Are you impressed by how the team manages to make it down the trail mile after mile powered just by the amazing four-legged athletes of Schroeder Mushing? – well, maybe Nathan pushes and paddles a bit…
Now is you chance to show the team your support as they travel the famed Iditarod Trail!
Become an Iditarod Race Leg Sponsor! For just a dollar a mile, you can officially sponsor the team on one leg of the race!
There are three ways to reach us to make your sponsorship official: email us firstname.lastname@example.org, use the “contact us” page above, our contact us through our Facebook page.
What’s you pick? The treacherous Happy River Steps? The wind-swept coast? The mysterious Old Woman Cabin? The relative calm of the interior? Read the descriptions below and decide on which leg you will cheer the team on the most!
Notes: Mileage is based on the official Iditarod Media Guide. Actual mileage may vary year to year depending on how the trail is put in. Legs listed in orange are still in search of sponsors!
Anchorage to Campbell Airstrip (11 miles) – This the ceremonial start of the Iditarod. The teams will start on 4th Avenue in downtown Anchorage and make their way through the Anchorage trails carrying not only Nathan and a handler, but also Nathan’s Idita-Rider! If you are interested in being Nathan’s Idita-Rider – be sure to check out the auction that happens on the Iditarod website beginning in early December! Sponsored by: Don Tilden
Willow to Yentna Station (42 miles) – The trail begins on Willow Lake and travels through frozen lakes and swamps before dropping into the Big Susitna River. Most of the trail here is flat. They will then head to the checkpoint which is located on the Yentna River. Sponsored by Lori Rosenthal
Yentna Station to Skwentna (30 miles) – The mushers will stay on the Yentna River until it meets the Skwentna River. While the trail here is usually pretty good, the teams may encounter rough ice and overflow. Sponsored by: Don Tilden
Skwentna to Finger Lake (40 miles) – Leaving Skwentna, the teams will turn left and had across Eight-Mile Swamp and through some spruce timber and cottonwoods. The will head across Shell Creek and One Stone Lake, where overflow and open water can cause problems. They will finish this leg with some open swamps and thin stands of spruce and alder. A shout out to George and Patti Donaldson for sponsoring this race leg!
Finger Lake to Puntilla Lake (Rainy Pass Lodge) (30 miles) – At Finger Lake the trail drops sharply onto Red Lake and then climbs steeply as it rises just to plummet down again to Happy River. Yes, this leg is home to the infamous Happy River Steps – a series of three benches that are the stuff of musher nightmares and amazing action shots for photographers! BillieJo Doyle is sending Nathan down the trail here!
Puntilla Lake to Rohn (35 miles) – Climbing through Rainy Pass, the trail will reach 3,160 feet above sea level. The climb is gentle but barren. The trail will summit and then descend along the Dalzell Creek. Junior Musher Julia Cross is cheering Nathan through this stretch of trail!
Rohn to Nikolai (75 miles) – This part of the trail crosses the Kuskokwim River and turns inland. From here the team will cross several sharp hills on a narrow trail. The will continue on to Farewell Lake through spruce and alder and into the Buffalo Chutes – bison country! The trail will then take the teams through the Farewell Burn – the site of Alaska’s largest forest fire – a million and a half acres burned here in 1978. They will join up with the Salmon River which will take them into Nikolai. Lori Rosenthal is cheering the team down the trail on this leg also!
Nikolai to McGrath (48 miles) – The terrain here is mostly flat. They will pass through open swamps, spruce, alder, and then be running on rivers. Sponsored by: T.J. Reiter
McGrath to Takotna (18 miles) – The trail leaves McGrath along Runway Seven! The team will cross the Kuskokwim River the the mouth of the Takotna River. The trail is gentle rolling hills and is well traveled so should not present too much trouble for the team! Sponsored by: Don Tilden
Takotna to Ophir (23 miles) – From Taktona, the trail is the state highway that leads to Ophir. Sponsored by: Don Tilden
Ophir to Iditarod (80 miles) – This is one of the emptiest legs on the entire race, a full 80 miles of lonely country and endless trail. There are several options for camping on this leg of the trail, Don’s Cabin, 36 miles out of Ophir, Windy Creek crossing, 10 miles past Don’s Cabin, or the Dishna River, a couple of miles past Windy Creek. Leaving Ophir, the trail runs west down the Innoko River valley and then heads southwest toward Beaver Mountain Pass. The weather can be a major factor on this leg, especially on the Beaver Flats, which are completely exposed. Whiteouts can happen quickly and winds can be severe. Sponsored by Patricia Christofferson! Thanks so much!
