbanks (Chena Aurora Viewing Tour) ( Overnight: Fairbanks )

Sleep in late this morning. During the day you have time to join a sled dog tour, go ice fishing or explore the Alaska University Museum. At 5 PM you'll be picked up from your hotel for your visit to Chena Hot Springs Resort, 60 miles northeast of Fairbanks. The large heated mineral indoor pool, the outdoor rock lake and numerous hot tubs are providing a great opportunity to soak, swim or rejuvenate until the Northern Lights appear in the evening. Included is the visit to the famous Aurora Ice Museum and Stoli Ice Bar. Dine at the restaurant serving everything from hamburgers to Alaskan King crab, or choose to join the free geothermal tour. Enjoy Northern Lights viewing opportunities after darkness at Chena Hot Springs Resort. Return to Fairbanks between 3 and 4 AM.


This morning you have time to visit the Alaska University Museum with the States largest collection of gold nuggets, gold mining history and Alaskan heritage artifacts and the nearby Geophysical Institute - recognized as the best in the world for its Aurora Borealis research activities. You may join a Bush Mail Plane Flight to a remote native village above the Arctic Circle. Downtown Fairbanks offers a variety of excellent gift shops and art galleries such as the "Roseberry Art Gallery" with some tasteful items for your friends at home. Stroll through downtown before returning to the airport for your individual flight home. Tour extension is avaiable upon request.

Rates in US $ / per Person
Comfort Hotel Category Single Double Triple Quad Child
February 27 - March 8 $3773 $3017 $2826 $2730 $2137
First Class Hotel Category Single Double Triple Quad Child
February 27 - March 8 $4505 $3384 $3075 $2921 $2137

What’s included

9 Nights Comfort or First Class Hotel Accommodation

Local Taxes

Mushers Banquet Ticket, Meet & Greet including Dinner

Iditarod Restart Tour to Willow

Flightseeing Day Tour to Rainy Pass Checkpoint including lunch

Alaska Winter Rail Tour from Anchorage – Talkeetna

Alaska Winter Rail Tour from Talkeetna – Fairbanks

Reserved Seats

Fairbanks: Chena Northern Lights Viewing Tour

Talkeeta and Fairbanks Airport & Railroad Station Transfers

Anchorage Airport Transfers (Comfort Hotel Category only)

Sightseeing Information

Tour Documentation

Tour Departures

February 27 - March 08, 2025

Matanuska Glacier Walk

The Matanuska Glacier is a stable 27 mile long river of ancient ice. Thousands of years old, this massive glacier is tucked up into the Matanuska Valley. You spend 2 h. on the glacier learning how the glacier has formed the landscape in the Matanuska Valley. Explore blue meltwater pools, the ice formations and deep crevasses that make up the Matanuska Glacier. Walking on ice is slippery fun so our guests are equipped with a helmet, walking stick and cramp on for your shoes. This tour requires a walk of 1.5-2 h. In these winter months, we will actually have the assistance of a snowmachine. Of course, our fully-guided transportation includes a pick up at your hotel in Anchorage as well as water and snacks in the touring vehicle. We will also stop for lunch where we will overlook the glacier while enjoying some yummy Alaskan fare

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Alaska Winter Dog Sled Adventure - 2 hrs 

Experience the ultimate Alaska adventure with our #1-rated Dog Sled tours! Located near the iconic Iditarod restart in Willow - 70 miles north of Anchorage, we invite you to delve into the magic of dog sledding, a quintessential experience in the Last Frontier. From the moment you step into our kennel, you'll be greeted by retired sled dogs eager to share their stories. Every dog is considered part of our family, and this bond is palpable as you embark on your dog sled tour. Witness the enthusiasm and camaraderie as dogs in their prime lead you through Alaska's winter trails, each holding a special place in our team. Join us for an unforgettable outing, complete with outfitting, trail tales, and the chance to ride in a custom sled or even help drive! Be part of the excitement and give our dogs the love they deserve. Tour times are 10 AM, 12 PM, 2 PM

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Alaska Snowmobile Adventure 

Experience the thrill of riding snowmobiles in the wild backcountry of Alaska with opportunities to see wildlife, breathtaking views of Denali, and of course plenty of charging through the powder. Whether you’re a first-time rider or have more experience, our trails cover a wide variety of terrain from twists and turns to snow-covered forests and mountains that will keep you smiling all day long. Located just over an hour from downtown Anchorage, we have hundreds of miles to ride in Willow. Our tours take you from trail riding to exploring powder-covered fields on the Iditarod Trail, or climbing up the Talkeetna Mountains on Hatcher Pass. We’ll build your skills as we go and help you feel confident to ride like a champ as we get you into the best spots in Alaska! 3 hr Duration. Optional shuttle from Anchorage: add $100 per person

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Prince William Sound Glacier & Wildlife Cruise

A rich variety of wildlife thrives year-round in Prince William Sound, and you can cruise these spectacular waters in the comfort of our spacious heated cabins. Winter is no obstacle to your enjoying the beauty of alpine glaciers, jagged shorelines and towering rocky outcroppings through our vessels' large picture windows. We commonly see Steller sea lions, sea otters, Dall's porpoise, and perhaps even Orca or Humpback whales. There is also a variety of ducks and waterfowl present at this time of the year. Join the 3 1/2 hr cruise to see the massive tidewater glaciers of Alaska at Blackstone Bay and Beloit Glacier - some of the most amazing sights you will ever see. Cruise along Passage Canal and venture into magnificent Blackstone Bay, home to seven glaciers and Yosemite-scale waterfalls. During our adventure you’ll step ashore to experience the natural geology and thick rainforest. Enjoy a snack and hot drink as you reflect on your journey and this magnificent nook of Alaska.

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Camila, Australia: Hello! The tour was wonderful and we had an amazing time. Nearly every detail was perfect. It was our first time in Anchorage in the winter time to see the Iditarod, Sled Dog Race. We had the great time to watch the ceremonial start of the race on Saturday in Anchorage and on Sunday, going to Willow to see the re-start. Before the start we went to side streets to see the preparation for musher and dogs. All the dogs were so excited to go. Then the start itself. Very interesting is when you know a few mushers. We caught the Winter Aurora Train from Anchorage to Talkeetna and I have to say, it is an enjoyable ride. We were extremely lucky with the weather and had a clear sunny day for the trip. The scenery was absolutely spectacular, and we were able to get some amazing photos of Mt. McKinley and other fabulous scenes along the way. Talkeetna is a gorgeous little place. This Chena aurora tour was another highlight of our vacation! Our guide was wonderful and very passionate about Fairbanks, Alaska, about the Alaskan culture and loves the Aurora as much as we do! We enjoyed the Ice Museum and the hot springs, but seeing the Aurora was a bucket list moment!! Highly recommend this tour.