Alaska Dogsled Races
Alaska is the land of the dogsled race, with a number of competitions both large and small. Sled dogs are a part of this culture, and although people come from all over the world to compete in their races, no one holds dogsledding nearer to their hearts than Alaskans. If you are in the state during one of the dogsled races, take a moment to learn a bit about the sport and even stop by a check point or the beginning of a race to cheer on the competitors.
The biggest and most intense Alaskan dogsled race is the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race. Running well over 1000 miles along the coast, this race if often called "The Last Great Race on Earth." Each team has 12-16 dogs that run with their owner from Anchorage to Nome on a 10-17 day journey through the snow.
However, there are other dogsled races in Alaska that can be equally as fun in case you're not traveling to the right areas during the right times of year to see the Iditarod. Here are some of the most popular, but keep in mind that there are dozens more:
- The All Alaska Sweepstakes: Nome to Candle in March
- Cantwell Classic: A loop beginning and ending in Cantwell in January
- GinGin 200: A loop in the Denali Highway area in December
- Norman Vaughan Serum Run: Nenana to Nome in February
A number of these smaller races are qualifying races for the Iditarod and some of the major races in Canada. You don't have to compete to enjoy them. When traveling by RV through Alaska, take some time to find out where the races are and head to the start or end to applaud the mushers competing.