Join us on a journey to “The Last Frontier” for the fabulous Iditarod Sled Dog Race. Witness the Ceremonial Start in Anchorage and travel to Willow for the Official Start of this epic race.
1 Arrive in Alaska
Welcome to Alaska as you arrive in Fairbanks, the Golden Heart City and transfer to your hotel. Meet your Tour Manager in the lobby for dining suggestions. This evening an optional journey is available for Aurora Borealis viewing.
2 Fairbanks Sightseeing and Optional Tours
A guided city tour of Fairbanks shows you the “Golden Heart City.” Visit the Morris Thompson Cultural Center and the Trans-Alaska Pipeline. This afternoon will be at your leisure for optional tours such as dog mushing tours, Arctic Circle flightseeing, as well as many others to choose from. After our included dinner you’ll have another chance to view the Aurora Borealis at a different location. Meals: B, D
3 Denali National Park
Today, take the George Parks Highway south to Denali National Park. En route, enjoy an included visit to the town of Nenana, home of the Nenana Ice Classic! Upon arrival into Denali, enjoy an included visit to the Murie Science and Learning Center which acts as the Denali Visitor’s Center in the wintertime. See the National Park film, Heartbeats of Denali, hear from a local ranger about the park, and even have a chance to snowshoe! A box lunch is included today. Meals: B, Box Lunch
4 Ride the Alaska Railroad
After breakfast you are transferred to the Healy Rail Stop to board the world-famous Alaska Railroad, (Adventure Class) for your scenic journey south to Anchorage, Alaska’s largest city. Keep an eye out for views of Denali from the north face to south face. Upon arrival in Anchorage you will be transferred to your hotel. Meal: B
5 Anchorage Sightseeing and Musher’s Banquet
Today, enjoy a city tour of Anchorage featuring the historic downtown area, Lake Hood where 190+ floatplanes take off and land daily, and Earthquake Park to learn about the 1964 Earthquake. There will be time for lunch on own today. Later, travel along the scenic Seward Highway and enjoy an included visit to the Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center where you will have a chance to see Alaska’s Wildlife up close and personal. Tonight, enjoy Iditarod festivities and dinner at the Musher’s Banquet. Meals: B, D
6 Happy Trails Kennel
This morning, head to Happy Trails Kennel. Here, meet four-time Iditarod Champion Martin Buser. Hear personal stories and see his dogs while viewing a glimpse of the grandeur Alaska has to offer along the Iditarod Trail. Later, return to Anchorage with an included stop at the Iditarod Headquarters en route. Meal: B
7 Iditarod Ceremonial Race Start
After breakfast, you head to 4th Avenue to get a great spot at the Ceremonial Start of the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race. Spend time cheering on mushers from all over the world. Mushers will depart the starting gate every two minutes. Watch each of them depart or take off early and enjoy other Iditarod festivities in Anchorage. This afternoon, visit the Anchorage Museum, a large art, history, ethnography, ecology, and science museum in the heart of downtown Anchorage. Dinner will be included this evening. Meals: B, D
8 Official Start of the Race and Travel Home
This morning, depart Anchorage and venture north to Willow for the restart of the Iditarod Sled Dog Race. Be sure to dress in layers to maximize staying warm as the entire day will be spent outside cheering on your favorite dog teams. En-route, stop at a local grocery store in Wasilla to pick-up on own snack and lunch items. Prepare for a bit of a walk to find the perfect spot along the fence line of the race. Mushers take off across Willow Lake on their 1,049-mile journey by dog sled to Nome. The Willow Community Center is open and offers a break from the cold with vendors selling food and drink as well as local crafts. Don’t miss out on snacks throughout the day! Your Tour Director will have more information on this edible portion of the program. The departure time from Willow will depend on weather conditions and guests’ comfort level.
Our goal is to see as many of the Mushers depart as possible while still arriving back into Anchorage by 6:00/6:30pm. Upon returning to Anchorage it will be time to say goodbye to your local Tour Manager as you are transferred to the Anchorage Airport for your evening flight. Meal: B
9 Arrive Home
Arrive home from your overnight flight.