Iditarod to Shageluk (55 miles) – This leg is difficult in that it has unending rugged and hilly terrain. There is no human habitation for the entire route, no cabins, mines.. nothing. The trail leaves Iditarod heading downstream on the Iditarod River then turns west and begins to climb over an endless series of ridges before dropping down into the broad valley of the Innoko River, on which Shageluk is located. The trail will cross the Little Yetna and the Big Yetna Rivers; the Big Yetna is about half way. The western half is generally better than the eastern half, and the timber coverage increases the farther west you go. Finding the entire trail and putting it together for the first time was very challenging and relied on the knowledge of a few Shageluk elders who had relied on the trail more than half a century ago. Thanks to Joel Clausen and Amanda Sroga- Clausen picking up this portion of the trail!
Shageluk to Anvik (25 miles) – This trail runs through open lowlands and lakes and drop into the heavily timbered Yukon River bottomlands, before moving along the Yukon River into Anvik. This is also a well used snowmobile trail and is pretty compact and in good shape. Sponsored by: Tina Wanner
Anvik to Grayling (18 miles) – This is the first leg on the Yukon and although short, the dogs get a taste of the big open space of the river. The wind can be a large factor here, blowing downriver causing subzero temperatures and bitter wind gusts. This is a heavily used village to village trail and should be well maintained. Ruth Ann Connolly is boosting Nathan for this leg!
Grayling to Eagle Island (62 miles) – This leg is also on the mighty Yukon, upstream, and usually into the wind. It is long and can be miserable when the wind is blowing and the temperatures plummet, up to 100 below. This stretch has no terrain, only wide open river. The trail stays mostly on the west bank, but can run anywhere on the river depending on conditions. There are no towns between checkpoints, only scattered cabins. In winter they are all abandoned and quiet and there is little to no snowmobile traffic. Here everyone needs jackets, even the dogs! Mrs. Poppen’s 3rd Grade Class from Isanti Intermediate School is cheering Nathan and the team down this leg of the race!
Eagle Island to Kaltag (60 miles) – After the long haul from Grayling to Eagle Island, this leg is more of the same. More long, cold river bends and windy open terrain on the Yukon River. Sponsored by: Deanna Whirley
Kaltag to Unalakleet (85 miles) – The trail here will follow the runway out of Kaltag and then along the Kaltag River until reaching the Portage. It will follow the Unalakleet drainage to Old Woman Cabin at the base of Old Woman Mountain. Hopefully Nathan will remember to leave the Old Woman an offering so he will be able to pass through here safely! From here the trail will follow the river into town on a windy and crusty trail. Sponsor this leg!
Unalakleet to Shaktoolik (40 miles) – The teams will cross several low ridges with stunted spruce and willow thickets. Closer to Shaktoolik, the trail will follow a coastal dune and will get very rough. Margaret Fagerholm is cheering Nathan all the way from Unalakleet to Koyuk!
Shaktoolik to Koyuk (50 miles) – This is the leg that Libby Riddles forged out onto in a storm to become the first woman to win the Iditarod. The trail crosses the peninsula and runs on land for eight or nine miles and then starts across the Norton Sound. The ice is often rough and the winds can really kick up here. Margaret Fagerholm is cheering Nathan all the way from Unalakleet to Koyuk!
Koyuk to Elim (48 miles) – The trail follows the coast, almost doubling back on itself. The team will come to Moses Point which is a spit that they will parallel for several miles. There are two different trails that lead into Elim and the trailbreakers decide which one is best for the race each year. Kerry Quade will be rooting for the team from Koyuk to Elim!
Elim to Golovin (28 miles) – Although Golovin isn’t an official checkpoint, they still welcome the mushers with open arms! To get there, the team will cross the Kwiktalik Mountains which is a series of low hills. Sponsored by: Don Tilden
Golovin to White Mountain (18 miles) – From Golovin, the trail will cross the Golovin Lagoon to the Mudyutok River to the Fish River and then on to White Mountain. This stretch is short and easy unless the winds kick up! Sponsored by: Deanna Whirley
White Mountain to Safety (55 miles) – This leg leads to Topkok Hill and winds can often exceed 40 knots! Sponsored by: Tina Wanner
Safety to Nome (22 miles) – The trail runs along the Nome – Solomon Road and then passes around Cape Nome and heads into town and right under the finish line! Sponsored by: Deanna Whirley