Friday, April 28, 2017

16-Days | Iditarod - Anchorage to Nome

Iditarod Tour Package III: The Iditarod Race from Anchorage to Nome

The Alaska Iditarod Adventure Tour Program from Anchorage to Nome

Iditarod Join our 16-day tour covering most of the Iditarod Trail and many checkpoints. Your journey starts with the Iditarod Race Start on Anchorage's 4th Avenue. Experience the bustling preparation of the teams in the morning and a trip to the re-start ceremony in Willow the next day. One highlight is the private sled dog kennel visit of an well known Iditarod veteran, the ski plane fly-outs to the Rainy Pass, Finger Lakes and Nikolai checkpoints within the Alaska Mountain Range as well as to the most interesting checkpoints along the shores of the frozen Bering Sea region. You'll overnight at a wilderness lodge within the Alaska Range with excellent Northern Lights viewing opportunities, in first class city hotels and small inns in Nome and the Native communities in northern Alaska. Witness the finishing of the race live in Nome when the first Iditarod Sled Dog Team arrives after an exhilarating trip of 1100 Miles throughout the most rugged, remote and challenging regions of Alaska. This is the ideal itinerary for the independent, individual and adventurous traveler and experience you'll never forget. Our tours provide the necessary insight view and first hand race information. Travel Alaska beyond imagination!
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Day 1:  Anchorage | Mushers Banquet (Thursday)

Upon arrival in Anchorage transfer to your hotel. Join our guided city sightseeing tour (optional) and explore the sights and highlights of Anchorage. Visit the historical and scenic points of interest around Anchorage: Alaska's largest (Ski) Floatplane Base at Lake Hood, scenic lookout at Earthquake Park, the snow sculptures and a stop at the Millenium Hotel to see the Iditarod Headquarters, race info and gift items. 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.

Day 2:  Anchorage (Friday)

Enjoy your free day in and around Anchorage. There are many options available to spend your day: Join our Prince William Sound Glacier Cruise. 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

Day 3:  Anchorage | Iditarod 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 80 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 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

Day 4:  Anchorage – Willow | Iditarod Re-Start - Wilderness Lodge (Sunday)

A full day of race action. 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 outside 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 also offers the great chance to watch the Northern Lights dancing on the night sky. Overnight: Iditarod Trail Wilderness Lodge

Day 5:  Rainy Pass Checkpoint Flight - Return to 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

Day 6:  Anchorage - Nikolai Checkpoint Flight (Tuesday)

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. The site was a former trading post and roadhouse during the 1899's gold rush 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. Return flight to Anchorage in the late afternoon with our ski-planes. Upon arrival individual van transfer to the hotel. We recommend a dinner in one of Anchorage's unique brew houses or some shopping for quality Alaska Native Artwork along the 4th Avenue. Overnight: Anchorage

Day 7:  Anchorage - Alyeska Resort (Wednesday)

Morning at leisure or for shopping activities around Anchorage. Early afternoon: Get into a comfortable van and leave Anchorage for a scenic drive to Alyeska. 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. You'll notice several nearby glacier and the beautiful scenery around you. Arrive at Alyeska Resort – Alaska largest Ski Area - and stroll around the small mountain community. Optional Tram ride to the top of 3.939 ft. Mount Alyeska and dinner at the renowned Seven Glaciers Restaurant on top of the mountain with a breathtaking view over seven magnificent hanging glaciers. Check in at Alyeska Resort for the next three nights. Overnight: Alyeska Resort

Day 8:  Alyeska Resort (Thursday)

Days at leisure. Despite its elevation the area is home to some of the most challenging skiing in the world. Girdwood has successfully evolved from its gold mining roots into a thriving all season resort community with an average snowfall of 631 inches every year and provides over 1,000 acres of ski terrain with easy to expert runs. Ski gear may be rented at Alyeska Resort. Non-skier have a choice of snowshoeing or x-country ski trips, dog sledding, snowmobiling or simply rejuvenate at the world-class spa facilities of the Alyeska Resort Hotel with large indoor pool, sauna & fitness center, multiple restaurants, bars etc. Overnights: Alyeska Resort

