Iditarod Sled Dog Race (Ceremonial Start)

The world’s most famous sled dog race begins in downtown Anchorage on the first Saturday in March, in a spectator-friendly ceremony.

The first mile and a half of this leg is on city streets lined with thousands of spectators. The next six miles run east and south through the city greenbelts and parks on the extensive system of bike/ski paths. After crossing Tudor Road on an overpass, the trail winds east for several miles in a large wooded park area on the Tozier Track sprint dog trails; the end of the trail for all the teams and their Iditariders is at the Campbell Airstrip right next to the Bureau of Land Management Visitors Center. It's a beautiful setting to end a spectacular day winding through a very special part of Anchorage.

The Official Race Start begins in the town of Willow on the first Sunday in March.

Tours That Include Iditarod Experiences

If you're looking for a full winter vacation surrounding the excitement of the Iditarod, get in touch with Salmon Berry Tours. They offer two winter trips that include the Iditarod and other key winter experiences, such as the aurora! One is their Aurora Iditarod Tour. This trip 10 day trip includes the ceremonial start in Anchorage, the official start in Willow, northern lights viewing opportunities, dog sledding, and a soak in Chena Hot Springs. You can also join them for the day to catch the ceremonial start in Willow.

Or, plan to spend a few nights at Rainy Pass Lodge. Experience the race’s ceremonial start in Anchorage and a hotel stay in Anchorage. Then fly to the lodge in time to watch the racers come through!

Getting There

Latitude: 61.218552
Longitude: -149.889448
Driving Directions

Iditarod Sled Dog Race (Ceremonial Start)