The best all inclusive, adventurous and yet affordable Iditarod Sled Dog Race Vacation Package – just compare the tour itinerary and its services and you may notice soon why ! The itinerary includes the Iditarod Ceremonial Race Start on Anchorage's 4th Avenue, the Iditarod Race Re-Start in Willow, The visit to the sled dog kennel of a famous Iditarod veteran including Iditarod Presentation, Kennel tour and an exhilarating sled dog ride. Fly-out to Rainy Pass checkpoint within the magnificent Alaska Range and to Nikolai checkpoint, a native village. Highlight of the tour is the overnight stay at a remote Alaska wilderness lodge, located near Skwentna and right next to the Iditarod Trail. Watch the Iditarod sled dog teams mush by the backcountry lodge on Sunday night while warming your hands on the bonfire. The remote location offers the great chance to watch the aurora borealis dancing on the night sky. This is the ideal tour itinerary for the true Iditarod Fan and active traveler. You may extend your Iditarod Race experience and choose additional fly-out trips, dog mushing and sightseeing tours.
Anchorage (Tuesday) Upon arrival in Anchorage transfer to your hotel. Remaining day at leisure and time to enjoy the many winter festival activities during the ongoing annual 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 race. Join us tonight the ever-popular Rondy Melodrama at the Snow Goos Theatre - Déjà Vu All Over Again in Chicken, with lots of singing, merriment and popcorn throwing fun. Afterwards enjoy a gourmet dinner with a breathtaking view across Cook Inlet from the Captain Cook Hotel or Simon and Seafort's Restaurant just above the shoreline of Cook Inlet. Overnight: Anchorage
Anchorage | Iditarod Presentation, Kennel Tour & Sled Dog Ride (Wednesday) Today you have the opportunity to 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 and driving a team (included). This tour is an exciting introduction to the traditional Alaska winter transportation with lively huskies and a musher with a long time Iditarod history. The presentation is inspiring and educational where you'll learn all about the sled dogs, required equipment, how the Iditarod race is organized, checkpoints procedures and mushing basics including dog team commands, running positions, sled harnessing 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. Overnight: Anchorage
Anchorage | Sightseeing Tour + Mushers Banquet (Thursday) 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: Alaska's largest (Ski) Floatplane Base at Lake Hood, Earthquake Park, the Captain Cook Monument and 5th. Avenue. At 5:00 PM join the Musher's Banquet Dinner at the Dena'ina Center (included). Main part of the exciting evening entertainment is the bib number drawing, an auction and a 3-course dinner which starts around 6:00 PM. Dress code is casual. Vegetarian meals are available upon request. 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, collect autographs and participate in the auction. Overnight: Anchorage.
Anchorage (Friday) Enjoy your free day in and around Anchorage or join our Prince William Sound Glacier Cruise (optional). Get into a comfortable van and leave Anchorage for an exciting day of sightseeing. You will drive along Turnagain Arm with dramatic views of mountain scenery and an inlet with the second highest tide in North America. Watch out for moose, dall sheep and other wildlife. Arrive in Whittier and join a 4 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 hike on a glacier. Enjoy a snack and hot drink as you reflect on your journey and this magnificent nook of Alaska. On your return trip to Anchorage stopover at the Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center or at Alyeska Ski Resort. Overnight: Anchorage
