5-Day NL-300 Tour
- See the Start of the Yukon Quest, the 1,000 mile International sled dog race.
- Witness the magical spectacle of the Northern Lights as they dance across the sky.
- View Ice Sculptures in Fairbanks.
- Learn about dog sledding and mush your own team of dogs.
- Enjoy a snowmachine tour through the beautiful Alaskan wilderness.
- Enjoy the thermal waters of Chena Hot Springs.
Northern Lights 300 Race Itinerary - Big Lake to Finger Lake & Back
The Northern Lights 300 runs from Big Lake, Alaska to Finger Lake along the Iditarod Trail, and back to Big Lake. This is a 300-mile Iditarod and Yukon Quest qualifier race. Follow the teams along the trail, mingle with mushers and dogs at checkpoints and, enjoy two nights at Winterlake Lodge, situated along the Iditarod Trail on the western edge of the Alaska Range, overlooking wild and rugged mountains. You will see what goes on at the checkpoints, experience vets and officials at their work. This tour offers the perfect combination of race observation and action as well as opportunities to see the northern lights in this amazing part of Alaska!
Thursday, February 21: Arrive in Anchorage: Today, arrive in Anchorage at your leisure. Upon your arrival your airport transfer is included. This afternoon, we will meet in the lobby of the lodge for a pre-trip orientation. Overnight in Anchorage.
Friday, February 22: Anchorage to Big Lake: After breakfast, we will travel north along the Chugach Mountains and the Matanuska Valley until we reach Big Lake for the start of the Northern Lights 300 Sled Dog Race. The Northern Lights 300 runs from Martin Buser’s Happy Trails Kennel in Big Lake, Alaska to Finger Lake on the Iditarod Trail, and back to Big Lake. This is a 300-mile Iditarod and Yukon Quest race qualifier. The race begins at noon at Happy Trails Kennel. This evening, weather permitting, we will scan the skies for the northern lights. Overnight in Big Lake.
Saturday, February 23: Big Lake to Winterlake Lodge: Today Northern Lights 300 Dog Race is in full swing! We will depart Big Lake and fly out to Winterlake Lodge, situated in the middle of the Alaska Range. On our way there we will be flying over the Iditarod Trail and hopefully catch some of the mushers along the trail. We will arrive in Winterlake Lodge by mid-afternoon. Winterlake Lodge is situated in between the magnificent Tordrillo Mountain Range and the towering peaks of the Alaska Range on a peaceful remote lake. The main lodge, where guests socialize and dine, sits near the middle of the property. There is a comfortable main room for relaxing by the fire and viewing the lake from our large picture windows, a dining area and large kitchen for the preparation of their award-winning Alaskan regional cuisine. The rest of the day will be spent watching as team arrive. This evening will be spent again watching the skies for the aurora. Overnight at Winterlake Lodge..
Sunday, February 24: Winterlake Lodge: After breakfast, we will spend the day watching the teams arrive and watch the activity that takes place here. Teams will be arriving and resting and leaving this checkpoint all day. We will spend the day watching and photographing the action. Later tonight, we will go outside and scan the skies for the northern lights or hang out and wait for teams as they arrive into this checkpoint. Overnight at Winterlake Lodge.
Monday, February 25: This morning you will have breakfast and afterwards, we will fly-out from Wintelake Lodge back to Big Lake. Upon our arrival we will travel back to Happy Trails Kennel and watch dog teams as they arrive at the finish line. Overnight in Big Lake.
Tueday, February 26: We will enjoy breakfast together this morning and start our way back to Anchorage. Later, depart Anchorage at your leisure.
ABOUT THIS TOUR: Adventure travel is exactly is as its name implies, an adventure! Although every attempt is made to adhere to these itineraries, participants need to acknowledge and willingly accept the unexpected route and itinerary changes due to factors beyond our control. About Aurora viewing and moon phases: we run our tours even when there is a full moon, a new moon and at all times in between. During a full moon the foreground is brighter, allowing you to capture the foreground. During a new moon, the sky is darker so the lights may appear slightly brighter. However, since we are in a place where the lights are so bright anyway, this makes very little difference in the quality of viewing. Aurora viewing is subject to weather conditions and solar activity and its not guaranteed. Some activities are subject to change when temperatures are below -30°F.
PHYSICAL REQUIREMENTS FOR THIS TOUR: (Moderate)
The Northern Lights 300 Tour does not require a high degree of physical fitness. However, we will be exposed to extremely cold weather, often experiencing high temperatures well below freezing, which in itself can be physically challenging. We may also have to walk in deep snow. Most nights we will stay up past midnight to look for the northern lights, which typically appear later in the evening.
WHAT IS INCLUDED AND WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW: Transportation, lodging, transfers and baggage handling and meals as indicated on the itinerary. All rates are per person in U.S. dollars based on shared occupancy. Accommodations are double occupancy. Tour does not include Alaska Borough taxes, air transportation to and from Alaska or any optional tours, liquor, items of personal nature or other purchases. Winter clothing rental is available in Anchorage in limited supplies. (See below) This is the important part: Tour participants must understand and be willing to accept that weather can affect changes in the itinerary. Any additional costs which occur due to weather issues, delays, extra nights lodging or unforeseen circumstances, the tour participant is responsible for these expenses. You should plan to have some "buffer" days in your itinerary. Planet Earth Adventures will not be responsible for any missed flights or connections. For this reason, we strongly recommend that you purchase travel insurance.
TRAVEL INSURANCE: We strongly suggest purchasing trip cancellation/interruption insurance to protect your travel investment at the time you sign up for one of our trips. This coverage will offset cancellation charges in the event of illness before or during your trip. Trip cancellation/interruption and baggage insurance is available at a supplemental cost. Click Here to purchase travel protection.
WINTER GEAR RENTAL: Anyone visiting Alaska in the winter time should bring a warm hat, gloves, neck scarf, and a heavy coat. Layering is the best way to keep warm in Alaska. A light weight thermal with a fleece and a loose fitting jacket is recommended. Please refer to our "What to Wear Winter Guide" by clicking the link below. In Anchorage, 6th Avenue Outfitters rents insulated snow type pants, parkas with hoods, and boots. We do not guarantee availability or sizing. There are no reservations on garments and it is first come-first serve. Please call 6th Avenue Outfitters for availability.