Everything You Need to Know About the Iron Dog Race

There’s something about racing that gets humans excited. From the Kentucky Derby to the Daytona 500, speed has teased man since the beginning of time. Alaska’s Iron Dog Race is no exception. This off-road snowmobile competition is the longest of its kind, with a course that stretches over 2,000 miles. It’s a must-see for locals and visitors alike! Here are some things you should know about the race.

If you’re looking for more fun things to do during your stay in Alaska, be sure to download our free Vacation Guide. This handcrafted guide is full of information on local events and festivals, including the Iron Dog Race. Get your copy today!

Experience the Iron Dog Race

In 1984, the Iron Dog was a thousand mile race that traveled from Big Lake near Wasilla to Nome, Alaska. Now, over thirty years later, the event has doubled in length and follows parts of the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race from Anchorage to Fairbanks. (You can download a race map to see the Iron Dog’s legendary route.) It’s also grown into one of Alaska’s biggest winter events, attracting over 60 participants and hundreds of spectators each year.

One of the most unique aspects of the Iron Dog Race is its ruggedness. While traveling Alaska’s ruthless backcountry, racers encounter diverse geography, varying snow conditions, and extreme temperatures. Some have recorded temps as low as -57 degrees Fahrenheit; others claim that it can get much colder in the river basins and valleys. Brrrr!

2018 Race Details

Before the big day, visitors can enjoy a special week filled with demonstrations, banquets, and plenty of high octane fun. Then, on Saturday, February 17th, the morning kicks off with a vintage snowmobile parade and a kids’ event called Iron Pup. The start of the Pro Class begins at 11:30 a.m. Here is a full schedule of 2018 events.

  • 2/16 – Start of the Trail Class (Big Lake)
  • 2/17 – Start of the Pro Class (Anchorage)
  • 2/18 – Pro Class Restart (Big Lake)
  • 2/21 – Halfway Ceremonies in Nome
  • 2/24 – Finish of the Pro Class in Fairbanks

Other Things to Do

Of course, the downtown start is just one way to get in on the fun. Snowmobile tours welcome first-time riders, and glacier hikes, skiing, and snowboarding are all available nearby. Read our blog about the best things to do in Alaska in winter for details.

Book Your Stay at Alaska Garden Gate B&B and Cottages

Now that you know about the world’s toughest snowmobile race, it’s time book your lodging for the event! Our Palmer bed and breakfast is an easy drive from Anchorage and is the perfect place to stay this February. You can choose from a number of accommodations, including cottages, apartments, and bed and breakfast rooms. Most feature amenities like private entrances, decks, and two-person Jacuzzis, and the views from our property are truly unparalleled. We even deliver a continental breakfast to your room each morning. What’s better than that?

Visit our accommodations page to see what’s available and contact us today to make your reservations.
We look forward to having you!

Other Articles

3 of the Best Stops on the Glacier Discovery TrainHere’s What You Need to Know About Cruises in Alaska