Anchorage | Iditarod Ceremonial Race Start (Saturday) The legendary Iditarod Race starts at 10:00 AM on 4th Avenue in Alaska's largest city. Get up early and observe the start preparations, take close up pictures from about 100 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 that was threatening to devastate Nome's population in the winter of 1925. The story of the sled dog relay is a classic tale of adventure and sacrifice, as dozens of dogs and mushers risked their lives in brutal conditions to save their fellow citizens. Overnight: Anchorage
Anchorage - Willow | Iditarod Restart - Flight to Iditarod Trail Wilderness Lodge (Sunday) Morning departure for the guided tour to the official Iditarod restart in Willow which starts at 2:00 PM. Enjoy the busy and bustling Iditarod race atmosphere and the musher's final preparation for the 1050-mile trip to the finishing line in Nome. Scenic afternoon flight from Willow to the full-service wilderness lodge located 70 airmiles north of Anchorage. The unique location along the Iditarod Trail allows us to watch the mushers and sled dog teams in full action as they mush by on Sunday night. Upon arrival your hosts will welcome you and provide a short motorsled transfer to the main lodge. Check in and enjoy a delicious home cooked dinner. Later in the evening we take you by sled to the frozen Skwentna River. A nice big bonfire keeps you warm ouside and a hot toddie inside, while we barbeque some Reindeer sausages. You'll see the first mushers and dog teams passing by from 10:00 PM onwards. The remote location alos offers the great chance to watch the aurora borealis dancing on the night sky. Overnight: Iditarod Trail Wilderness Lodge
Lodge - Flight to Rainy Pass Checkpoint - Anchorage (Monday) Breakfast at the wilderness lodge. Morning ski-plane fly-out for a breathtaking flightseeing trip along the Alaska Mountain Range to the Rainy Pass Checkpoint and the nearby Puntilla Lakes. The gateway to the interior offers by far the best and 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. A deli style lunch and soft drinks are included. You'll spend the whole day within the incredible wilderness area along the trail observing various dog-mushing activities and teams arriving and departing. Return flight to Anchorage by ski-plane in the late afternoon. Transfer to your downtown hotel and check-in. Enjoy a delicious dinner and share the stories of the day with your fellow travelers. Overnight: Anchorage
Anchorage | Optional: Flight to Nikolai Checkpoint (Tuesday) Enjoy your free day in and around Anchorage. Option 1: Fly to the native village of Nikolai for another day of up-close-and-personal race action. With a population of 125 people, Nikolai is the first of many tiny native villages along the Iditarod Trail at the South Fork of the Kuskokwim River. This is usually the preferred area were the leading Iditarod dog teams are taking their mandatory 24-hour layover. You spend the entire day within the incredible wilderness area along the trail observing various dog mushing activities and arrival or departures of the teams. Option 2: If you want to see a close up of Mt McKinley, then take a 3 hour flightseeing tour from Anchorage. Depart Lake Hood, Anchorage's lively seaplane airport, traverse the flatlands across Cook Inlet and follow the ragged spine of the Alaska Range with its massive walls of rock and ice to the crowning jewel, Mount McKinley. Overnight: Anchorage
Anchorage (Wednesday) Breakfast at the hotel. Morning at leisure in/around Anchorage. Time for your last shopping activities, a visit of the Alaska Native Heritage Center (opening times on request) or for a nice seafood lunch with delicious Alaska Salmon or King Crabs in one of the many Anchorage top restaurants. Transfer from the hotel to the airport. End of tour package. Please note: Individual program extensions are available. We feature a variety of Winter Rail Tours from Anchorage to Fairbanks, Northern Lights Viewing at the Arctic Circle, Self Drive Tours on the Kenai Peninsula or Ski Packages at the Alyeska Resort. Please contact us for more information or refer to the Winter Tour section of the website.
