2018 Yukon Quest Tour
7-Day Yukon Quest Tour
- See the finish 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.
Yukon Quest Finish Tour Itinerary - 7 Days
Observe part of the 1,100 Mile long Yukon Quest Sled Dog Race which is considered to be one of the most Epic and Toughest sleddog race in the World! Follow the teams along the trail, mingle with mushers and dogs at checkpoints and, enjoy a scenic drive through the heartland Alaska in the winter. You will be talking with mushers, see what goes on at the checkpoints, experience vets and officials at their work. Follow the race from Fairbanks to Circle and back or extend your visit and take an overnight guided round trip journey to the Arctic Circle. This tour offers the perfect combination of race observation and action as well as winter activities in the amazing part of Alaska!
Day 1: Fairbanks: Arrive in Fairbanks. Airport transfers included. This afternoon, we will meet in the lobby of the lodge for a pre-trip orientation. Overnight in Fairbanks.
Day 2: Fairbanks: After breakfast, we will go on an amazing dog sledding adventure with Jodi Bailey & Dan Kaduce of Dew Claw Kennel. Dan and Jodi have been mushing for almost two decades and they have both completed the Yukon Quest and the Iditarod races. As veterans of the major 1000 races they bring that knowledge and their love of mushing to your trip. The dog sled tour will consist of a training run for an entire day. You will learn some mushing basics, like how to harness and bootie dogs. You will be traveling with a team of friendly well trained long distance sled dogs. They are highly energetic working dogs, but are also well socialized dogs who enjoy attention as much as they enjoy running. There is always time on your trip for giving attention to and taking photos with the dogs. There will be time to ask questions about dog care and training for distance races. In addition to an extended time on the sled, there will be nice breaks along the way with snacks and drinks. Overnight in Fairbanks.
Day 3: Central Checkpoint Yukon Quest 300 Finish: Today we’ll spend the entire day in Central. We will wait as the first Yukon Quest mushers come into Central. Later this evening we can scan the skies for the northern lights. Overnight in Central.
Day 4: Central & Circle Checkpoints: This morning you will have breakfast Central Roadhouse. Afterwards, we will continue along the Steese Highway towards Circle, located 160 miles northeast of Fairbanks at the end of the Steese Highway. With a population of 73, Circle City, on the Yukon River, is the most northerly point on the race. It was the site of a major gold rush as well as a supply stop for prospectors. The first phone system in Alaska was installed here. It claims to be the largest log cabin city in the state. Circle was named by miners in the late 19th century who believed that the town was on the Arctic Circle. The Arctic Circle is actually about 50 miles north of Circle.
Circle was established in 1893 when gold was discovered in Birch Creek, and served as an unloading point for supplies shipped up the Yukon River from the Bering Sea. The goods were sent overland to gold mining camps. In 1896, before the Klondike Gold Rush, Circle was the largest mining town on the Yukon River, with a population of 700. It had a store, a few dance halls, an opera house, a library, a school, a hospital, an Episcopal church, a newspaper, a United States commissioner, marshal, customs inspector, tax collector and a postmaster. Circle lost much of its population after gold discoveries in the Klondike, in 1897, and Nome, in 1899. A few miners stayed near Circle and mining in the area continues to the present. Most of the people in Circle today are Athabascan. Here, again we will watch as mushers and dog teams come into this checkpoint. There are great photo opportunities at this location including amazing views of the Yukon River. Watch as musher depart Circle and head into the wilderness across the Yukon River en route towards Eagle. Overnight in Central.
Day 5: Chase the Race: Central Checkpoints & Mile 101: After breakfast, we will travel along the Steese Highway and follow mushers and dog teams to Mile 101 checkpoint and watch as they take off towards Eagle Summit. We will spend some time watching teams come into Mile 101 and then start to make our way towards Central. Central hosts a checkpoint for the long-distance Yukon Quest sled dog race. We will overnight at Steese Roadhouse. Accommodations at the Roadhouse may be considered slightly rustic, but are certainly clean and comfortable. On the property, a bathroom with shower is shared by the occupants of this building. 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. Central is located under the most active band of Northern Lights and away from the light pollution. Overnight in Central.
Day 6: Fairbanks: We will enjoy breakfast together this morning and start our way back to Fairbanks. Along the way, we will stop at the Alyeska Pipeline interpretive site and learn about the history of the pipeline. We will make our way along the Chena Hot Springs Road and check mushers with their team as they head towards the finish line. Overnight in Fairbanks.
Day 7: Fairbanks: We will enjoy breakfast together this morning and start our way back to Fairbanks. Along the way, we will stop at the Alyeska Pipeline interpretive site and learn about the history of the pipeline. Overnight in Fairbanks.
Extend your tour and combine it with an Arctic Circle overnight trip. Click Here.
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.
NOTE ABOUT THE ROUTE OF THIS TOUR: On odd number years, this tour operates in reverse (from Circle City to Fairbanks)
PHYSICAL REQUIREMENTS FOR THIS TOUR: (Easy/Moderate)
The Yukon Quest 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. Single supplement is $975 for this tour. Accommodations are double occupancy. Due to the remote nature of the town of Central City, the accommodations there is unlike any other place you’ve stayed in. Because there are not many choices, the accommodations in Central City are very basic to rustic Alaskan and cannot be considered to be 5-stars by any means. It is the nicest place in town and is cozy and welcoming. However, you may have to share a room and or bathroom facilities. It certainly won’t be as nice as standard hotels you’ll find elsewhere. This is just a fact of life in the arctic. We’ll do everything we can to make sure you are comfortable and taken care of on this trip. 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.
2018 Tour Dates
TOUR DATES: February 10, 2017
TOUR COST: $4,295 per person/double occupancy
MEALS: B= Breakfast L=Lunch D=Dinner
Helpful Travel Information
- Aurora Borealis - Northern Lights Guide
- How to Photograph the Northern Lights
- What to Wear - Winter Guide for Alaska
Optional Tour Activities
Please note that these optional activities will add extra days to the tour itinerary.