The Iditarod Trail is a historic trail that connects Seward, Alaska with Nome, Alaska and the rest of the Seward Peninsula. In winter, it is navigable by dogsled or snowmobile. In summer, segments of the trail can be hiked, while many sections are barely usable. Rivers are used for inter-village transportation instead.
According to the Bureau of Land Management, which maintains parts of the trail, "the Trail demands a high degree of self-reliance by the user, proficiency in extreme winter camping and travel by ski, dog team, snowmobile, or fat tire bike."
Most of the trail is far from people, and most inhabited places by the trail are small villages, if that. You will mostly be on your own in real wilderness in a harsh climate. In summer there are hundreds of miles of unfrozen swamps to cross, in winter you have to survive the cold. Anybody who wants to do this trail needs to have adequate skills, do their own research and prepare well.
The trail was mapped in 1908 as the Seward-to-Nome Trail. It was used to get people to the gold fields of Iditarod/Flat and Nome by foot or dog sled. The trail mostly followed old trails of native Indians and Eskimos. The trail is the only National Historic Trail in Alaska. The path of the trail has shifted somewhat over time.
There is a yearly dogsled competition from Anchorage to Nome: the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race, in early March, commemorating an emergency delivery of diphtheria antitoxin serum in 1925 by dog sled, partly along this trail.
- Bureau of Land Management Anchorage Field Office, ☏ +1 907-267-1246, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thorough preparation is needed.
In winter the trail can be explored by snowmobile, ski or dog sled.
See Cold weather for more general advice.
To get in, you have to somehow get to Seward or Nome. You might be able to take a cruise ship or the Alaska Marine Highway to Seward or Whittier, or fly into the Seward Airport, among other ways.
The trail has alternative legs on some stretches. One variant:
- Mile 0 - Seward
- Mile 4 - Bear Creek
- Mile 7 - Bear Lake
- Mile 28 - Moose Pass
- Mile 65 - Portage
- Mile 75 - Girdwood
- Mile 116 - Eagle River
- Mile 127 - Chugiak
- Mile 145 - Knik
- Mile ? - Susitna
- Mile ? - Old Skwentna
- Mile ? - Rohn River Roadhouse
- Mile ? - Farewell Lake
- Mile ? - Big River Roadhouse
- Mile 495 - McGrath
- Mile ? - Takotna
- Mile ? - Flat
- Mile ? - Iditarod
- Mile ? - Dikeman
- Mile ? - Dishkakat
- Mile ? - Kaltag
- Mile ? - Unalakleet
- Mile ? - Shaktoolik
- Mile ? - 1 Ungalik, with trail to Koyuk
- Mile ? - 2 Bald Head
- Mile ? - 3 Moses Point, with private airfield and trail to Koyuk
- Mile ? - Elim, village with airfield
- Mile ? - Walla Walla
- Mile ? - Golovin
- Mile ? - Solomon
- Mile 1145 - Nome