Talk:Iditarod Trail

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Should this page, Iditarod Trail, be moved to Iditarod National Historic Trail, which is referenced at National Trails System or a redirect to here made? --Traveler100 (talk) 19:28, 7 March 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I'd say yes, but I also want to just say how exciting it is that this itinerary article has been started. It would be great if it could be eventually be brought up to Guide status and featured next year or the year after in the month of March when the Iditarod is run. Ikan Kekek (talk) 06:55, 8 March 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I added a few sentences about the trail being a national historic one, the sled dog race and going without car, based on what I found on Wikipedia. I hope someone can check that I did not misunderstand something too badly. --LPfi (talk) 14:18, 13 August 2019 (UTC)Reply[reply]


I think that many of the stops listed in this article are not actually villages. In particular, skeleton articles have been created for Ungalik, Bald Head and Moses Point, places for which I can find no information online. I suspect that a lot of the redlinks are not villages either. Ground Zero (talk) 01:59, 12 August 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I suspect the same too. SHB2000 (talk | contribs | meta.wikimedia) 02:10, 12 August 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I think this is misleading[edit]

@SHB2000, LPfi, Traveler100, Ikan Kekek: I think we have a problem here. This article suggests that one can drive the Iditarod Trail. I have tried and failed to confirm this through Google maps and the Alaska tourism website and other sources. I do not believe that there are usable roads along the trail. I do know whether the original unregistered author was trying to map out a driving route and then abandoned the project when they couldn't find a way, or if this is a hoax. Have I missed something, or should the bulk of the article, i.e., the parts referring to driving, be deleted? Ground Zero (talk) 17:31, 25 August 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Could you drive a motorcycle or cycle the route? Ikan Kekek (talk) 18:45, 25 August 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I can find no evidence of that. It seems to be for dogsleds and snowmobiles. One site says that "Segments can be hiked in the summer", which means you can't hike from Seward to Nome. The hikeable segments should be covered in the articles of the cities they are near. Ground Zero (talk) 18:53, 25 August 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]
According to the trail association, "many sections of the Trail are barely usable in the summer. Locals rely on rivers for inter-village transportation instead." I will delete the driving stuff: it is incorrect information. Ground Zero (talk) 19:00, 25 August 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]
What about this in w:Iditarod Trail#Iditarod race route?
"The Iditarod Trail Invitational human powered race for bikers, runners and skiers also follows the Iditarod Trail from Knik to McGrath with a 350-mile race and to Nome in the 1000 mile race." Ikan Kekek (talk) 23:44, 25 August 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]
So that's an organized invitational event for for high-performance athletes, and not something that independent travellers would be doing on their own, isn't it? Ground Zero (talk) 23:58, 25 August 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]
So is the Iditarod. For that matter, so is climbing Mount Everest, yet we cover such extreme itineraries on this site. Ikan Kekek (talk) 00:26, 26 August 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]
There are lots of ways to climb Mt. Everest, but I have no objection if you want to add that event in. I don't think we should suggest that the trail can be travelled safely outside of an organized event unless we find a source that stays that. The parts about driving it were clearly made up, and dangerous, I think. Ground Zero (talk) 00:39, 26 August 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I agree. Good research. But yes, let's add the mentioned events. Ikan Kekek (talk) 01:03, 26 August 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I readded the waypoints. Do we have any reason to doubt their correctness? –LPfi (talk) 05:47, 28 August 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Did you check the accuracy of the list before re-adding it? I think it is out of date. W:Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race says there are two routes now.
In any case, I have not found anything that says that this is a trail that a reader can safely travel on their own. They would really be doing as part of an organized event, in which case they would get up-to-date and reliable information from the event organizers. I don't think we are helping readers by implying that they should think about trying it on their own. Ground Zero (talk) 10:32, 28 August 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I did not check, but I suppose the old route could still be used. Revert if you think it is not trustworthy enough. Anyway, this is a wilderness trail in a harsh climate, which probably is not well marked. Those who still want to do it are hopefully sensible enough to do their research and not to go without the skills and resources needed. We should tell that this is not for the unprepared, but I don't think that is a reason to delete the itinerary or to cut it down to the point that it is worthless (read: hinder it from growing to usable). I suppose some of the legs could be walked/biked/canoed by ordinary wilderness enthusiasts, and some of those could probably do all the trail unsupported. –LPfi (talk) 11:49, 28 August 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]
@Ground Zero: I added some sentences along these lines. Is it acceptable now? –LPfi (talk) 11:55, 28 August 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]
It is better, yes. Ground Zero (talk) 12:06, 28 August 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Very good quote from the BLM, thanks. Ikan Kekek (talk) 12:13, 28 August 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Inserted by GZ, I didn't notice it before I inserted my own. –LPfi (talk) 12:45, 28 August 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]
For the record, I studied this route extensively several years ago. I remember during my research finding that former Governor Sarah Palin proposed its construction, but it was never completed, of course — there's permafrost here, so building a paved road would be virtually impossible. That said, surely the route is still done by sled? --Comment by Selfie City (talk) (contributions) 15:06, 6 October 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I don't think it's impossible. I've been on several roads further north in Northern Norway (keeping in mind that Norway's highways are better than Alaska's), but I don't think it's economically feasible to pave the highway. The only chances I could see is if it were to be built as a defence route, which is unlikely to happen in the meantime. SHB2000 (talk | contribs | meta) 21:59, 6 October 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Northern Norway doesn't have permafrost across large areas, so I assume some issues about that are absent. But to build a road across large swamps is not easy. There was a few kilometres of cycleway to be built between Helsinki and Sipoo (to combine their networks), but it took years to complete because of the bog to be crossed. You need loads of gravel or advanced piling. I think those would work on permafrost too, but you'd need to redirect the defence budget. –LPfi (talk) 09:10, 7 October 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Fact checking[edit]

At WV:VFD#Iditarod Trail, Ground Zero wrote "If someone were willing to [do] that check it would be worth keeping as it is famous." Other people have questioned whether the route is viable.