Day 9:  Alyeska Resort (Friday)

Spend another day at leisure. Today you have the option to go on a glacier snowmobile tour (optional). There is nothing like the thrill of driving your own snowmobile! On these machines, we can really see "back country" like we cannot from the highway. Many Alaskans own their own machines and spend the winter weekends outdoors basking in the midday sun and cruising the wilderness on snowmobiles, pumping up the adrenaline - it's what keeps us going! You won't regret really getting out there to see what the Chugach Mountains have to offer you. Wind through open fields, see beaver ponds, and frozen waterfalls. Under the right conditions your professional snowmobile guide will take you out to the glacier to see the icebergs and caves! Considered by many as a “Blue Ice Paradise!”. Overnights: Alyeska Resort

Day 10:  Alyeska - Anchorage - Nome (Saturday)

Get ready for the Iditarod finish. Morning transfer from the Alyeska Resort to Anchorage Airport along scenic Turnagain Arm. Fly in the early afternoon to Nome. Check into your hotel or bed and breakfast in Nome and explore the many sights of the community. Stroll around the city and learn more about the rich history of this gold rush town and the Iditarod Sled Dog Race. Plenty of time to shop for exquisite jade, hand-carved ivory and skin sowings. The nights may provide some outstanding Northern Lights – Aurora Borealis – viewing. Overnight Nome

Day 11:  Nome | Nome Sightseeing & Area Tour (Sunday)

Today it is time to explore Nome and the surrounding area. Get to know the deep knowledge of the area's cultures and history. Seeing Nome on a guided tour is a truly authentic local experience you won't want to miss! Driving around, you'll absorb the historic flavor of this city's 100 years--along with thousands of years of Eskimo history. You'll visit the port, the cemetery, tour through town, and take a drive into the country to take a tundra walk and get a insightful take on the unique ecosystem, then, if you like, try your hand at panning for gold on the beaches of Nome. Overnight: Nome

Day 12:  Nome | Fly out to Unalakleet Checkpoint (Monday)

Today you'll fly to the Unalakleet Checkpoint (or another checkpoint depending on the race progress). Fly along the Iditarod Trail and spot already sled dog teams from the air. Unalakleet on the shores of Norton Sound is a major logistic hub for the race – about 275 Miles from Nome. Unalakleet is the first checkpoint on the Norton Sound in the famous Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race. The first musher to reach this checkpoint each year is awarded the title Gold Coast Award, which includes $2,500 in gold nuggets. You have a the afternoon to observe the race activities. By now you are familiar with the checkpoint routine: Mushers come into the checkpoint, mushers leave the checkpoint, vets check dogs, dogs eat, dog feet and muscles are massaged by caring mushers, dogs sleep, mushers sleep and a myriad of other mushing related tasks. Return to Nome in the late afternoon. Overnight: Nome

Day 13:  Nome (Tuesday)

The first musher is expected to arrive today. The last stretch of the trail is exposed to the elements and ground blizzards are not uncommon. Gather near the "Burled Arches" along Front street to watch the spectacle as mushers approaches the finishing line with his dog team - greeted by a cheering crowd, TV Stations, Film Crews and newspaper reporter. Throughout the day cheer the mushers as they are crossing the finish line in Nome. You have time to participant in the many activities Nome has to offer during the Iditarod Race: the Bering Sea Ice Golf Classic, Helicopter Tour, visit the Native Craft Fair or the Idita-Mardi Gras Party. Overnight: Nome

Day 14:  Nome | Koyuk or White Mountain Checkpoint (Wednesday)