AKS01 Iditarod Musher Kennel Tour & Sled Dog Ride Ever dreamed of moving silently across snowy landscape pulled by a team of Alaskan Huskies? Dog sledding is an exciting introduction to a traditional Alaska winter transportation with lively huskies and a musher with a long time successful Iditarod history. The Susitna Valley is the dog mushing center of Alaska with a great trail system and many well known kennels. Meet the harnessed team and a musher for introductions and photographs. The Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race is a popular, inspiring topic of conversation. During the educational and inspiring presentation you'll learn about dog team commands, running positions, mushing basics, equipment, sled harnessing and breading. Than drive your own dog team with guided supervision on the beautiful winter trails. The dogs are always ready for adventure as they tour Alaska by winter and it's glaciers by summer. Native Alaskans bred huskies from wolves for companionship, protection and transportation. Step on the runners for this authentic Alaskan adventure. Winter clothing such as parkas, bibs, boots etc.. are provided. Rate per Person: Included
AKS02 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 4 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. Trip Highlights: ✓ Wildlife and winter scenery ✓ Alpine and piedmont glaciers ✓ Narration by accredited interpreters ✓ 4 1/2 hour cruise, approx 60 miles round trip ✓ Stopover at the Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center ✓ Photostop at Portage Lake ✓Professional Driver / Guide ✓Courtesy Hotel Pick Up & Drop off Rate per Person: $280
AKS03 Anchorage City Sightseeing Tour Let our driver-guide show you some of Anchorage's historical points of interest in this sprawling city of over 250,000 full-time residents. Watch for attractions like the Log Cabin Visitor Center and its Crossroads of the World Signpost, Ship Creek Viewpoint overlooking Cook Inlet and the Alaska Railroad Depot, Resolution Park with its Captain Cook Monument, and the Museum of History & Art. Continue to Alaska's largest (Ski) Floatplane Base at Lake Hood and the nearby Earthquake Park, the site of the memorial of the 1964 Earthquake. See what happened to the land as it broke apart and slid into the Cook Inlet. Cook Inlet views and pictures from here are a favorite for guests! Rate per Person: Included
AKS03 Van Zyle Siberian Husky Kennel and Art Gallery Tour Van Zyle completed the Iditarod twice and maintains today a husky kennel near Anchorage. From these adventures he has created the yearly Iditarod poster series commemorating the race and his involvement. Since 1979 he is the official Iditarod artist and in 2004 he was included into the Iditarod Hall of Fame. A book of his art and life "The Best of Alaska - the Art of Jon Van Zyle" were published in 1990 and since then continuously updated. His original paintings are exhibited in many galleries in the USA & Europe. We offer an exclusive 3-4 hour tour from Anchorage, starting around 1:00 pm - which includes a visit of the sled dog kennel, the Art Studio and a lecture about dog sledding, the Iditarod and his exceptional life in Alaska. A mini print of the current official Iditarod poster (Value: $22.00) is included. Rate per Person: $115.00 (Minimum: 4 Clients, Transportation from/to Anchorage Included)
AKS12 Iditarod Checkpoint Tour: Nikolai Checkpoint Fly-out (Tuesday) Morning Ski-plane flight from Anchorage to Nikolai Checkpoint. The Athabasca Alaska Native Village - situated on the south fork of the Kuskowim River - was a former gold rush trading post and roadhouse which connected the the Ophir Gold Mining District with the Cook Inlet. With 50 houses and a population of 125 people, villagers here have a subsistence life style meaning they grow their own vegetables, hunt caribou and moose and fish for salmon. Some people are still trapping too. Many of the villagers gathering around the checkpoint socializing with visitors and mushers. This is a great place to watch the mushers care for their dogs and experience a little bit of life in a remote Alaska village. Lunch and hotel transfers are included. Rate per Person: $775.00 (from/to Anchorage)
AKS05 Mt. McKinley Flightseeing Tour You'll fly within 6-Miles of McKinley's 20.320 ft summit. Get a magnificent view of large glacier, ice-falls, mountain peaks and valleys and see how the last ice age has shaped the area. Continue to the Kahiltna Glacier and Ruth Glacier with it's Great Gorge - with over 9.000 ft the world deepest gorge. The flight continues to the Sheldon Amphitheatre – the largest of its kind in the world. Another highlight may be the Wickersham Wall – a 14.000 ft continuous rise of rock and ice. During the tour you may catch also sights of mountain climbers. All flights include window seat and hotel transfers in Anchorage Duration: 3 Hours Rate per Person: $415.00 (from/to Anchorage)
The crystal gallery of ice carving competition kicks off the winter festivities in Anchorage each year. It marks the beginning of many activities to come between January and April - such as the Iditarod and the Iron Dog. The ice carving competition occurs around the first weekend of January and happens in Anchorage’s town square with teams traveling as far as China to compete. Teams are provided with two blocks of ice weighing around 3 to 4 thousand pounds apiece and 48 hours to turn the blocks of ice into a masterpiece. Be careful when going to view the ice sculptures as they are located on an ice rink, literally. Or better yet bring your ice skates along for the adventure. Ice skating is free.