The official links I find seem to be broken (massive link rot at, it seems), but a quote at (clicking one of the cabins) says:

"The Iditarod National Historic Trail commemorates a 2,300-mile system of winter trails that first connected ancient Alaska Native villages, opened up Alaska for the last great American gold rush, and now plays a vital role for travel and recreation in modern day Alaska. Over 1,500 miles of the historic winter trail system are open today for public use. To learn more, please click [broken link at]." (italics mine)

This seems to tell that parts of the trail are viable also for quite ordinary people. The map shows the two race routes, the official historic route and a number of connecting trails. While the map warns that "Historic trail alignments represent abandoned, unused, overgrown, and/or unlocated routes not in contemporary use" (and similarly for the connecting trails), I assume the warning is about the trails as drawn on the map, not the trails themselves. The existence of public shelter cabins and safety cabins also seem to imply the trails are in actual use. –LPfi (talk) 12:04, 7 October 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I compared the route of the National Historic Trail on the map and the waypoint list we have, and they seemed to agree. Most of the ones listed are used for names of sections, and some of these are more or less abandoned gold-rush villages. There were a few I could not find, but I assume that has due to the map I used. I cannot see what of the current article content would be dubious. –LPfi (talk) 15:31, 7 October 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

VFD discussion[edit]

Iditarod Trail[edit]

Per the one-year rule for itineraries. The talk page suggests that some of the content here might be a hoax (cc. @Ground Zero: who brought this issue up), and a list of mileposts isn't useful for travellers. --SHB2000 (talk | contribs | meta) 09:12, 6 October 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Also see Wikivoyage:Votes for deletion/September 2021#Iditarod Trail waypoints. FWIW, the current article remains unusable and I remain skeptical of trusting this info. SHB2000 (talk | contribs | meta) 09:16, 6 October 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
The deleted waypoint didn't warrant individual articles, but are relevant on this itinerary. The itinerary is a National Historic Trail (according to the article), which should make it well-defined and well-know enough to be excepted from the one-year rule. The list of waypoints should facilitate preliminary assessing the route. I assume the erroneous information ("hoax") was removed in connection with the discussion last year, at least the participants seems to have been satisfied. –LPfi (talk) 09:38, 6 October 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I don't think this specific national historic trail is notable enough to be an exception. It doesn't help that most of the content, including the hoax, was written by (talk · contribs) (and most of what they wrote still remains). SHB2000 (talk | contribs | meta) 09:55, 6 October 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I don't think you can drive along this route. A highway was proposed years ago, and I'm pretty sure it never happened. A highway to Nome would have to go via that mountain pass east of Unalakleet, the name of which I've forgotten, which connects it to the Yukon basin. If we remove the highway reference in the article, we can probably clean this article. I think it's worth keeping. --Comment by Selfie City (talk) (contributions) 15:14, 6 October 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I don't have a pro or con vote, but the Iditarod and its route are certainly famous. Ikan Kekek (talk) 19:08, 6 October 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── I removed the text that I could determine to be false information, but I don't know enough about the trail to vouch that what remains is true. If someone were willing to fo that check it would be worth keeping as it is famous. If we don't know that it is valid, the article should be deleted to make way for a future, accurate article. We should not keep incorrect information just because it is about a famous place. Ground Zero (talk) 19:56, 6 October 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I'd be inclined to keep since it is classed as a National Historic Trail. The only reason I know of it, though, is the w:Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race, so I'm not certain. Pashley (talk) 10:09, 7 October 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I checked the waypoints against the route at and they seemed to agree. I think our wordings are cautious enough that there should not be anything critical to distrust. –LPfi (talk) 15:56, 7 October 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Most of the article is correlated with the Bureau of Land Management's website, so we can be reasonably certain it's accurate. My only concern is with the phrase "In summer, segments of the trail can be hiked" which seems suspicious given much of it is remote swamp. I'd suggest removing that phrase and keeping the rest. Hence, my vote is keep. --Comment by Selfie City (talk) (contributions) 16:23, 8 October 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Some of the cabins along the route are "winter only", so I assume you can hike to the rest of them, but you wouldn't necessarily follow the same route. The National Historic Trail seems to be described as a system of winter trails and indeed, not only are the swamps a challenge, but the route also crosses rivers in a way you wouldn't in summer, some of them large ones. I also note that the first stretch, Seward to Girdwood (75 mi) is described as "(railroad)", in addition partly "proposed trail"; there might not be any real trail at that section. –LPfi (talk) 18:39, 8 October 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • Question: There is one vote to keep, one "inclined to keep" and some other remarks suggesting that it's OK not to delete this article. It seems clear that there is no consensus to delete. Any objections to closing this nomination as a keep? Ikan Kekek (talk) 10:00, 27 October 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Outcome: Kept. Pashley (talk) 01:54, 17 November 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]