Morning flight from Nome to Koyuk on the shores of Norton Bay or to White Mountain (depending on the race progress). Koyuk checkpoint is only 171 Miles from Nome. Mushers are usually dealing with bad weather conditions along this stretch. High winds and temperatures of 40-below are common. The way to Shaktoolik is also extremely difficult to run due to the ever-present threat of open water and moving ice. This is certainly one of the hardest stretches of the race. White Mountain Checkpoint is located just 77 miles from Nome, on the banks of the Fish River. It takes its name from that of a picturesque nearby mountain. The checkpoint is located in the community hall building up the hill from the store. White Mountain is most notable as the last of three mandatory rest stops for teams competing in the annual Iditarod. All mushers are required to take an 8-hour rest stop at White Mountain before making the final push to the end of the race, 99 miles away in Nome. Spend the afternoon to observe mushing activities. Return Flight to Nome. Overnight: Nome

Day 15:  Nome | Snowcat Tour to Safety (Thursday)

This morning watch more and more mushers arriving in Nome. This afternoon enjoy the snowcat ride to Safety. Travel across the snow covered frozen tundra to view wildlife and gold rush landmarks across a beautiful and wild land. Muskox sightings on this trip are very common! It is amazing to see what it must be like to be out so far from anything like the mushers are. This is their last stretch before they arrive in Nome, and you might have passed a couple mushers. Safety Checkpoint is a warm and welcoming place. Joe runs the place and welcomes everyone with a story. Visitors from near and far visit the Roadhouse and leave a dollar bill with their name on it stapled to one of the walls. Overnight: Nome.

Day 16:  Departure Nome - Anchorage (Friday)

Morning on your own. Return flight from Nome to Anchorage during the day. We have several flight times available. Optional tour extension or additional nights in Nome on request.

Tour Services Included:

  • 5 Nights Anchorage Superior or First-Class Hotels
  • 6 Nights Nome Standard Hotel or B&B
  • 1 Night Wilderness Lodge Accommodation
  • 3 Nights Deluxe Accommodation Alyeska Resort
  • Use of Hotel & Lodge Facilities
  • 6 x Breakfast
  • 2 x Deli Style Lunch Boxes: Sandwiches, Fruits & Soft Drinks                 
  • 1 x Dinner
  • 2 Checkpoint Fly-outs to: Rainy Pass, Nikolai
  • 2 Checkpoint Fly outs to: Unalakleet, Koyuk, Elim,
    Shaktoolik, Golovan or White Mountain
    (Depending on Weather/Race Conditions)
  • Nome: SnowCat Tour to Safety
  • Nome City & Area Sightseeing Tour
  • All Local Taxes
  • Individual Airport - Hotel - Airport Transfers
  • Transfer to / from Alyeska Resort
  • Other Transfers as Scheduled
  • Alaska Airlines Flight Anchorage – Nome – Anchorage
  • Mushers Banquet and Dinner
  • Iditarod Re-Start Sightseeing Tour from Anchorage to Willow
  • Limited Guide Service
  • Sightseeing Information & Tour Documentation

Rates per Person in US $ from/to Anchorage

Tour Number: IDI3 Iditarod Anchorage to Nome
Single Double Triple Quad
2017 ✦ March 02 - March 19       ---- SOLD OUT --- $ 10180.00 $ 8830.00 $ 8470.00 $ 8270.00
Upgrade Anchorage First-Class Hotels
$ 390.00 $350.00 $ 330.00 $ 300.00

Optional Additional Tours

✦ Prince William Sound Glacier Cruise (includes transfer from Anchorage, stopover at the Wildlife Conservation Center)
$ 280.00
✦ Anchorage City Highlight Tour $ 40.00
✦ Alyeska / Girdwood: Snowmobile Tour "Real Blue Ice Tour" (Duration 5 1/2 hrs / 3 1/2 of actual riding time) $ 250.00

Please contact us for Custom Tour Packages, Group and Travel Agency Requests, Additional Overnights.

Additional Service Information

  • Checkpoint Option: The pace of the race is always different and widely depends on current weather-, trail and other conditions. Accordingly - if the race is faster/slower than anticipated - we will choose a different checkpoint. Please make sure you purchase travel insurance as canceled flights due to weather are non-refundable.