Inuit Blanket Toss The blanket toss competition is like jumping on a trampoline, except the people who are holding the blanket are raising and lowering it to toss a person. This is the game often played at festivals and other Inuit celebrations. The "blankets" for the game are usually made from seal and walrus skins, so it can handle the pounding that results every time a player lands on it after the "toss." The winner is the player who bounces the highest. This game started when mountain men, Inuits and old fur traders used to meet in a pre-arranged place in the early spring each year to trade their winter's kills (furs) for cash and supplies. In the early 1900s, these meetings stopped happening because modern trappers and fur buyers had no use for them. But in the 1930's, a group of people who wanted to preserve their history brought back these meetings in the form of a 10-day celebration where games like the Blanket Toss are played.
Native Arts Market Featuring over 150 Native Artisans selling and demonstrating their art - from basket weaving, dolls, beading, carving and more! A rare opportunity to meet and greet the artists and watch them create their one of a kind items. The Charlotte Jensen Native Arts Market is named for Charlotte Jensen as a tribute to her many years of service and her love of all things Rondy. She was a Past President, Former Lady Trapper, Vern Johnson Award winner, and long-time Board member of Greater Anchorage Inc. since the 1970’s. Charlotte was also Chairperson of the Merchandise Committee and the Native Arts Market.
Miners and Trappers Charity Ball Break out the costumes and celebrate the 62nd Anniversary of the Miner’s and Trapper’s Charity Ball. Bring your world class beard and extremely tolerant other half to compete in the “Mr. Fur Face Contest,” the Alaska State Championship Beard and Mustache Contest. The Miner’s and Trapper’s Charity Ball has raised several million dollars for local charities and is produced by area Lions Clubs. The Egan Center - Tickets: $30.00 per person Alaska Trappers Association Fur Auction The South Central Chapter of the Alaska Trappers Association brings you the finest in Alaskan Fur, continuing its legacy as one of the original events of Rondy. World Championship Sled Dog Races With a great big field of amazing mushers from Alaska, Germany, Canada and the lower 48. Sled Dog Races are a Fur Rendezvous classic which began in 1946 and continue today with what is known as "The Rondy." The Open World Championship Sled Dog Race is considered the grandfather of all Alaskan races! The Rondy is produced by the Alaskan Sled Dog Racing Association (ASDRA). Come and witness the sheer intensity and excitement that is the most anticipated sprint race in North America. Endurance, Speed, and agility prove these dogs to be true athletes.
Iditarod fans have an array of spots where they can watch the 62 race teams make their way across Anchorage on Saturday morning. One of the best is at the end, on Campbell Tract in Far North Bicentennial Park. There's parking at the "BLM" Bureau of Land Management Science Center, 5600 Science Center Drive off Elmore Road, for about 500 vehicles as well as shuttle buses to Kasuum Elementary (about 100 spots) and Abbott Loop Community Park (75 spots). After parking, spectators can follow wooded winter trails to viewing areas or use a shuttle to sample different viewing areas. School buses will run a loop route between 10:00 h and 16:00 h With the ceremonial start beginning at 10:00 h downtown, you'll have plenty of time to get a taxi from downtown Anchorage to the viewing areas before dog teams start arriving at around 11:00 h. The BLM staff put a lot of effort into preparing the terminus site to accommodate free public parking and close-up sled dog viewing and the Campbell Tract venue is one of our best kept scenic secrets to watch the musher away from the crowd. Portable toilets will supplement restrooms at the Campbell Creek Science Center, 5600 Science Center Driver off Elmore Road. The center also has hot chocolate and Iditarod exhibits.
Nordic Skiing is available at Kincaid Park, on the Coastal Trail, Beach Lake, Eagle River and along the Hillside.
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