IDIA01 Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race Tour Start

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The Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race is one of Alaska’s most popular winter events, and the excitement starts in Anchorage on the first Saturday of March each year. Crowds gather in downtown Anchorage to celebrate the ceremonial start of the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog race. The annual long-distance sled dog race runs from Anchorage to Nome and mushers and a team of 14 dogs cover the distance in 8–15 days or more. Our Iditarod tour start package features many highlights around the race start and Fur Rendezvous celebration. Visit the kennel of a famous Iditarod veteran and get to know  everything about the Iditarod Race. Then it’s all about mushing! Ride with a team of Iditarod huskies through stunning scenery on actual trails for a wilderness experience. The Mushers Banquet dinner is the annual banquet fundraiser and drawing for the official start order. This is the chance to meet the mushers personally. Experience the bustling atmosphere of the Iditarod ceremonial race start on Anchorage's 4th Avenue and the Iditarod restart in Willow. Please  read  our  itinerary  to  have  more  detailed  day-to-day  experience.  On  request,  this  trip  can  be  customized.

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Itinerary

Anchorage ( Overnight: Anchorage )

Welcome to Alaska ! Transfer to your hotel in downtown Anchorage. The remaining day is at leisure and you have time to enjoy the many winter festival activities during Winter Fur Rendezvous with: Native Arts Market, Theater Show, Winter Carnival Activities, Snow & Ice Sculpture Competition, Snowshoe Softball Matches and Firework Displays - while the cities gears up for the Iditarod Race Start over the weekend. The statue of the legendary lead dog Balto, located on 4th Avenue, marks the "official" starting point of the Iditarod race. Enjoy a gourmet seafood dinner with a breathtaking view across Cook Inlet.

Anchorage (Iditarod Musher Visit) ( Overnight: Anchorage )

Today you will visit the sled dog kennel of a famous Iditarod musher and get to know all about the Iditarod Race and Mushing Basics - combined with the exhilaration of a sled dog ride. This tour is an exciting introduction to dog sledding with lively huskies and a musher with a long time Iditarod history. The presentation is inspiring where you'll learn all about the sled dogs, how the Iditarod race is organized, checkpoints procedures and mushing basics including dog team commands, running positions and breading. Then it is all about mushing. Ever dreamed of moving silently across snowy landscape pulled by a team of Alaskan Huskies? Meet the harnessed team and a musher for introductions and take some pictures. Then enjoy the sled dog ride on one of the beautiful winter trails.

Anchorage (Mushers Banquet) ( Overnight: Anchorage )

Spend your free morning in and around Anchorage. At 4:00 PM join the Musher's Banquet Dinner at the Dena'ina Center. Main part of the exciting evening entertainment 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 “Last Great Race on Earth” – the nearly 1,000-mile Iditarod Trail Sled Dog 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. Participants have plenty of photo opportunities, good chances to meet and talk with the Iditarod Musher personally, collect autographs and participate in the auction.  

Anchorage (City Sightseeing Tour) ( Overnight: Anchorage )

Explore the sights and highlights of Anchorage today during a guided city sightseeing tour. You'll visit the historical and scenic points of interest around Anchorage. Begin your historical tour from the heart of downtown where we'll visit the Port of Anchorage at Ship Creek, where Alaska's metropolitan was born as a tent city. Check out this year’s snow sculptures and vote for your favorite. Take a stroll amongst the towering sculptures and see if you can identify each artist’s chosen theme. 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 airport and base! Stop at the Lakefront Hotel to see the Iditarod Headquarters, race info and gift items.

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 80 Musher's, 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 10 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 musher's 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

Morning at leisure in/around Anchorage. Time for your last shopping activities or have a delicous seafood lunch in one of Anchorage's top restaurants. Spend some time at the Alaska Native Heritage Center: the Gathering Place is center stage for Alaska Native dancing, compelling Native Games demonstrations and intriguing storytelling. The Hall of Cultures features exhibits and demonstrating Alaska Native artists. Visitors discover more about each of the five major culture groups through engaging exhibits. Check out of your hotel and transfer to the airport.