The Best Places to Watch Iditarod 2017

The Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Races remains the most popular sport in the state of Alaska. The event is representative of living in the last frontier. Teams of dogs and mushers travel the dangerous 1,049 miles of trail, which spans from Anchorage to Nome. Viewing the race and attending other festivities is a once in a lifetime opportunity for many. There are a few recommended locations to view the iconic race.


For the start of the race, thousands line Fourth Avenue. However, Cordova Avenue is renowned for having novice mushers take a spill on the difficult right turn. The location is also less crowded. One week before the Iditarod commences, the city hosts the Fur Rendezvous. On the afternoon following the race start, there is the Running of the Reindeer event. Guests might enjoy visiting the Charlotte Jensen Native Arts Market, seeing the snow sculpture competition or spending Saturday night at the Miners and Trappers Ball.

Anchorage offers many accommodation options. The Best Western Golden Lion is an affordable choice. The venue offers a wide range of amenities, which include coffee makers, cable TV, microwaves, and refrigerators. The Anchorage Marriott located downtown is a more upscale option. Amenities include a facility restaurant, fitness center and indoor pool.

Not far from Anchorage is Palmer, AK. If you don’t want to stay directly in the city, but plan to watch from Anchorage, Alaska Garden Gate B&B and Cottages is a great affordable option, as well.


The community is situated 30 miles from Anchorage and is the first checkpoint and rest area during the race. Mushers arrive after dark and depart at 2:00 P.M. the following day. Along with the chance to view race participants, Willow provides the chance to embark on guided salmon fishing excursions along with the opportunity to visit mushing kennels.

The Alaskan Host Bed & Breakfast offers guest rooms with private hot tubs and entrances. There is also a fully-equipped apartment, which sleeps five. The Schwager Haus features private cabins located on a private lake. The cabins have en suite bathrooms and the facility provides a continental breakfast.


Mushers and their dogs arrive here 10 days after the race begins. The Nome Nugget Inn provides an ideal indoor view of the finish line. The venue features a seating area and large front windows. An alternative is the Subway sandwich shop, which lies on the other side of the finish line. Before or after seeing the end of the race, guests might venture to the Carrie M. McLain Memorial Museum. The facility contains gold prospecting exhibits along with collections explaining the art and lifestyle of the Bering Strait Eskimos.

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